Edgar Allan Poe and substance abuse
The Bottled Curse
Edgar Allan Poe was one of America’s most celebrated poet and story teller. His life started early with misfortune. Both of his parents were already dead, when Edgar was 3 years old. His father died of tuberculosis and his mother died of tuberculosis and pneumonia. He was adopted and attended school until he was 17 years old. He started the abuse of alcohol with 17 and he started gambling. As his adopting father figured out, he stopped all financial supports of his adopted son. Edgar had to leave the University and he enlisted in the U.S. military, and later obtained a military school. Edgar Allan Poe was expelled from the military school after one year attending. During his time in this school he published his first poetry book. Over the years Poe established a reputation as a writer. Drinking remained a lifelong problem. Edgar adopted a lifestyle which included a constant abuse of alcohol. Although writing brought him fame, he had to struggle through his whole life with financial issues. Because of the leaking copyright protection to his time, he never was financially rewarded for his excellent masterpieces of poetry and literature. Therefore he struggled through his whole life with money issues. Throughout most of his writings Edgar Allan Poe mentions the abuse of alcohol “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. During these fits of absolute unconsciousness I drank … God only knows how often or how much. As a matter of course, my enemies referred the insanity to the drink rather than the drink to the insanity.” Courtney JF: “Addiction and Edgar Ellen Poe” Med Times 1972; 100:162-163. He started in a young age with the excessive abuse of alcohol, as a classmate recalled: “He would always seize the tempting glass, generally unmixed with sugar or water- in fact, perfectly straight- and without the least apparent pleasure, swallow the contents, never pausing until the last...
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