Fun Facts Friday: Edgar Allan Poe

January 20, 2012

Yesterday was the birthday of famed author and poet Edgar Allan Poe (museum). Mr. Poe’s stories and poems are classics and he was an interesting person as well.

Illustration by Abigail Larson

Works by Edgar Allen Poe

1 )      There is a common misconception that no-one knows how Poe died. There are stories about hired henchmen , a brain tumor and more. However, a few years ago Poe’s body was dug up and as it turned out he died of rabies.

2 )      Poe’s Army record has him as “Edgar A. Perry”.

3)      For The Raven, one of the most famous or Poe’s works, if not the most famous, he was paid $9.

4 )      Rufus Griswold hated Poe because of a negative review he wrote about one of his works. Upon Poe’s death Griswold wrote an anonymous obituary and later published a false biography. Both the obituary and biography greatly exaggerated Poe’s madness and drunkenness.

5 )      Virginia Eliza Clemm, Poe’s wife, was much younger than him and loved to play on the lawn together. They were married when he was 27 and she was just 13.

6 )      Some say that Edgar and Virginia had a more of a brother / sister relationship than that of a husband and wife. However, it is clear that they were very much in love in part to the beautiful poems he wrote in her honor.

7 )      The Raven brought Poe much fame and he was even nicknamed “The Raven”. There are stories of children walking behind him flapping their arms and cawing. Poe would continue walking until, playfully, would turn around and say “Nevermore”. As the children ran away he would chuckle to himself.

8 )      The professional American football team of Poe’s hometown, Baltimore MD, is called “The Ravens”.

9 )      If you see any autograph signed as “Edgar Allan Poe” it is a fake. He only signed Edgar A. Poe or E.A. Poe. Griswold’s contribution is the “Allen” (see Fun Fact 4).

10)   Poe was accepted to the University of Virginia and even though he gambled away his scholarship money and showed up to class drunk on occasion he still finished with the highest grades in his class.

Works by Edgar Allen Poe

Zohar – Man of la Book

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12 Comments

  • Trev January 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Nice post! Thanks for posting about Poe.

    • brittany swiger September 5, 2012 at 10:18 am

      I have something to ask you i am in 8th grade and um why would he marry his own cousin like I just found out about him today and we have to get 10 facts about him can u plz help me?

  • C.E. Hart January 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Very interesting facts! I love learning new things – especially involving great authors. 🙂

  • Liz January 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Wrote you a lengthy clarification but not amongst posted comments.

  • brittany swiger September 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

    why in the world would he get married to his own cousin that is sick………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    • Serenity Johnson October 9, 2015 at 10:54 am

      People married there cousins because they want to keep a strong family blood line, and in those days it was ok to marry your family. What i dont get is why was she 13 and he was 27. THAT IS GROSS! 🙁

  • Megaannnn January 27, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    He actually got paid $14 for The Raven not $9.

    • Zohar - Man of la Book January 27, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      Poe first brought “The Raven” to his friend and former employer George Rex Graham of Graham’s Magazine in Philadelphia. Graham declined the poem, which may not have been in its final version, though he gave Poe $15 as charity. Poe then attempted to place the poem with The American Review, which paid him $9 for it.

  • An English Teacher January 29, 2013 at 9:07 am

    How do you expect people to believe you information whenever you don’t even spell the author’s name correctly. Check your facts

    • Zohar - Man of la Book January 29, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Thank you for taking the time to read the post and for your helpful, albeit anonymous, comment and, of course, for the correction. I managed to find out where the mistake was (Allen instead of Allan) even though you must have forgotten to point out where you saw it in the post.

      I do not expect people to believe the information, I write this blog for my own enjoyment.
      The facts are checked, a misspelling of a name is an honest error, not a fact I just invented out of thin air as if I was a Fox News / MSNBC anchor.
      Also, it’s “How do you expect peo­ple to believe YOUR infor­ma­tion” not “you information”.

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