He married a child of thirteen-years of age and got ten dollars for ten years work – Do you know his name?

Born in Boston in 1809, the second child of two actors, his father abandoned the family when he was barely a year old and his mother died the next year. He was taken in by a rich tobacco merchant.edgar allan poe

Bad luck followed him

Bad luck continued to follow him. He attended the University of Virginia for one semester, but was thrown out of this college due to his his wild passion for gambling and drinking and lack of money. The merchant turned against his adopted son, beat him with cane, drove him from his house and disinherited him.

He joined the Army in 1827 under the assumed name, Edgar A. Perry, and later attended officer’s cadet school at West Point. He temporarily reconciled with his adopted father, John Allan. However, he was court-martialed for ignoring rules. Instead of being out on the parade grounds drilling with a gun, Edgar sat and wrote poetry in his room. Edgar parted with Allan for good after that and continued to write poetry. His only sister went crazy and some people accused him of being half mad.boards_c59848._1900

He found happiness with his child-wife

In 1835, Edgar Allan Poe found some happiness in his life, when, at the age of twenty-six, he married the love of his life, his thirteen-year old first cousin, Virginia Clem. He had no money and continued to drink, though all he could afford was raw alcohol. Poe worshiped his child-wife and wrote his undying love for her in his exquisite poetry.

They rented a place for three dollars a month; but he couldn’t afford even that. His wife became ill with consumption and he couldn’t afford food for her. Sometimes they went days without eating. They often picked the dandelions in the yard and boiled them for food.

Virginia Poe

VirginiaPoe

Neighbors realized that they were on the verge of starvation and brought them baskets of food. As Virginia lay dying on a straw mattress on the floor, Poe rubbed her hands and feet to keep her warm, and he covered her shivering body with his old military cloak. When she died, a kind neighbor loaned him money to bury her.

quote the raven nevermore

In January 1845, after working and revising it for ten years, Poe published his most successful poem, The Raven for ten dollarsten dollars for each year’s work. Virginia died two years after it was published.

Though he wrote stories and created verses that were destined to be placed among the literary glories and treasures, he couldn’t sell these immortal masterpieces for enough to buy bread.Edgar_Allan_Poe_daguerreotype_crop

On October 3, 1849, at age 40, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, “in great distress, and… in need of immediate assistance”, according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker. He was taken to the Washington Medical College, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at 5:00 in the morning. The cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

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