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The Life And Death Of Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of actress Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and actor David Poe, Jr. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died of tuberculosis when he was only two, so Poe was taken into the home of John Allan, a successful tobacco merchant in Richmond, Virginia. Although his middle name is often misspelled as "Allen," it is actually "Allan" after this family. After attending the Misses Duborg boarding school in London and Manor School in Stoke Newington, London, England, Poe moved back to Richmond, Virginia, with the Allans in 1820. Poe registered at the University of Virginia in 1826, but only stayed there for one year. He was estranged from his foster father at some point in this period over gambling debts Poe had acquired while trying to get more spending money, and so Poe enlisted in the United States Army as a private using the name Edgar A. Perry on May 26, 1827. That same year, he released his first book, Tamarlane and Other Poems. After serving for two years and attaining the rank of Sergeant-major, Poe was discharged. In 1829, Poe's foster mother Frances Allan died and he published his second book, Al Aaraf. As per his foster mother's deathwish, Poe reconciled with his foster father, who coordinated an appointment for him to the United States Military Academy at West Point. His time at West Point was ill-fated, however, as Poe supposedly deliberately disobeyed orders and was dismissed. After that, his foster father repudiated him until his death in March 27, 1834. Poe next moved to Baltimore, Maryland with his widowed aunt, Maria Clemm, and her daughter, Virginia. Poe used fiction writing as a means of supporting himself, and with in December 1835, Poe began editing the Southern Literary Messenger for Thomas W. White in Richmond. Poe held this position until January, 1837. During this time, Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm, in Richmond on May 16, 1836. After spending fifteen fruitless months in New York, Poe moved to Philadelphia. Shortly after he arrived, his novella The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym was published and widely reviewed. In the summer of 1839, he became assistant editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. He published a large number of articles, stories, and reviews, enhancing the reputation as a trenchant critic that he had established at the Southern Literary Messenger.
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