Edgar Allan Poe Biography | Author of The Purloined Letter

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Edgar Allan Poe, one of America's most influential writers, was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His parents, both struggling actors, died when he was only three years old. Poe was raised—though never officially adopted—by John and Frances Allan in Richmond, Virginia. Allan, a prosperous tobacco merchant, sent Poe to the finest schools, including the University of Virginia, where Poe immediately gambled away all of his money, racked up a massive amount of debt, and drank his first semester away. Even so, he managed to do well in his classes and earn the highest university honors.

This pattern of producing good work under unfavorable circumstances continued throughout Poe's life. Allan pulled Poe out of school because of Poe's dilettante habits, and the already distant relationship between the two went sour. Poe went to Boston, where he attempted to earn his living by writing. Sales...

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This section contains 458 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Purloined Letter Study Guide
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The Purloined Letter from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.