was he abused?

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was it true that edgar allen poe was abused when he was a child?? i have heard that when edgar was moved into his foster family he was sexually molested and repeated beat by his foster father. is this at all true? please let me kn

-- Anonymous, December 22, 2001


The short answer is... most probably not. Generally, Edgar Poe was considered the young master of the Allan family and treated accordingly and lived a life of privilege. Although a foster child and never legally adopted, he was loved and well cared for throughout his stay at the Allan's home, particularly by his foster mother, Frances. John Allan, his foster father, was a wealthy merchant and tobacco trader, a stern father figure and insisted on hard work and abhorred laziness. Yet there were many instances where he freely indicated his pride at Edgar's academic achievements.

The idea of sexual molestation is (most probably) ridiculous and is more a 20th century invention than anything near factual. That he was repeatedly beaten is just as absurd. In his teen years he would have many disagreements with his foster father, but there is no historical cause to believe he was physically abused.

The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore has an excellent web site with a wealth of information. It may help to read a good biography rather than depend solely on the silliness of 20th century conjecture and supposition. The Society can be found at http://www.eapoe.org A good biography can be found listed on the site and there are several.


-- Anonymous, December 23, 2001

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