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Edgar Allan Poe

            Through Edgar Allan Poe's magnificent style of writing, he provided the world with some of the most mystifying poems and short stories. Although not appreciated during his time, Poe has gained considerable recognition after his death. James Russel Lowell stated, in a book by Louis Broussard, "He combines in a very remarkable manner two faculties which are seldom found united: a power of influencing the mind of the reader by the impalpable shadows of mystery, and a minuteness of detail which does not leave a pin or button unnoticed" (7). Poe's controversial writing style, which has been given praise and criticism by others, cannot be compared to that of any other author. Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Baltimore, Mass., to David and Elizabeth Poe. Poe's father David married an English woman, Elizabeth, who was in the same traveling company. Poe had a brother, Henry, and a sister, Rosaline. Poe's grandfather was referred to as "General Poe of Revolutionary fame," and his great-grandfather was an immigrant laborer who supplied the Revolutionary Army with clothing (Krutch 20). On December 8, 1811, Elizabeth Poe died of tuberculosis at the young age of twenty-four. "The image of his mother's young, still, white face was to haunt Edgar for the rest of his life" (Wright 30). When Edgar's father was plagued with tuberculosis, he was taken into the home of John, a prosperous Richmond merchant, and Francis Allan. This is how Edgar received the middle name Allan. Mrs. Allan loved Edgar, but the story seemed different with John. Although the relationship between John and Edgar appeared bitter, John Allan provided Poe with some support during Poe's adulthood. In 1826 Poe was engaged to Sarah Elmira Royster; however, her parents broke off the engagement. Apparently, she married and her husband passed away around 1848. In 1849 Poe proposed to Sarah Elmira Royster Shelton, but she was having difficulty saying "yes"; probably because her late husband's will penalize her for remarrying.