20 Untold Edgar Allan Poe Facts that No One Knows

Little fact-explorers, let me introduce you to Edgar Allen Poe!

He was an American writer, editor, poet, and literary critic who is famous for his poetries and short stories! 😲!!

He was also famous as a central figure of Romanticism in the U.S. and even the inventor of the detective🕵️ genre!

So, let us take a look at the life and contributions of Poe! 😲!

Interesting Edgar Allan Poe Facts

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts

Poe took birth on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts!

He was the second child of an English-born actress 👩Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, and an American actor 👨 David Poe Jr. 

Edgar had an elder brother, Henry, and a younger sister, Rosalie!

Poe was a champion swimmer

According to many people, Poe was a moody, reclusive writer.

However, he was actually an accomplished writer, rower, long jumper, and even a swimmer!

He even held a local record for swimming🏊 around seven miles against the current up the James River in Richmond, Virginia! Really impressive, isn’t it?

Edgar’s birth name was Edgar Poe

Contrary to popular belief, Allan was not Edgar’s middle name! He was born with no middle name. 

When Edgar was just one year old, his father, David, abandoned the family, and Edgar’s mom Eliza Poe died the next year!

So, Edgar was taken by John and Frances Allan of Virginia. They fostered him throughout his childhood🧒!

In 1812, Edgar was christened Edgar Allan Poe but rarely went by his full name!

In his writing, he opted for “Edgar A. Poe” when he didn’t use a pseudonym. Also, his friends usually called him “Eddy.”

Poe published his first book at 18

Did you know this amazing secret about Edgar Allan Poe? No? Let me tell you.

The world-famous writer Edgar Allan Poe published Tamerlane and Other Poems📚 in the year 1827! 

It was just after he dropped out of his university.

The book featured the epic poem “Tamerlane,” which was about a Turkic conqueror and was published under only the name “a Bostonian.”

However, it was not a success in the literary market! Also, today, there are estimated to be just 12 copies of the book in existence! 

Edgar Allan Poe was a college dropout

Little friends, have you heard this interesting secret about Edgar Allan Poe?

He had always dreamed of becoming a writer, just like his idol or hero, the poet Lord Byron.

However, his foster father did not approve of this and would not properly finance Poe’s college education at the University of Virginia 🏛️!!

Thus, Poe had to finance the remaining expenses with a gambling🎰 habit that might continue throughout his life.

Later, Edgar was forced to drop out because of an accumulation of gambling debts.

Instead of returning to the Allan house in Richmond, Poe went to Boston to write under the name Henri Le Rennet!

Edgar Allan Poe: The first American Professional writer

By the age of 22, Poe had already written three books of poetry📚! However, none of those were popular in their name!

However, he was quite determined to make a living as a writer and even became the most prominent writer in America to successfully do so!

He won a writing content in the Saturday Visiter magazine!

 It raised his profile and even secured him an educational position at the Southern Literary Messenger!

There, Poe was even able to publish much of his own work, along with reviewing the works of his contemporaries!

Poe had a potentially bright future in the military

Poe joined the United States Army in 1827 as a private after publishing Tamerlane and Other Poems! 

He enlisted in the First Regiment of Artillery and also moved up the ranks to Sergeant Major for Artillery, as he impressed his superiors in just two years!

However, Poe abruptly left the army and started an appointment at West Point Academy, an academy procured by his foster father!

Like in the military, Poe impressed his superiors. However, the academy’s strict discipline made Poe feel bored and constrained!

So, he occupied himself by writing mocking poems about his instructors before quitting the academy!

Edgar Allan Poe: The creator of the detective story genre

If you are a fan of detective stories, just like me, then you will surely love this wonderful fact about Poe!

The 1841 story of Poe, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, is famous as the first detective fiction story!

The story features Auguste Dupin, who reappears in some other stories by Poe and follows a storyline to solve the mystery!

This story even is believed to be an inspiration for Sr. Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories, published around 40 years after Poe’s death!

MS. Found in a Bottle: Poe made his first big break with this story

In October 1833, Poe published a story of an unnamed narrator left adrift at sea right after a ship sank in the storm! 

Eventually, he gets picked up by another ship and finds that it is manned by blind crewmen who left the ship to drift south!

This resulted in the narrator writing down his experiences in a manuscript!

While approaching Antarctica and facing death the narrator puts the manuscript in a bottle, and tosses it into the sea!

Today, some critics see the story as a subtle satire of traditional sea stories!

Poe had rivalries with some fellow writers

Poe’s position at the Southern Literary Messenger did not make him many friends!  

Even Poe lashed out at much more accomplished writers 🖋️, like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow! Poe even mockingly called Longfellow “The Professor.”

Also, he famously derided the works of his fellow literary critic Rufus Griswald, who, in his own columns, often sniped back at Poe!

Poe was even known as “the Tomahawk Man” for his blistering reviews of others.

Poe married his 13-year-old cousin

I am very surprised to learn this not-so-common fact about Poe!

In 1836, Edgar Allan Poe married 👰‍♀️his first cousin, Virginia Clemn. It was not an ordinary arrangement, even for the time.

Though it was quite common for first cousins to marry, it was not common for them to have a 14-year age gap!

