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Edgar Allan Poe

             In a brief life filed with poverty, mental illness, disappointment, and .
             tragedy, Edgar Allan Poe managed to produce a unique body of writing .
             securing his place in the literary canon not only as a poet and storyteller, but .
             also as an inventor of genres. Poe's accomplishments are even more .
             impressive when weighed against the personal and professional obstacles he .
             faced in achieving them. .
             Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1909, where his .
             actor-parents were playing at the time of his birth. {Encyclopedia .
             Americana-page 274.} While theater was extremely popular at this time, .
             actors, with their transient ways and substandard living conditions, were .
             generally regarded as not quite respectable. {Bloom's BioCritiques-pages 7. -.
             10.} Poe's Father was last known to have appeared on stage in October 19, .
             1809. {Bloom's BioCritiques-pages 7. -10.} He left his family shortly .
             thereafter. He may have died at Norfolk, Va, on October 19, 1810, but no .
             proof has yet been found. .
             By July, 1811, Elizabeth Poe was living in Richmond, but she was struggling to care of herself and her children. {Bloom's BioCritiques-pages 7. -10.} Poe's mother later died on December 8, 1811; and Edgar was taken into the family of John Allan, a member of the firm of Ellis and Allan, tobacco merchants. {www.poemuseum.org/poes_life- pages1. -3.} Never formal adopted into household of John Allan and his wife Frances Allan, at three Edgar was old .
             enough to remember his mother and to be affected by her final illness. She .
             left him a miniature portrait of herself, on the back of which was written, .
             "For my little son Edgar, who should ever love Boston, best, and most .
             sympathetic friends.""{Bloom's BioCritiques-pages 7-10} From their .
             portraits, Edgar apparently resembled his mother. He is described at that time .
             as a "handsome curly-headed boy- with "big gray eyes."" On January 7, .
             1812, Poe was baptized by the reverend John Buchanan and christened .

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