How Did Edgar Allan Poe Begin His Writing Career?
Edgar Allan Poe was one of America’s most influential early Romantic authors and poets of the 19th century. Born in 1809 in Boston, Poe had a tumultuous life marked by tragedy and loss, eventually dying far too soon in 1849. Despite the tragedies that plagued his life, his works have stood the test of time. But how did Poe get his start in writing?
Early Start in Poetry
At an early age, Poe’s father abandoned his family, while his mother took away her own life in 1811. Poe was then taken into the home of John and Frances Allan, an affluent merchant and his wife residing in Richmond, Virginia. Here is where Poe began to form the basis of his future writing. Through his new family, he was exposed to the works of William Shakespeare, John Milton, and Alexander Pope, which were often studied in the Allan home.
Poe soon began to explore his own talent as a poet and produced his first work by the tender age of 13. His first poem, called “Last Night,” was published by a local newspaper in the same year. He soon continued exploring his talent, creating numerous poems with intricate references to the likes of the classic authors he was exposed to in the Allen home.
Starting to Publish Seriously
It wasn’t until he was eighteen and a student at the University of Virginia that Poe really started to take writing seriously. He began to submit his work to newspapers and magazines and was even able to publish his works in the Southern Literary Messenger. His successes allowed him to move on to a successful and steady career in writing.
Poe continued to have success as a writer, and he wrote stories, poetry, and even literary criticism and reviews. He famously wrote the novel “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym” and the dark tale known as “The Raven”. He also wrote the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, which is commonly considered as the beginning of the detective story as a genre.
Poe achieved notoriety after having his works published in such wide-reaching magazines as the Southern Literary Messenger and the Saturday Evening Post. He was even received with admiration in some European countries, such as France, and contemporaries such as Charles Baudelaire translated his works in their native tongue.
Edgar Allan Poe’s beginnings were colored by tragedy, but that only spurred him on to write some of the most iconic works of American literature. His works have lived to tell his tale in the world of literature and have inspired other authors since. From his very first poem written at the tender age of 13 to his worldwide success and adoration in his lifetime, Poe truly was a master of the written word.