According to historians, the couple had more of a companion relationship than a romantic relationship!

Poe inspired future Sci-Fi writers greatly

Have you heard this wonderful fact about Edgar Allan Poe?

Although his preferred genres were suspense and horror, he is believed to be one of the earliest American science fiction writers as well!

His famous essay, Eureka: A Prose Poem, touched upon the Big Bang Theory! It was around a century before it became popular in scientific circles!

Poe’s writing influenced future sci-fi writers like Jules Verne and H. P. Lovecraft.

Charles Dicken’s Crow-inspired, The Raven

The most famous work of Poe, both in his lifetime and after his death, was The Raven!

The poem was published in 1845 and almost instantly made Poe a household name!

However, not many know that Dickens may have inspired the talking raven’s role!

In 1840, when Poe reviewed Barnaby Rudge, Dicken’s novel, he was quite amused to learn that the character Grip, a talking bird, was based on Dicken’s real pet crow!

Years later, when Poe published The Raven, not many literary critics were surprised to find the talking raven inspired by Dicken’s personal pet and work!

Poe always struggled with money

Despite being a literary critic and published writer, Poe was never able to get out of poverty!

A lack of clear copyright law kept Poe from becoming widely published as he wished to be because American journals preferred to reprint British stories instead of paying for new American stories!

Also, Poe inherited nothing after the death of his foster father!

In 1840, Poe published Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, the first collection of stories that included The Fall in the House of Usher. 

However, Poe was paid 25 copies of the book instead of any money!

Poe never recovered from his wife’s death

I am really sad to learn this unfortunate fact about my favorite writer Edgar Allan Poe!

In the winter of 1847, Poe’s wife Virginia passed away ⚰️of tuberculosis! 

At that time, she was just 24, and Poe was 38!

Many of Poe’s poems and stories about dead and dying women were written during the period of Virginia’s illness!

In the two years between Virginia’s death in 1847 and his own death in 1849, Poe published only a few more works!

Creating a journal of his own called The Stylus: It was his greatest ambition

Originally wanted to name it The Penn, Poe wanted to reference the state of Pennsylvania, where he lived at the time.

This worked as a pun on the word pen! To avoid regional associations that might limit his reader base, he changed the to Stylus📰, a word synonymous with pen!

Poe wanted the journal to create a new standard for American literature!

However, the economic depression at the financial support he required for his journal!

However, Poe did not give up and in his letters to his friends, he stated that he planned to keep trying until his death!

Poe wrote a textbook about seashells

Love to gather seashells? Then you will surely love this amazing fact about Poe!

Poe wrote a textbook on seashells, 🐚 with the subtitle Or, A System of Testaceous Malacology!

He based it on the manual of Conchology, originally written by his friend, Thomas Wyatt. Poe could be able to write this, as Wyatt allowed him to do so!

The book sold out within just two months of its publication; however, Poe didn’t get any royalties from the sales!

Finally, he only did so during its 2nd and 3rd publications!

Death of Edgar Allan Poe

On October 3, 1849, Joseph Walker found Poe wandering deliriously in the streets of Baltimore and wearing clothes that didn’t belong to him!

They took Poe to Washington Medical College, where Poe had to stay until his death.

While there, Poe continued to ramble and never recovered to explain what happened to him!

After Poe’s death on October 7, the newspapers reported his cause of death as cerebral inflammation due to alcoholism🍷!!

Unfortunately, modern historians cannot investigate this because all the medical records of Poe have become lost!

Common alternative theories for Poe’s death include rabies, meningitis, cholera, etc.

Over the 20th century, a mysterious person left Poe Toasters at his grave

Have you heard this unique fact about Poe?

It first started on January 19, 1949, on Poe’s birthday anniversary!

Caretakers at the cemetery⚰️ found three roses 🌹 and a bottle of cognac sitting next to Poe’s gravestone!

The trend continued every day, eventually becoming famous as Poe Toasters from the bottle offered to the grave!

In 2007, a historian, Sam Porpora claimed himself to be the one behind the trend, and his reason was to raise the profile of a nearby church!

Though there is no evidence to prove this, the trend still continued and ended in 2009, on Poe’s bicentennial!

Poe’s obituary: It was written by his rival Rufus Griswald

Poe’s obituary was written by Griswald

He described Poe as a madman who randomly prayed for or cursed other people while wandering the streets!

Also, Griswald described Poe as someone who never prayed for himself!

Griswald even added to his account in his biography Memoir of the Author, which utilized forged documents to represent Poe in a terribly dark light!

However, no one believed Griswald! People only bought his work out of the novelty of reading slander and lies written by an evil person!

Hence, nothing could take away the enduring poetic genius of Edgar Allan Poe!

Summing up

So little fact-enthusiasts, now you know quite a lot about Edgar Allan Poe! 😲!

We can never gather too much knowledge about the person who has written so many amazing stories📚 and inspired many established writers!

So…now we stop here and move to some other famous personality!

See you soon….!!

Was this article helpful?
Hungry for more Facts?

Want to learn something new? Our fact generator tool is your solution. Click and get facts as much as you like!

Let's Go
Explore Fun Facts!

Leave a Comment