Edgar Allan Poe is a literary genius whose books, short stories, and poems have captivated readers since the mid-1800s and have left an undeniable mark on American literature. His books and poems are known for their dark macabre tales and haunting Gothic settings which explore the darkness and despair that is sometimes found in the human heart and soul. From the haunting verses of “The Raven” to the chilling tale of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Poe’s works explore the depths of the human psyche making him stand out as one of the literary greats of all time!
Edgar Allan Poe’s Life
Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on the 19th January 1809 and his upbringing was far from the ordinary. His parents, David and Elizabeth Poe were both actors so it could be said that storytelling and performance were in Edgar’s blood. In 1810, David Poe abandoned his family and his mother tragically died the following year. Edgar was then taken in by John and Frances Allan, wealthy merchants from Richmond, Virginia. Although they never officially adopted him, he did claim their surname as his middle name.
While under the care of the Allans, Edgar attended the University of Virginia but left after a year due to financial difficulties. Although it is said that he was a good student, John Allan wouldn’t pay his bills so Edgar began gambling to pay for his tuition leaving him with thousands of dollars in gambling debts. He also began to struggle with alcohol and the combination soured his relationship with John Allan and they often quarreled.
In 1825 John Allan inherited a fortune from his uncle but he refused to help Edgar with his debts. He died in 1834 and left his entire estate to his second wife and their three children, leaving Edgar with nothing.
In 1827, Edgar joined the army because he was unable to support himself. He was only 18 at the time but claimed to be 18. It was during this time that he released his first book which didn’t receive much attention. Although he did well in the military reaching the rank of sergeant major he decided that he wanted to leave the military.
He did not return to the Allan’s home after he was discharged but rather stayed with family in Baltimore before moving back to Richmond where he was an assistant editor of the Southern Literary Messenger.
In 1836, Edgar married his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia. He was 27 years old at the time and although it wasn’t unusual for first cousins to get married, it was not common for them to have a 14-year age gap. However, Edgar lied saying that she was 21.
In January 1842, Virginia began to show signs of illness and Edgar began to drink more heavily to cope with her illness. Virginia died in January 1847 and it is said that Edgar never really recovered from her death.
In October 1849 Edgar was found semi-conscious on the streets of Baltimore and passed away shortly thereafter on the 7th of October 1849 at the age of 40.
Edgar Allan Poe’s life was one of loss, emotional turmoil, poverty, and his own battles with alcoholism and gambling which most likely became the inspiration for his stories and poems about death, loss, and madness.
Are Edgar Allan Poe’s Books In The Public Domain?
Yes, all of Edgar Allan Poe’s books are in the public domain because they were published before 1923. This includes his poems, short stories, and books in their various formats. This means that you can download and enjoy works without restriction.
Edgar Allan Poe PDF Book Downloads
Without further ado, here are some of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous books and short stories which you can download in PDF format. If you prefer, you can also read any of the books curated here online.
Also, be sure to check back often as we expand our PDF collection. And if there is a specific book or poem you would like to see, please let me know in the comments section below!
These are the short stories, books, and poems that we have in our Edgar Allan Poe PDF collection so far: