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Edgar Allen Poe 1809 - 1849 Introduction Born in Boston Massachusetts in 1809 Poe was orphaned in his early childhood and was raised by John Allan a successful businessman of Richmond Virginia Taken by the Allan family to England at the age of six Poe was placed in a private school Upon returning to the United States in 1820 he continued to study in private schools He attended the University of Virginia for a year but in 1827 his foster father displeased by the young mans drinking and gambling refused to pay his debts and forced him to work as a clerk Poe was an American writer known as a poet and critic but most famous as the first master of the short-story form especially tales of the mysterious and macabre The literary merits of Poes writings have been debated since his death but his works have remained popular and many major American and European writers have professed their artistic debt to him 1 What are the physical and chemical effects of various drugs on the user Both directly and indirectly Poe was know to be a frequent drinker of an alcoholic beverage known as absinthe which contains psychoactive ingredients as well as a large amount of alcohol Although the documentation of Poes drug use is spotty he was know to be an avid drinker of alcohol during different periods in his life During the time span between 1820 and 1849 opium was readily available as a common treatment for a number of physical and psychological ailments In many of his stories Poe uses opium addiction as a literary device in many of his characters and since in many of his short stories the name of the main character is not revealed it was a common misconception that Poe himself and not fictional characters were the protagonists in many of his stories There are instances on which Poe was
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