The cruel childhood that marked the work of Edgar Allan Poe

The cruel childhood that marked the work of Edgar Allan Poe

Think of stories terror is to necessarily think of Edgar Allan Poe. Narrator, poet and journalist, the writer marked forever the narrative of this genre with his stories with Gothic influence and its detective plots.

However, the skill he has to make us devour one sheet after another is very related to his childhood.


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A cruel and difficult start

Poe was left orphan before the age of three. His parents Elizabeth and David worked in a theater company. His father died (although also there are versions who claim that he abandoned his wife) and shortly after his mother fell ill with tuberculosis.

Elizabeth Arnold Poe died to 24 years, in a miserable room and surrounded by her children. After his death the brothers William, Edgar and Rosalie were separated. Edgar was adopted by John and Frances Allan, a rich couple from Richmond.

The deep pain that the author felt for the death of his mother goes through both his work and his letters. In The Crow, his most famous poem, we find a clear reference to death, to a death that does not go away:

"Leave my loneliness intact.
Leave the bust of my door lintel.
Remove your peak from my heart
and your figure on the lintel of my door.
And the Raven said: 'Never again.' "

On the other hand, in his poem A mi madre, the author compares the love between his biological mother and his adoptive mother.

"My mother, my own mother, who died at an early age,
it was only my mother; but you
You are a mother that I loved sincerely. "

Poe also referred to his mother in a paper who wrote to the writer Nathaniel Beverley Tucker:

"By talking about my mother, you have touched a fiber to which my heart responds fully. Having known her is an object of great interest for my eyes. I never met her myself - and I never knew the affection of a father. Both died (as you will remember) a few weeks apart. I have many occasional deals with adversity -But the lack of parental affection has been the hardest of my tests. "


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Other influences

Our nannies and slaves with whom Poe lived in the Allan's house they taught him folk tales about missing persons, cemeteries and corpses that come back to life. The truth of Mr. Valdemar's case It is the best example.

The adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym probably they were built from the fascination of Poe with the anecdotes of the sailors who worked with John Allan. In addition, from an early age the author read the magazines Europeans in which the gothic and the romantic were already mixed with romanticism. Lord Byron and William Wordsworth they influenced him deeply.

His mastery in the detective genre and the influence of journalism in his writing can be seen in stories like The Tell-tale Heart, The Crimes of Morgue Street y The stolen letter.

What other influences do you find in your work?