Edgar Poe
Many authors have made great contributions to the world of literature. Mark

Twain introduced Americans to life on the Mississippi. Thomas Hardy wrote on his
pessimistic views of the Victorian Age. Another author that influenced
literature is Edgar Allan Poe. Poe is known as the father of the American short
story and father of the detective story. To understand the literary
contributions of Edgar Allan Poe, one must look at his early life, his literary
life, and a summary of two of his famous works. "Edgar Allan Poe was born
in Boston\'\' (Inglis 505) "on January 19, 1809\'\' (Asselineau 409). He was
born to a southern family that were in a traveling company of actors (Inglis

505). His father, David Poe, was from a Baltimore family. He was an actor by
profession and a heavy drinker. Soon after Edgar Allan Poe was born, he left his
family. Poe\'s mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, was a widow at the age of eighteen.

Two years after his birth, she died of tuberculosis (Asselineau 409). When his
mother died, Poe was adopted by John Allan (Perry XI) at the urging of Mr.

Allan\'s wife. In 1815, John Allan moved his family to England. While there, Poe
was sent to private schools (Asselineau 410). In the spring of 1826, Poe entered
the University of Virginia. There he studied Spanish, French, Italian, and

Latin. He had an excellent scholastic record. He got into difficulties almost at
once. Mr. Allan did not provide him with the money to pay for his fees and other
necessities. Poe was confused and homesick. He learned to play cards and started
drinking. Soon he was in debt in excess of two thousand dollars. Poe discovered
that he could not depend upon Allan for financial support. His foster father
refused to pay his debts, and Poe had to withdraw from the University (Asselineau

410). In May of 1827, Poe enlisted in the army as a common soldier. He did this
under the name of Edgar A. Perry. He was stationed on Sullivan\'s Island in

Charleston Harbor for over a year. Poe adapted very well to military discipline
and quickly rose to the rank of regimental sergeant major. After a while, he got
tired of the same daily routine involved in military life. Poe wrote regularly
to Mr. Allan. He met with Mr. Allan after the death of Mrs. Allan in February of

1829. With Allan\'s support, he received his discharge and enlisted in West Point
on July 1, l830 (Asselineau 410). While at West Point, Mr. Allan, who had
remarried, continued in not providing Poe with enough money. Poe decided to have
himself kicked out of school. Cutting classes and disregarding orders were his
solutions. He was court-martialed for neglect of duties in January, 1831, and
left West Point the following month (Asselineau 411). "Poe was great in
three different fields , and in each one he made a reputation that would give
any man a high place in literary history. Poe wrote great short stories, famous
not only in his own country, but all over the world (Robinson V)."
"Hawthorne, Irving, Balzac, Bierce, Crane, Hemingway and other writers have
given us memorable short stories; but none has produced so great a number of
famous and unforgettable examples, so many tales that continue, despite changing
standards to be read and reprinted again and again throughout the world (Targ

VII)." "Poe was the father of the modern short story, and the modern
detective story (Targ VII)." "With the possible exception of Guy de

Maupassant, no other writer is so universally known and esteemed for so large of
a corpus of excellent tales as in Edgar Allan Poe (Targ VII)." In 1831, Poe
succeeded in publishing a new edition of his poems entitled, Poems. Poe was now
in great difficulty. He went to New York, but could find no job there.

Eventually he took refuge with his aunt, Mrs. Clemm, in Baltimore. There he
decided to seek employment and make his living by writing. Failing to get
attention with his poems, he decided to start writing short stories. Poe
competed in a contest for the best short story in 1831. The prize was offered by

Phil-Saturday Courier. Because he did not win the prize, Poe started on an
ambitious project. He decided to plan a series of tales told by members of a
literary group. He found no publisher for his stories, and entered the contest
again in June of 1835. This time he sent one poem and six stories (Asselineau

411). His story, "Ms. Found in a Bottle," won ,