Edgar Allan Poe is an important author to introduce your students to. He wrote very well, but also very dark. As this infographic shows, he did not have a great life, and so this probably influenced his writing greatly. I have actually visited the cemetery in which his mother is buried in Richmond, Va. It is also the church in which Patrick Henry gave his famous “give me liberty, or give me death” speech. It is the St. John’s Episcopal Church, a must visit if you ever visit Richmond.
He wrote about many dark emotions, such as guilt in the Tell-Tale Heart. It can be imagined what sort of guilt he had that sparked this story. He was in the army, and married his 13 year old cousin, both of which were common in that day.
One curiosity involves his gravesite. Every October 7th between 1949 and 2009, someone has anonymously left a bottle of cognac and three roses on his grave. What do your students believed this symbolized? Who could have left this? Why did they leave this?