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Best known for his poems and short fiction Edgar Allan Poe born in Boston on Jan 191809 deserves more credit than any other writer for the transformation of the short story fromtale to art He for the most part created the detective story and perfected the psychologicalthriller He also produced some of the most influential literary criticism of his time Poe died OctPoes parents were touring actors both died before he was three years old and he wastaken into the home of John Allan a wealthy merchant in Richmond Va and baptized EdgarAllan Poe His childhood was uneventful although he studied for five years in England betweenthe years of 1815 through 1920 In 1826 he entered the University of Virginia however he onlyattended for a year Although a good student he ran up large gambling debts that Allan refused topay Allan prevented his return to the university and broke off Poes engagement to Sarah ElmiraRoyster his girlfriend Having no where to turn Poe enlisted in the army He had howeveralready written and printed his first book at his own expense Tamerlane and Other Poems versesTemporarily approved Allan secured Poes release from the army and his appointment toWest Point but refused to provide financial support After six months Poe apparently contrived tobe dismissed from West Point for disobedience of orders His fellow cadets however contributedthe funds for the publication of Poems by Edgar A PoePoe next took up residence in Baltimore with his widowed aunt Maria Clemm and herdaughter Virginia and turned to fiction as a way to support himself In 1832 the PhiladelphiaSaturday Courier published five of his stories all comic or satiric Poe his aunt and Virginiamoved to Richmond in 1835 and he became editor of the Southern Literary Messenger andmarried Virginia who was not yet fourteen years old His contributions undoubtedly increased themagazines circulation but they offended its owner who also took exception to Poes drinking In New York City then in Philadelphia
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