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“We loved with a love that was more than love.” This quote was written by one of the most famous poets man has ever known. Edgar Allan Poe lived from 1809 to 1849. Within this time period there was love, pain, and unexpected events that affected his family, his career and even the cause of his death.
Poe’s family history has a lot to do with his deranged way of writing. At a young age he already went through one of the hardest things any child would be terrified of.
“Elizabeth Poe died in 1811, when Edgar was 2 years old.” When his mother died it literally tore his family apart. With his dad being out of the picture since his mother left him, all three kids were separated. His brother Henry is the only child to stay within the original blood family. “Henry went to live with his grandparents while Edgar was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. John Allan and Rosalie was taken in by another family.
A result of Mr. Allen being a successful merchant poe grew up in a good place with a good family. However on August 1st, 1831 darkness came upon him again. His older brother, at the age 24, died of tuberculosis. However with every darkness there’s a light at the end. Henry lived with Poe’s future wife at the time that poe was discharged from the army. This is how Poe and Clemm met each other. At the time Poe didn’t see Virgina in a romantic way.
Virginia Clemm was actually a messenger for poe and his love interest. However when Maria’s daughter and Henry died it left them with a big money problem. Maria then suggested Edgar should marry her last remaining child, Virginia. Poe agreed to marry his first cousin as long as they moved to Richmond, Virginia.
Poe and Clemm married on May 16th, 1836. He was 27 and she was 13, however they lied and said she was 21. Poe found a way to fall in love with his wife and be devoted to her. They even had nicknames for eachother, Eddy and Sissy. After being married for 12 years, Virginia died at the age of 24 from the same disease that took Poe’s brother. After the death of his loving wife, Poe was engaged two more times in his lifetime to Sarah Whiteman and Sarah Shelton. Family played a big part in Edgars life but so did his education and careers. The Allan’s played a big part in Edgars education.
“The Allans were wealthy, and though they never adopted Poe, they treated him like a son, made sure he was educated in private academies, and took him to England for a five-year stay.” While he was in these schools he learned latin, french, math and history. His early years of education went well with Mrs. Allan showing him affection and support. However when his teenage years hit it was another story. With Poe wanting to be a writer he lost the approval of his adoptive parents. Not only did they cut him out of the will but when he went to the University of Virginia they barely helped them. Poe was so poor during his college years that he turned to a life full of betting and became in debt. This was the last straw for his adoptive parents and they cut him off completely. With no money he had to drop out of college and with no college education he had no skills in careers. This lead him to join the Army when he was 18 years old.
Poe kept writing during this time but had many failed attempts. Even though he wasn’t having luck writing he was in the Army when he was promoted to Sergeant Major, but that wasn’t what Poe wanted. “He did not want to serve out the full five years, however, and he arranged to be discharged from the army on the condition that he would seek an appointment at West Point Academy” After his discharge he moved in with his aunt while waiting to hear back from West Point. He got in in 1830 but purposely didn’t follow directions so he could leave. After his attempt in the Army he went back to writing.
For a while it seemed he had no luck till he scored a job at Southern Literary Messenger from winning a contest with his story “Ms. Found in a Bottle.” Sadly though in 1837 he lost his job. “Although excessive drinking caused him to lose his job in 1837, he had written eighty-three reviews, six poems, four essays, and three short stories for the journal.” Even though he increased the sale by a lot he was still let go and it affected him mentally. His unemployment didn’t last long however when he got a job as coediter at Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. Even though he was very successful at his new job and getting his name out there he eventually quit 2 years into working there. He ended up going to another printing place called Graham’s Magazine.
This however also didn’t last long due to his drinking and his refusal to get along with the other writers. After his many attempts of being just a writer his luck was turning and he was being offered money for different stories. The life of a writer if very bumpy though, there was a point where his family almost starved due to no income. After his wife died he seemed to be doing better financially. However you can tell by his stories how messed up he really was. Edgar Allan Poe had a rough life but that’s nothing compared to how it ended. After 209 years no one still knows the full story.
He was supposed to be getting married to Shelton days after his death. He was on his way to an editing job in Philadelphia when he was found lying at Gunner Hall. he was taken to the closest hospital but didn’t have any luck when he arrived.“He lapsed in and out of consciousness but was never able to explain exactly what happened to him.” after 4 days Poe died on October 7th, 1849. If Poe listened to his doctor when he said not to leave he may have lived a longer life with new bride. However that is not the end for Poe.
Only 7 people showed up to his funeral, one of those people including Rufus Wilmot Griswold. Rufus was Poe’s rival professionally and personally. This made it no surprise when he wrote Poe’s obituary and basically trashed talked Poe’s entire life. If that doesn’t make things worst days after his death his cat allegedly died because people said “he couldn’t live without him.”
Poe’s life was full of ups and downs because of his family, career and even death. His life had love and heartbreak, pain and sorrow, and a lot of loss. This caused his writing to show of all of his emotions, one would even say you could read him like a book. However his stories and poems are still greatly known today and his writing is loved by many.
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