One of America's foremost writers and men of letters, Edgar Allan Poe (1809–49) wrote in a variety of genres: poetry, short story, novel, book review, and essay. His works include classic tales of horror, crime stories, lyrical love poems, and even science fiction. He was an innovative contributor to the gothic tradition and helped to develop a philosophy of literary aesthetics; he is often credited with inventing modern detective fiction.

One of three children of itinerant actors, he was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. After the early death ...

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