Edgar Allen Poe~Death Theory

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  • Topic: Edgar Allan Poe, Southern Literary Messenger, Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum
  • Pages : 3 (766 words )
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  • Published : December 31, 2005
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Michael Montgomery
Period 6
11/30/05
Edgar Allen Poe Death Theory

The true cause of the death for famous author and poet Edgar Allen Poe remains largely in debate leaving the question of how it really happened to be answered, but just how much of a mystery is it really? Simply, one of the most popular ideas of his death seems to make the most sense. Poe died of his own destructive behavior involving alcohol, the most important factor in the events that built up towards his ultimate death.

Poe, as a struggling writer and poet at first had not been too successful and because of this, he was left without enough money to get by to comfortably. He lived in an apartment where he nearly froze to death each day and had poor nutrition. Poe was also known to be a bit of an alcoholic and often during any work he got he might show up drunk and informal, costing him much needed work and money. Living under these conditions Poe's own condition slowly dropped as he continued to drink which though may not have been lethal to many other men, was to him in his weakened state. He grew more ill and suffered multiple illnesses. Poe's drinking brought on sclerosis in his liver and heart disease, and living the way he did led to the deterioration of his brain as life went along (Snodgrass 283).

Under the influence of alcohol, many of the attributes of Poe's death fit neatly together. Possibly the strongest evidence in in the alcohol theory of his death falls into a note in the Diary of J. P. Kennedy on October 10, 1849 which reads: "On Tuesday last Edgar A. Poe died in town here at the hospital from the effects of a debauch…He fell in with some companion here who seduced him to the bottle, which it was said he had renounced some time ago. The consequence was fever, delirium, and madness, and in a few days a termination of his sad career in the hospital. Poor Poe!…A bright but unsteady light has been awfully quenched" (Bonner 194). Further support of this evidence was...
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