What is Edgar Allan Poe's best work

Do you know who is considered one of the founders of horror and detective novels as well as science fiction? These literary genres include back to Edgar Allan Poe. He had a lasting influence on the American and international literary world. We bring you closer to the famous author!

The life of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe as an early orphan

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. When he was three years old, his parents died. He came to live with his foster parents, John and Frances Allan, to whom he owed his middle name. He lived with the Allans in Virginia and Scotland.

The financially well-endowed young man attended the best schools in the country and studied at the University of Virginia. Due to gambling debts, he was forced to leave the university after a year despite good performance.

Problems with gambling debts

In 1827 he joined the Army of the United States of America and published his first plays, which, however, received little attention. He then attended the Military Academy in Virginia, but had to leave them because of financial difficulties. He then moved to live with his aunt in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1838 Poe married his cousin Virginia Clemm. She was only 13 years old at the time.

From 1835 he worked as a publisher of various magazines and lived in Philadelphia and New York City, among others. During this time he published his most famous works: "The Fall of the House of Usher“, „The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" as "The Raven“.

Mental health problems and addictions

Edgar Allan Poe suffered from depression and alcohol addiction throughout his life. These ailments worsened after the death of his wife. Poe died on October 7, 1849, presumably as a result of a rabies infection. However, epilepsy and carbon monoxide poisoning are also possible causes of death.

Edgar Allan Poe is surrounded by numerous myths that gradually increased after his death. As fiction and truth blended so much, more rumors arose. His mysterious death and his somber way of writing made him one of the most macabre characters in literary history.

Success as a writer

Edgar Allan Poe was the first American author to achieve world fame. His horror stories are still considered to be unrivaled today. His detective stories also inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the inventor of Sherlock Holmes.

Edgar Allan Poe was so influential that he had a lasting impact on the English language. The term detective first came to the English language through Poe.

The most important works of Edgar Allen Poe

  1. The fall of the House of Usher (in the original: The Fall of the House of Usher)
    The short story was first published in 1839.
    At the request of his friend Roderick Usher, an unnamed first-person narrator travels to his property, which is abandoned in nature and gives a ghostly impression. Roderick, the last remaining member of the noble family, appears insane and asks his visitor to stay in the house for a while. In the course of the plot it turns out that Roderick's twin sister, believed to be dead, was buried alive because she appears in the door frame covered in blood. Dying, she falls on her brother, who also dies of horror.
    The nameless first-person narrator leaves the house in panic, which collapses a short time later and disappears into the ground.
  2. The treacherous heart, alternatively: The old man with the vulture's eye or The chattering heart (in the original: The Tell-Tale Heart)
    In the short story published in 1843, an unnamed protagonist describes how he killed an old man. The special thing about the story is that it is not clear where the protagonist is at the time of the narration and what kind of relationship the two had with each other.