Born January 19, 1809 to an actor and actress, on what is now Boylston St. in Boston, Edgar Allan Poe became an orphan at a very young age, when his mother died in 1810, shortly after his father had abandoned the family.
It is perhaps for this reason that Poe has been said to have hidden, obscured, or denied Boston as the place of his birth. He was taken in by John Allan, a wealthy Virginian, when he was still very young, though never formally adopted by him. Perhaps he wasn’t even aware of his Boston birth?
It is well known that Poe is a master of the dark, sense-of-foreboding tale. But did you know he is also credited as the inventor of the entire detective fiction genre? That he was in the U.S. Army from 1827-1829, and then attended West Point for a time? Or that he was in his time a literary critic? Or that he married his 13 year old cousin Virginia Clemm in 1835?
The Raven, perhaps his best known work, was published ten years later to instant acclaim, though Poe only received $9 for the work. Virginia died just two years after that, with Poe himself soon to follow.