The legend of Edgar Alan Poe is far from the reality, as we learn in A & E's Biography series documentary of his life. The much misunderstood author is given a fair look in this 50 minute overview. They bring us the sad, broken Poe, stumbling through lectures and readings, but they also show us a good man who loved literature and wanted to succeed as a writer.
Any student of Poe has been inundated with macabre, morbid tales of involving dead women, drug abuse and affairs. What is disregarded by early biographers are the facts between the tales. He crafted stories with careful excellence, depending on technique, and not the lack of sobriety. He drew from his personal life, but also fabricated complex fantasies that became the model for Stephen King, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and others. His poetry caught the attention of European greats like Charles Baudelaire and Mihaly Babits, who, in turn, translated Poe's works for the world.
We see where Poe lived an, and hear not only from his literary works, but his letters and the writings of those who knew him. We are able to attain a sense that Poe was not a monster only brooding in his woes, but a family man who longed to remain with Virginia, who lived with, as he wrote in "Annabel Lee," "no other thought than to love and be loved by me."
The affect of the tragedies which surrounded him are explored, from his poor relationship with his adoptive father to the many deaths of loved ones, lost to tuberculosis. Many men would have been enfeebled to write, but Poe took his sadness and expressed it as literary art.
I fully recommend "Biography - Edgar Allan Poe." His life has the legendary elements of scandal and addiction, but to know Poe better, it is important to learn beyond the cliches like "master of the macabre." This video does that.