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Edgar Allen Poe
Transcript of Edgar Allen Poe
Worked as a travelling actor
Left his family in 1810
Short-tempered alcoholic. Elisabeth Poe - 1787 - 1811 (age 24)
Worked as a travelling actress
Much more successful than her husband.
Had three children, Henry, Edgar, and Rosalie. Henry Poe - 1807 - 1831 (age 24)
Sailor, writer, amateur poet.
Alcoholic, died of tuberculosis. Rosalie Poe - 1810 - 1874 (age 64)
Possibly mentally retarded.
Moved around her whole life, could not support herself.
Died in a home for the impoverished.
Edgar - 1809 - 1849 (age 40) After the death of Elisabeth, all three children were split up.
Edgar was taken in to the home of John and Frances Allan in Virginia. John Allan was a wealthy Scottish merchant who moved to Virginia for business.
Edgar recieved private schooling, and maintained a good relationship with his foster parents for a very short time. In 1815, John Allan moved the family to Great Britain to promote his firm's commercial interests in the booming British Market.
Then, during the Great Panic of 1819, Allan's business collapsed, and he acquired $200,000 worth of debt. That's approx. $2.7 million in today's currency.
In 1820 the "family" returned to Virginia. John Allan never loved Edgar, and would not adopt him. Edgar took the Allan name, but never wanted it. Became Edgar A. Poe.
Gradually the relationship between the two became very tense and difficult. Early Adulthood In 1823, Poe (now aged 14) fell in love with Jane Stannard, the single mother of a friend of his.
A year later, Stannard died. Insane.
Poe spent a lot of time at her graveside. In 1825, his uncle died, leaving a fortune for John Allan, and nothing for Poe. At 17, Poe enters the University of Virginia, without the support of Allan.
Allan wouldn't give him enough money to support himself. Poe started drinking and gambling in University and in a matter of months, racks up over $2000 worth of debts. That's $40,000 in today's currency. To avoid debtors prison, Poe asks Allan for money. He writes "I am in the greatest necessity, not having tasted food since yesterday morning".
Allan refuses to help, and with nowhere else to go, Poe enlists in the army as Edgar A. Perry.
Poe is now 18. Tells the Army he is 22. Things start looking up for Poe in the army. He releases his first book, a 40 page collection of his poems. Sells 50 copies, and receives no attention. Poe gets promoted to an artificer, someone who makes bullets and other explosives. After serving two years, Poe is already Major Sergeant, and was looking to end his term early.
Tells his commanding officer his real name, and admits his real age. Poe's commanding officer agrees to discharge him if he reconciles with John Allan and writes an apology.
Poe writes an apology but Allan is unsympathetic. Months of letters, and no response. Meanwhile, Poe's foster mother, Frances, is ill and dies in 1829. Poe learns about this when she passes, and visits her grave the day after her burial.
John Allan finally agrees to reconcile with Poe, so Poe can go to another military academy at West Point. West Point Just before moving to West Point, Poe submitted a manuscript of a book of poems. The publisher said that he would only publish it if Poe could guarantee it against the loss.
Allan wouldn't give him the money. In 1830, Poe entered West Point.
During his time in West Point, Allan got married again, and was constantly getting into bitter arguments with Poe about his other children born out of affairs.
Allan disowned Poe in 1831. Poe, wanting to leave West Point, purposely got court-martialled.
Poe was charged with gross neglect of duty, disobedience of orders, and refusing to attend formations, classes, and church. Poe pled not guilty, and was dismissed from West Point. Writing career After leaving West Point, Poe went to New York to negotiate the publication of Poems. Poe then moved to Baltimore, to the home of Elizabeth Poe, his grandmother. His grandmother was sick, and was being taken care of by her daughter, Maria Poe Clemm, and her grandchildren Virginia and Henry.
Also in the house was Edgar's older brother Henry who died shortly after of alcoholism. In 1834, John Allan died. Leaving his vast estate, two plantations and 230 slaves to his second wife and their three children.
He left Edgar nothing. Poe resorts to excessive drinking, and lacing his alcohol with opium. Poe also starts writing much more about sudden death, and macabre subjects. In 1833, Poe wins a prize of 50$ for a story he writes called "MS. Found in a Bottle", and is brought to the attention of John P. Kennedy, a publisher at the time. Poe begins working as an assistant editor for a periodical in 1835, but is fired by his boss for drinking on the job.
Poe gets rehired a year later, as people loved reading his literary criticisms.
Making $60 ($1500 in today's currency) a week, Poe was now financially secure enough to get married.
So, Poe gets engaged and marries his first cousin. 13 year old Virginia Clemm.
Things are going well, and in 1840 Poe thinks about starting his own journal, and joining a political party.
Arranges a meeting with a prominent member of th Whig Party with the help of the President's son.
Fails to show up. Was too drunk. In 1838, Poe publishes The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, and in 1839 publishes Tales of the Grotesque and begins working for Graham's magazine in 1840.
In 1842, Virginia begins showing the first signs of having tuberculosis, leading Poe to drink even more.
Poe moves back to New York and begins alienating himself from others. In 1845, Poe publishes The Raven, making him a household name and launching him into celebrity status.
He was paid $9 for it. In 1843, his friends heard that his wife and his mother-in-law were starving, they gave him $15.
Only to come across him an hour later, drunk and in the steret. In 1844, Poe was down to his last four and a half dollars.
He began writing poems again to make any money he could. With his new celebrity status, he began working at The Broadway Journal but began abusing his position. He wrote angry and personal attacks on authors. Invited as a representative of the Journal, he was to give a public recital of a new poem. He chose instead to recite a poem he wrote as a child. In 1847, Virginia dies, leaving Poe inconsolable.
He writes "I have been taken to prison once since I came here for getting drunk; but then I was not. It was about Virginia." On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets in Baltimore outside a tavern. Delirious, and in "immediate need of attention."
Poe was brought to the hospital, where his doctor wrote that he was in a state of "beastly intoxication", wearing clothes that weren't his. In 1848, he was brought to the hospital for an alcohol-opium overdose. Five days later, Poe died in the hospital. Never being coherent enough to explain what had happened. Diagnosis DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Dependence
A maladaptive pattern of alcohol use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three or more of the following seven criteria, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:
1. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
A need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol.
2. Withdrawal, as defined by either of the following:
The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol (refer to DSM-IV for further details).
Alcohol is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
3. Alcohol is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
4. There is a persistent desire or there are unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control alcohol use.
5. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use alcohol or recover from its effects.
6. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of alcohol use.
7. Alcohol use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the alcohol (e.g., continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption).