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EDGAR ALLAN POE Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849 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 Born in Boston Massachusetts 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 disliking his new duties intensely quit the job thus estranging Allan and went to Boston There his first book Tamerlane and Other Poems 1827 was published anonymously Shortly afterward Poe enlisted in the US Army and served a two-year term In 1829 his second volume of verse Al Aaraaf was published and he effected a reconciliation with Allan who secured him an appointment to the US Military Academy After only a few months at the academy Poe was dismissed for neglect of duty and his foster father disowned him permanently Poes third book Poems appeared in 1831 and the following year he moved to Baltimore where he lived with his aunt and her 11-year-old daughter Virginia Clemm The following year his tale A MS Found in a Bottle won a contest sponsored by the Baltimore Saturday Visitor From 1835 to 1837 Poe was an editor of the Southern Literary Messenger In 1836 he married his young cousin Throughout the next decade much of which
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