Edgar Allan Poe
While attending military boarding school as a young cadet, Edgar Allan Poe (1800-1849) was coerced to set the books he owned on fire in order to keep warm. Later in his life, a very poor man, he worked as an editor, consuming his energy in odd jobs. Poe, who was born in Boston and who died in Baltimore, is one of the founding fathers of Gothic fiction of the 19th century, a pioneer of the detective story, of science fiction, and of the psychological thriller. His body of work, extricating modernism out of the collapsing world of romanticism, was a source of inspiration to central artistic movements such as symbolism and surrealism, and it continues to thrill artists and readers alike to this day.