Edgar Allan Poe

Personal life

Edgar Allan Poe was born Edgar Poe in 1809. He was born in Boston, but his father left the family when Poe was still a baby, and his mother died soon afterwards, making him an orphan very early in life.

Young Poe was instead raised by John and Frances Allan, which was how he got his middle name. Edgar had a number of conflic…

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Literary career

Most of Poe’s work falls into the gothic horror genre. His stories are often focused on protagonists who descend into madness, and it can be hard to tell which elements of his tales are meant to be real, and which are meant to be produced from the protagonist’s imagination. The un…

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Legacy

Shortly after Poe’s death, a literary rival named Rufus Griswold produced an extremely negative article about him, trying to depict him as drug addict, drunkard and madman - and he included some of Poe’s personal letters as evidence for his claims. It later turned out that many of these letter…

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Short stories and poems

The narrator of "The Black Cat" initially leads a happy life, being fond of both his wife and his pet cat. However, his growing alcohol problem soon causes things to spiral out of control, as he ends up torturing and killing the cat in fits of drunken rage - and it only gets worse from there. This story is a good example of the psychological horror that Poe’s works often contain. 

"The Cask of Amontillado" i…

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