Poe, a Man of Mystery

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Poe, a Man of Mystery
EN1320
Danielle Waters
April 21, 2013

Edgar Allan Poe’s life from beginning to end was shrouded in turmoil and touched with mystery. He was a curious man in life that left much mystery in the wake of his passing. Several theories exist but there is no absolute answer to Poe’s untimely death. He was born January 19, 1908 in Boston, Massachusetts, orphaned at the age of three when his mother passed away and then “went to live with John and Frances Allan, a successful tobacco merchant and his wife, in Richmond, Virginia.” (“Edgar,” 2013, p. 2) He attended the University of Virginia until financial issues forced him to move home. He also attended West Point but was kicked out after only a year for poor management of his obligations. In 1836 Poe married his young cousin, Virginia, when she was age 13. He worked for a few magazines earning himself a reputation as a ferocious critic by writing venomous reviews of his peers. In his writing career he became known as the “Father of the Detective story” forever changing the face of the genre. One of his works, “The Raven,” is one of the best known poems in American Literature. His adored Virginia passed away in 1847 and Poe became overwhelmed with grief. He continued to work but suffered from poor health and struggled fiscally. There has been much debate on how Poe’s final days were spent. Some say he drank himself to death while other theories suggest carbon monoxide poisoning, epilepsy and rabies but no one really knows for sure. The story of Poe’s death began when he left Richmond September 27, 1849 and was supposed to be on his way to Philadelphia. He never arrived in Philadelphia. “On October 3, Poe was found in Baltimore in great distress. He was taken to Washington College Hospital where he died on October 7. His last words were "Lord, help my poor soul."” (“Edgar,” 2013, p. 2) In December 1978, Dr. J.F.C. Handel, Baltimore Commissioner of Health, certified that the...
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