Edgar Allen Poe

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Edgar Allen Poe Edgar Allen Poe was,in my mind, an extraordinary writer. Poe was often regarded as strange. His stories and poems were often depressing. Some would say that they were a reflection of his eccentric, erractic, and often bizarre life. Sometimes Poe would mirror his life in his poetry and stories, but very often, he let his imagination soar, creating stories and poems that rank as some of American literature's best. Edgar Allen Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His parents, David and Elizabeth Poe, were itinerant actors. Elizabeth achieved a measure of respect as an actress, Poe's father never did. David deserted his wife and children when Edgar was very young. IN 1811, when Poe was only 2, his mother died. The Poe children were seperated and Edgar went to live with a wealthy Scottish tobacco farmer named John Allen. At this time, Poe was given the name Edgar Allen Poe. John Allen and his wife Frances never legally adopted Edgar. Actually, John Allen took Poe in at the request of his wife. Frances Allen was very attracted to Edgar throughout her life. John never really cared for the boy. The Allens lived in England from 1815 to 1820. While in England Edgar recieved his education at the classical academy of Dr. John Bransby at Stroke Newington. Soon after the Allens returned to America, in 1826, Poe enrolled in the University of Virginia. John Allen had Poe on a very limited budget, so to make more money, Poe turned to gambling. He was soon in great debt, and John Allen would not cover his debts. As a result, Poe was kicked out of the university. In May of 1827 Poe enlisted in the army in Boston under the name of "Edgar A. Perry." He was desperate for money and saw the stint in the army as a source of income. But he found out that the army was not for him and he pleaded with John Allen to use his influence to get him out of the army. Allen refused and it was only the deathbed pleadings of Frances Allen that aided Poe's release. John Allen then insisted that Edgar attend West Point. Although Edgar knew that military was not for him, he went to West Point in hopes of gaining favor with John Allen.

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