Edgar Allan Poe, a poetic history

The eerie writer was born in Boston and while he didn’t care for the city, he was a Bostonian, nevermore.


The bronze statue was unveiled in 2014 at “Edgar Allan Poe Square.”

Photo by @jeff_echols

Smile, what do you have to fear?

On the spookiest day of the year, it’s time to reflect on the words and stories of the macabre, Gothic writer we know as Edgar Allan Poe. While most think of Poe’s connections with Philadelphia and Baltimore, we’re going to write in the connections to his hometown of Boston, nevermore.

Known widely for his works like “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven,” he has a signature theme of dark and twisty stories that can induce goosebumps and certainly cause a fright. Some experts say that that Poe’s time in Boston influenced his development as a writer. And it’s no secret that the eerie writer had no love for our city.

Poe was born on January 19, 1809 to the family of traveling actors, so you can say that he was born with drama in his blood. There was a mysterious disappearance of his older brother and death of his mother in 1811 that led the young Poe to being fostered by a family in Richmond. A series of tragedies led Poe back to Boston in 1827, and he served as a solider at Castle Island.


Photo by Robert Kato from The New York Public Library

One of Poe’s most famous short stories, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” was first published in a Boston literary journal in 1843. Prior to this, his first book of poetry, “Tamerlane and Other Poems” was published locally in 1827. If you take a closer look at the cover, it reads “By a Bostonian.”

Today, while you can’t see his house, you can visit a bronze statue at the intersection of Boylston and Charles streets. Dubbed “Edgar Allan Poe Square,” you’ll find the author with a briefcase and a raven.

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