Edgar Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S on January, 1809. He is best known as short-story writer, poet, literary critic and editor. Poe’s father abandoned the family in the year 1810, and his mother died in the next year, making him orphaned. John and Frances Allan took care of the boy till he became an adult. In 1827, Edgar Allan Poe enlisted in the army as “Edgar A. Perry”, an assumed name so that he could show his age as 22, whereas his actual age was 18. During this military career Poe began to improve his desires for writing. Poe became very famous for his tales of the macabre and mystery, and he is considered as the father of modern detective fiction. Below are the 5 fascinating things about Poe, you might want to know.
- Poe married his cousin Virginia Clemm, who was only 13-year-old at the time of marriage, whereas Poe was a 27-year-old. The marriage took place privately in Richmond , Thomas W Cleland wrote and signed an affidavit which claimed that the bride was 21-year-old so that there won’t be any problems. She developed tuberculosis in 1842 and suffered till death after five years in 1847.
- “The Black Cat” has an horrific description of the narrator gouging the eye of Pluto, the pet cat, with the help of a penknife, later he murders the cat and hangs it to a tree in the garden. This description led many readers to believe that Poe was not a person who has a liking for animals. Contrary to his horrendous description Allan Poe was a great admirer of animals. He had a pet cat named Catterina. Interestingly, Poe’s mother-in-law stated that Catterina was found dead after the death of Poe.
- During the time of Poe flying as a means of transport was only a tale of fiction. However, in 1844, Edgar Allan Poe cooked up a story about Mr. Monck Mason along with some passengers flying from England to the Sullivan’s Island on a balloon flying machine. The news was published in “New York Sun” with technical description of the machine and excerpts of the passengers who travelled in the balloon. There was a great fuss and rumors of the flying machine which spread across the community instantly. Crowds lined up in front of the New York Sun building to get a piece of the historical paper mentioning the feat achieved by Mr. Monck Mason. However, two days later the hoax was revealed and the editors of the paper had to give clarification that the news was erroneous.
- Poe was popularly known as “Magazinist” during his lifetime as he involved himself in editing and writing for various magazines like the “Southern Literary Messenger” and the “Gentlemen’s Magazine”. Unfortunately, he was removed from his posts because of the allegations that came about his drinking habits. Consequently, he joined the Sons of Temperance (now Alcoholics Anonymous) to recover from the habit, but he couldn’t do so because death came to him a month later.
- The death of the master of mysteries was more mysterious. Poe was travelling to Richmond in the year 1849, but disappeared and reappeared in front of a bar raving deliriously. He was admitted to the hospital, but he died a few days later. There were a variety of opinions about the death of Poe and it was attributed to cerebral inflammation, congestion of the brain, alcohol, drugs, cooping etc. but the real cause was never found.
Oscar Wilde praised Poe as the “Lord of Romance” and Charles Baudelaire translated many of the works of Edgar Allan Poe into French. The protagonist of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, Auguste Dupin is an inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. “The Raven”, “The Bells”, “Annabel Lee”, etc. were clear examples of his innovative thinking and he is unquestionably an immortal through his works.