Edgar Allan Poe

Januar 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849

Edgar Allan Poe (Januar 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was one of the most influential and celebrated American writers of the 19th century. The first well-known author to try to earn a living as a writer, he is credited with inventing the detective fiction genre and also with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction and horror. The Master of the Macabre and his works influenced literature around the world and the Mystery Writers of America tender the annual Edgar Award for excellent work in the mystery genre.


Poe had a fascination for cryptography. He had even placed an ad in the Philadelphia paper Alexander’s Weekly (Express) Messenger, inviting people to submit ciphers that he would solve.

The sensation that Poe created with his endeavors in cryptography played a major role in popularizing cryptograms and cryptographic puzzles in newspapers and magazines. But Poe influenced cryptography beyond just increasing the public interest duringn his lifetime.

William Friedman, one of America’s finest cryptologists, was introduced to cryptography during his childhood when he read the short story The Gold-Bug by Edgar Allan Poe. Friedmann later put his interest to use and broke Japan’s PURPLE cipher during World War II.

Father of the Detective Story

Poe’s early detective stories around mastermind C. Auguste Dupin, for example The Murders in the Rue Morgue, paved the way for future detectives in history. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said, Each [of Poe’s detective stories] is a root from which a whole literature has developed… Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?

Master of Macabre

Besides being an outstanding poet, a recognized literary critic, and a passionate amateur researcher, Poe is probably most famous for transforming the horror genre and adding a psychological depth not envisioned in the genre before his time and only rarely seen ever since.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

Masterpieces like The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Fall of the House of Usher reveal Poe’s talent at the zenith of his career.

He even left this world with a final mystery and down to the present day people keep on speculating on the rumors growing around the circumstances of his death.

Go ahead and get an idea how Poe crafted words over at the Gutenberg Project.