1809-1849
EDGAR ALLAN POE
the author
 American poet, short-story writer,
editor & literary critic, Poe is
considered part of the American
Romantic Movement.
 Best known for his tales of
mystery & terror, Poe was one of
the earliest American practitioners
of the short story & is considered
the inventor of the detectivefiction genre. He was the first wellknown American writer to try to
earn a living through writing alone,
resulting in a financially difficult
life & career.
an orphan dropout
 His childhood was a miserable one. He lost both of his
parents when he was very young & then was adopted by
a wealthy merchant, John Allan. Poe’s time with the
Allan’s was unhappy.
 He entered the University of Virginia & later West Point,
but did not finish either.
tragic loss
 He worked as an editor
& writer most of his life,
living in poverty.
 At 27 he married his 13
year-old cousin,
Virginia, whose death
in 1847 left him
inconsolable. He died
two years later.
 Theories state he may
have suffered from
addictions to alcohol &
opium.
Virginia Clemm Poe died at age 24 of tuberculosis.
death theories
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1857 Murder (Beating)
1860’s Cooping
1874 Epilepsy
1921 Dipsomania
1926 Heart
1970 Toxic Disorder
1970 Hypoglycemia
1977 Diabetes
1984 Alcohol Deficiency
1989 Porphyria
1992 Delirium Tremens
1996 Rabies
1998 Murder (Beating)
1999 Epilepsy
1999 Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Records show Poe
died in Washington
College Hospital…
his cause of death
remains a mystery.
Poe has been called…
 inventor of the detective story
 master of the psychological horror story
 America’s 1st great literary critic
list of works
Among all his writing, his poems & short stories are more famous.
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Tales of the Grotesque and the Arabesque
“MS. Found in a Bottle”
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”
“The Fall of the House of Usher”
“The Masque of the Red Death”
“The Cask of Amontillado”
“The Tell-Tale Heart”
“The Raven”
“Annabel Lee”
The Poetic Principle
The Philosophy of Composition
The Simpsons version of
“The Raven”
features of his work
 Detective & science stories
 Gothic elements
 High emotion: anger, surprise,
and esp. terror!
 Supernatural horrors & fear
of unknown
 Deep analysis of human
psychology
 He noticed subconscious of
human mind nearly one
hundred years before Freud.
 He was also the first
American author to use
neurotic characters as main
characters in his stories.
evaluation
 Poe is a controversial & misunderstood literary
figure in the history of American literature.
 Emerson dismissed him in three words: “the jingle man”
 Twain declared his prose to be unreadable
 Whitman was the only famous literary figure present at
the Poe Memorial Ceremony in 1875
 Today, Poe’s particular power has ensured his
position among the greatest writers of the world.
references
Ciaffaroni. “Edgar Allan Poe.” AuthorStream,
2002-2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2011.
The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe Museum,
2010. Web. 15 Oct. 2011.
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Poe power point - Madeira City Schools