The poet perished 170 years ago

The famed American writer, poet, editor and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe died on Oct. 7, 1849, or 170 years ago today. He was a mere 40 years old at the time of his death.

Still a sensation

Poe died and is buried in Baltimore, and each year, the city commemorates the event by hosting The International Edgar Allan Poe Festival & Awards. The latest festival was held last weekend.

He wrote from an early age on

By the age of only 13, Poe had written enough poetry he could have published his own book.

He left a literary legacy

Poe is famous for his cultivation of mystery and the macabre. His tale, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841), initiated the modern detective story, and the atmosphere in his tales of horror is unrivaled in American fiction.

A mysterious tradition

Poe was born Jan. 19, 1809, and on that date from 1949-2009, a bottle of cognac and three roses were left at Poe’s original grave marker. A Westminster Church historian claimed to be the anonymous “Poe Toaster,” but his claim has been disputed.

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