Tag Archives: Fall of the House of Usher

Edgar Allan Poe – A Tormented Genius

9 Oct

Edgar Allan Poe is a writer whose life and personality have attracted almost  as much attention as his writing, which is a pity considering that there are few, whether in the field of supernatural or mainstream fiction, who can be called his equal. A New Englander, like his great admirer H P Lovecraft, Poe was born in in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809 and was the son of itinerant actors. Orphaned as a child by the death of his mother and mysterious disappearance of his father, Poe was taken into the home of a Richmond merchant, John Allan, from whom he later took his middle name. Despite this, Poe’s relationship with his ‘foster-father’ (he was never legally adopted) was never good and was strained especially when he was forced to withdraw from the University of Virginia because Allan refused to finance him. Although in 1830 Poe attended the Military Academy at West Point at Allan’s behest, in an act of defiance he neglected his duties there intentionally, which led to his dishonourable discharge in 1831. Thus began an itinerant, tormented life which nevertheless resulted in the publication of some of the most visionary, powerful and searing poetry and prose ever committed to print.

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