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The Black Cat

            The Damning of the Haunted in Poe's "The Black Cat".
             Edgar Allan Poe had an insatiable passion for mystery, suspense, murder, horror, and the gothic in general, which is very evident in the majority of his writings. Born Edgar Poe in 1809, Poe was to become a literary master of the early nineteenth century. Poe's parents were travelling actors who seperated before his first birthday. Elizabeth, his mother, took custody of him, but she shortly died before Poe's third birthday. Poe was informally adopted by John and Frances Allan, who christened him with the name he is known by today, Edgar Allan Poe.
             For reasons that are unknown, when Poe reached early adulthood, his stepfather grew to dislike and despise him greatly to the point he voided Poe out of his life's will entirely. Poe joined the Army in 1827, and soon after his honorable discharge, Poe began terrible bouts with alcoholism that cost him a lot of writing positions. One oddity that is rarely brought up or spoken of about Poe's life is his seven year marriage to his thirteen year old first cousin, Virginia (or "Sissy" as she was known). Sissy died of tuberculosis in 1847 and her death almost devastated Poe's writing career two years later; until he reunited and fell in love with the wealthy widow, Sarah Elmira Royster Shelton, in 1849 whom he had previously been engaged to marry in his late teens (Roberts 523). Sarah's family objected greatly to Poe, claiming he was only an opportunistic drunk that was only after Sarah's money. .
             Poe and Sarah set a date to marry in mid-October of the same year, but it was short lived due to Poe's mysterious death. After taking an oath of sobriety, Poe embarked on a journey from Richmond, Virginia to New York to bring his Aunt Clemm (Sissy's mother) back to Richmond for his wedding. Poe never made his destination and was found comatose drunk in a Baltimore hotel where he died two days later on October 7, 1849.

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