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Edgar Allen Poe1

Many authors have made great contributions to the world of literature. Mark Twainintroduced Americans to life on the Mississippi. Thomas Hardy wrote on his pessimistic views ofthe Victorian Age. Another author that influenced literature is Edgar Allan Poe. Poe is known asthe father of the American short story and father of the detective story. To understand the literarycontributions of Edgar Allan Poe, one must look at his early life, his literary life, and a summary oftwo of his famous works."Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston'' (Inglis 505) "on January 19, 1809'' (Asselineau409). He was born to a southern family that were in a traveling company of actors (Inglis 505). His father, David Poe, was from a Baltimore family. He was an actor by profession and a heavydrinker. Soon after Edgar Allan Poe was born, he left his family. Poe's mother, Elizabeth ArnoldPoe, was a widow at the age of eighteen. Two years after his birth, she died of tuberculosis (Asselineau 409). When his mother died, Poe was adopted by John Allan (Perry XI) at the urgingof Mr. Allan's wife. In 1815, John Allan moved his family to England. While there, Poe was sentto private schools (Asselineau 410).In the spring of 1826, Poe entered the University of Virginia. There he studied Spanish,French, Italian, and Latin. He had an excellent scholastic record. He got into difficulties almost atonce. Mr. Allan did not provide him with the money to pay for his fees and other necessities. Poewas confused and homesick. He learned to play cards and started drinking. Soon he was in debtin excess of two thousand dollars. Poe discovered that he could not depend upon Allan forfinancial support. His foster father refused to pay his debts, and Poe had to withdraw from theUniversity (Asselineau 410).In May of 1827, Poe enlisted in the army as a common soldier. He did this under thename of Edgar A. Perry. He was stationed on Sullivan's Island in Charleston Harbor ...

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