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Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) was orphaned at the age of three and adopted by a wealthy Virginia family with whom he had a troubled relationship. He excelled in his studies of language and literature at school, and self-published his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems, in 1827. In 1830, Poe embarked on a career as a writer and began contributing reviews and essays to popular periodicals. He also wrote sketches and short fiction, and in 1833 published his only completed novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Over the next five years he established himself as a master of the short story form through the publication of "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and other well–known works. In 1841, he wrote "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," generally considered the first modern detective story. The publication of The Raven and Other Poems in 1845 brought him additional fame as a poet.

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