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Edgar Allan Poe, 1848, daguerreotype photo by W. S. Hartshorn

Edgar Allan Poe, 1848, daguerreotype photo by W. S. Hartshorn

A daguerreotype photo of Edgar Allan Poe by W. S. Hartshorn and later republished by C. T. Tatman in 1904. This photo was taken in November of 1848, just eleven months before Poe died.

The renowned writer, Edgar Allan Poe, lived a short and turbulent life. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809, his father abandoned the family in 1810 and his mother died the next year. Afterward, Poe as an orphan at the age of two was reared by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia. His adult life was marked with conflicts with others including his step-father and fellow poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; gambling debts; dropping out of the University of Virginia; expelled from the United States Military Academy; alcoholism; affairs; and his controversial marriage at the age of 26 to his 13 year old cousin, Virginia Clemm. Just eleven years after their marriage, his wife Virginia died January 30, 1847 at the age of 26 of consumption (tuberculosis). The death of his young wife is believed by many to be the inspiration behind Poe's themes of death and darkness common in much of his writing. Poe's own death just two years later is something of a mystery with numerous proposed causes of his death.

Despite his numerous personal difficulties, Poe is widely credited with popularizing of the fiction short story and of both detective fiction and science fiction. Among his most popular writings are: The Raven; The Murders in the Rue Morgue; The Pit and the Pendulum; The Premature Burial; and The Tell-Tale Heart.

Edgar Allan Poe, born January 19, 1809, Boston, Massachusetts; died October 7, 1849, Baltimore, Maryland. He was 40 years old. Poe is buried in Westminster Hall Burying Ground, Baltimore, Maryland.

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