Edgar Allan Poe, the first American to fully live off of the wages of a writer was born January 19th, 1809 to actors Eliza and David Poe in Boston Massachusetts. He was the 2nd of three children born into the Poe Clan. His father would abandon the family in 1810 & Eliza would die the following year of Consumption leaving the three Poe children orphaned and split up to three different homes.
Edgar was taken in by John and Frances Allan of Richmond Virginia. They never formally adopted him either. Edgar had attempted to seek higher education but his gambling debts and frequent rows with his "foster" father eventually got him thrown out of the household all together. He had stayed with that household until 1827 when he enlisted in the US Army under an assumed name and this is when Poe's publication career started.
Tamerlane & Other Poems was accredited to "A Bostonian" upon publication and not long after he had a short reconciling with John Allan who then helped him get into West Point Academy when in 1829 purposely got himself kicked out after declaring he wanted to be a full time writer & poet. That was the final straw for John Allan & from what we know, they never spoke again.
In the next several years Poe became a noted literary critic, distinguished author, & known for his terrorizing stories. He had to move alot for his work and such cities included Baltimore, New York City, & Philidelphia.
In 1833, Edgar married his 13 year old first cousin Virginia Clem. He was 24 & had to obtain a permit to marry her. 14 years later in '47, she also died of Tuberculosis.
Poe was absolutely devestated and his alcoholism reared it's head with an ugly vengeance.
But let's rewind for a moment. In 1845, he gave us "The Raven" which had become an instant success and his name became immortalized from it.
Edgar had for years drempt of having his own publication journal called "The Penn" which he had later changed the name to "The Stylus". Unfortunately before he could get that off the ground he was found laying semi-concious in a gutter on the morning of October 3rd, 1849 in Baltimore. He died four days later on October 7th of unknown causes. Some say suicide, others alcoholism. But my favorite speculation, Rabies. I remember as a child going to the library to do more research on him. This was the pre-Google era mind you, and everything that pertained to his death and the circumstances leading up to it ran congruent in saying that Poe had been at a local tavern the night proceeding his death. He had been frequenting that tavern and in the day leading up to his event, Poe had been acting strangely as though delirious. His movements were not right, and he was having fits of rage. When he was found on the 3rd of October, he was foaming at the mouth and having seizures. Putting all this info together and flashing you my amature Doctorate of Infectious Diseases I got off a cracker jack box, I would deduce in all seriousness Rabies. Edgar Alllan Poe was only 40 years old.
We may never know his official cause of death but what I do know is that the man has had a heavy influence on future generations of writers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, make up artists, & architects. He will forever live on in a Dream within a dream.
Until next time my lovelies, I pray you find yourselves well and free of Tuberculosis, Meloncholy, & Rabies