Edgar Allan Poe, (born January 19, 1809, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.—died October 7, 1849, Baltimore, Maryland), American short-story writer, poet, critic, and editor who is famous for his cultivation of mystery and the macabre.
Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most important and influential American writers of the 19th century. He was the first author to try to make a professional living as a writer.
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His poetry alone would ensure his spot in the literary canon. Poe’s notable verses range from the early masterpiece “To Helen” to the dark, mysterious “Ulalume.” From “The Raven,” which made him world-famous upon its publication in 1845, to “Annabel Lee,” the posthumously published eulogy for a maiden “in a kingdom by the sea.”
Master of Macabre
Most famously, Poe completely transformed the genre of the horror story with his masterful tales of psychological depth and insight not envisioned in the genre before his time and scarcely seen in it since. Stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” reveal Poe’s talent at its height.
Pioneer of Science Fiction
He was an early pioneer in the genre of science fiction. Poe was fascinated by the science of his time, and he often wrote stories about new inventions.
Father of the Detective Story
Poe is credited with inventing the modern detective story with “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” His concept of deductive reasoning, which he called “ratiocination” inspired countless authors, most famous among them Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.