The Life of Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe, the greatest American teller of mystery and suspense
tales in the 19th century was a tormented artist. He struggled to become the
accomplished author he is known as today. Poe is now acclaimed as one of
America\'s greatest writers, but in his own unhappy lifetime, he struggled to
make ends meet.
When he was 17, Poe entered the University of Virginia. Allan, his step
father, gave Poe only a small allowance, and the young man soon began owing
money. He gambled and ran into greater debt. By the end of the year he owed
2,500 dollars. He was nervous and unstable, and he began to drink. Despite his
frequenting liquor, he could never hold it well. He would easily become ill from
the alcohol. Allan angrily withdrew Poe from school, and a few months later Poe
left home.
For the next four years Poe struggled to earn a living as a writer. He
returned to Mrs. Clemm\'s home and submitted stories to magazines. His first
success came in 1833, when he entered a short-story contest and won a prize of
50 dollars for the story "MS. Found in a Bottle." By 1835 he was the editor of
the Southern Literary Messenger. He married his cousin Virginia, who was only 13,
and Mrs. Clemm stayed with the couple. The Poes had no children.
This success would not last. Poe\'s stories, poems, and criticism in the
magazine, The Southern Literary Messenger soon attracted attention, and he
looked for wider opportunities, not a good choice. From 1837 to 1839 he tried
free-lance writing in New York City and Philadelphia but earned very little.
Again he tried editing. His work was praised, but he was still paid little. His
efforts to organize his own magazine were unsuccessful. For the next two years
he turned again to free-lance writing.
For one of the most well-known and talented writers of our time, Poe had
to struggle for any kind of monetary reconcilement for his genius works. The
papers he worked for gained many readers who would buy only for Poe\'s stories.
It seems to me amazing that after seeing the response to his works when
published in the newspapers, they wouldn\'t offer him more money for his
presence at their company. They obviously didn\'t realize what they had.


Category: English