became first a
paid contributor, and eventually the editor of the publication, which
ultimately he rendered one of the most respected and profitable
periodicals of the day. This success was entirely due to the brilliancy
and power of Poe's own contributions to the magazine.
In March, 1834, Mr. Allan died, and if our poet had maintained any hopes
of further assistance from him, all doubt was settled by the will, by
which the whole property of the deceased was left to his second wife and
her three sons. Poe was not named.
On the 6th May, 1836, Poe, who now had nothing but his pen to trust to,
married his cousin, Virginia Clemm, a child of only fourteen, and with
her mother as housekeeper, started a home of his own. In the meantime
his various writings in the 'Messenger' began to attract attention and
to extend his reputation into literary circles, but beyond his editorial
salary of about $520 brought him no pecuniary reward.
In January, 1837, for reasons never thoroughly explained, Poe severed
his connection with the 'Messenger', and moved with all his household
goods from Richmond to New York. Southern friends state that Poe was
desirous of either being admitted into partnership with his employer, or
of being allowed a larger share of the profits which his own labors
procured. In New York his earnings seem to have been small and
irregular, his most important work having been a republication from the
'Messenger' in book form of his Defoe-like romance entitled 'Arthur
Gordon Pym'. The truthful air of "The Narrative," as well as its other
merits, excited public curiosity both in England and America; but Poe's
remuneration does not appear to have been proportionate to its success,
nor did he receive anything from the numerous European editions the work
rapidly passed through.
In 1838 Poe was induced by a literary friend to break up his New York
home and remove with his wife and aunt (her mother) to Philadelphia. The
Quaker city was at that time quite a hotbed for magazine projects, and
among the many new periodicals Poe was enabled to earn some kind of a
living. To Burton's 'Gentleman's Magazine' for 1837 he had contributed a
few articles, but in 1840 he arranged with its proprietor to take up the
editorship. Poe had long sought to start a magazine of his own, and it
was probably with a view to such an eventuality that one of his
conditions for accepting the editorship of the 'Gentleman's Magazine'
was that his name should appear upon the title-page.
Poe worked hard at the 'Gentleman's' for some time,
THE POETIC PRINCIPLE OLD ENGLISH POETRY POEMS PREFACE POEMS OF LATER LIFE THE RAVEN.Page 1
LANDOR'S COTTAGE THE LANDSCAPE GARDEN LIGEIA LIONIZING LOSS OF BREATH MAELZEL'S CHESS-PLAYER THE MAN OF THE CROWD.