Edgar Allen Poe's Tragic Life

  • Poe's father leaves the family

    This event will help to shape his feeling toward the men in his life
  • Poe's mother dies

    She died of tb and all of her children were separated
  • Edgar was separated from family

    When Edgar's mother died him and his siblings were separated into different homes
  • Poe enrolls to school

    Poe moved to England and was enrolled in a school there
  • Back to the USA

    Five years after leaving America for England, the Allans return to Richmond, Virginia.
  • first poem

    A fifteen-year-old Edgar Allan Poe pens his first known poem: "Last night, with many cares & toils oppres'd,/ Weary, I laid me on a couch to rest
  • College

    Poe enrolls midway through the academic year at the University of Virginia, which had opened less than a year before.
  • Splits With Allan's

    After running up a $2,000 gambling debt while at college, Poe gets into an argument with his foster father when John Allan refuses to give him money to settle the debt. Poe ditches college and the Allans. He moves to Baltimore to join relatives there
  • Soldier and Published Author

    Poe enlists in the U.S. Army under the name "Edgar A. Perry." Shortly after, his first book—a poetry collection entitled Tamerlane and Other Poems—is published. The author is listed only as "A Bostonian."
  • Death of Foster Mother

    Poe's foster mother, Frances Allan, with whom he was still close, dies in Richmond. Poe—by now a sergeant major in the Army—obtains leave to travel to her funeral.
  • West Point

    Poe is appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A few months later he publishes his second book of poetry, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems.
  • West Point Reject & Emerging Writer

    Tired of the military, Poe successfully attempts to get himself kicked out of West Point. When he stops going to classes and chapel, Poe is court-martialed and dismissed. He publishes several anonymous short stories plus another book of poems.
  • Southern Literary Messenger

    Poe takes a job as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger magazine. He publishes critical reviews of other writers' work as well as his own stories and poems.
  • Marriage

    Poe—now 27 years old—marries his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm, at a ceremony in Richmond, Virginia
  • Period: to


    Poe gets married
  • Moves North

    Poe moves his new wife and mother-in-law to New York and then to Philadelphia.
  • First Novel

    Poe's first novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, is published.
  • Magazine Editor

    Poe is hired as an editor at Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, a job he holds until June 1840.
  • Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque

    Poe's story collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque is published in two volumes.
  • Editing Again

    Poe begins as an editor at Graham's Magazine, where he works until May 1842. The magazine runs Poe's short story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," the first-ever entry in a genre now known as the detective story.
  • Virginia Falls Ill

    While singing at the piano, Virginia begins to bleed from her mouth, a symptom of untreated tuberculosis. Her illness grows progressively worse.
  • Lecturer

    Poe begins delivering lectures on poetry. He is a popular lecturer, frequently speaking to packed audiences.
  • New York Bound

    Poe, his wife, and her mother move to New York City, where he gets a job at the New York Evening Mirror.
  • "Nevermore"

    Poe publishes the poem , The Raven in the New York Evening Mirror. It is wildly successful, bringing the writer the fame and fortune that have long eluded him. He soon becomes editor and owner of a magazine called the Broadway Journal, a doomed enterprise that is already in debt when Poe takes over.
  • Magazine Fails

    The Broadway Journal folds due to serious financial problems.
  • Death of Wife

    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.
  • Engagement

    Poe proposes to a poet named Sarah Helen Whitman, who agrees on the condition that he quit drinking. Poe can't live up to the promise, and Whitman calls off the engagement a month later.
  • Engaged Again

    Poe travels to Richmond and convinces his childhood sweetheart, Elmira Royster Shelton, to become his fiancée. He joins the Sons of Temperance, an organization that forbids drinking (sort of like a nineteenth-century equivalent of Alcoholics Anonymous). The next month, Poe travels to Baltimore
  • Death

    After being found unconscious in a Baltimore gutter, Edgar Allan Poe is taken to the hospital and pronounced dead of causes still unknown. He is buried at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Baltimore.