Edgar Allan Poe

  • Edgar Allan Poe is Born

    Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
  • Poe’s Sister is born

    Poe's sister Rosalie is born. Shortly after her birth, or possibly even before it, David Poe deserts the family, leaving Poe's mother alone with three children. Making matters worse, Elizabeth Poe soon falls ill with tuberculosis.
  • Poe’s Parents Die

    Elizabeth Arnold Poe dies of tuberculosis, within days, David Poe also dies of tuberculosis. Henry goes to live with his paternal grandparents. A Richmond couple, John and Frances Allan, take in Edgar as a foster child. Rosalie is taken in by another Richmond family named Mackenzie. Both Edgar and Rosalie adopt their foster families' names as their middle names.
  • Poe writes his first poem.

    "Last night, with many cares & toils oppres‘d, Weary, I laid me on a couch to rest."This is Poe’s earliest surviving poem. It was never published during his lifetime, nor used as part of a longer poem
  • Poe enlists in the U.S. Army and shortly after his first book is published

    Poe enlists in the U.S. Army under the name "Edgar A. Perry." He claims he was 22 years old even though he was only 18. After enlisting, a collection of his poetry called Tamerlane and Other Poems is published but is not a success
  • Poe’s older brother dies

    Henry died of tuberculosis in 1831 at the age of twenty-four. Henry Poe was an inspiration to his brother's life and writings and the two had similar writing styles. Edgar Allan Poe for a time used the alias "Henri Le Rennet", a name inspired by Henry. Henry's influence on Edgar's writing include a character in the novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and possibly the name of the title character in the poem "Lenore".
  • Poe marries his thirteen year old cousin, Virginia Clemm

    he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845 Poe published his poem, "The Raven", to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication.
  • 1838 Poe writes his first novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838) is the only complete novel written by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. Difficulty in finding literary success early in his short story-writing career inspired Poe to pursue writing a longer work. A few serialized installments of The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket were first published in the Southern Literary Messenger, though never completed. The full novel was published in July 1838 in two volumes
  • Poe's story collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque is published in two volumes

    It was published by the Philadelphia firm Lea & Blanchard and released in two volumes. The publisher was willing to print the anthology based on the recent success of Poe's story "The Fall of the House of Usher." Even so, Lea & Blanchard would not pay Poe any royalties; his only payment was 20 free copies. Poe had sought Washington Irving to endorse the book, writing to him, "If I could be permitted to add even a word or two from yourself... my fortune would be made."
  • 1845 Poe publishes the poem, The Raven

    "The Raven" is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. First published in January 1845, the poem is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere.
  • Jan 30, 1847 Poe's wife Virginia dies of tuberculosis at their home in the Bronx

    Poe's wife Virginia dies of tuberculosis at their home in the Bronx. Poe has been so despondent during the final months of her illness that friends thought he was going insane. The loss of his wife sends Poe into a downward spiral of alcoholism.
  • Edgar Allen Poe Dies

    On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, "in great distress, and... in need of immediate assistance", according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker. He was taken to the Washington Medical College, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at 5:00 in the morning. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition, and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own.