Originally Answered: Help with edgar allen poe?
When he was a small child, his mother died from consumption. (Tuberculosis.) The symptoms of TB include a lot of coughing up of blood. Imagine how traumatic that would be for a small child to witness. After the death of his mother, he was adopted into another family. Years later, his beloved foster mother contracted and died from the SAME disease.
Edgar later fell in love and married his 13 year old first cousin, Virginia Clemm. As crazy as that is, by ALL accounts they were deeply in love and very happily married. She was all the world to him. When she was about 18 years old, she was giving a performance on the piano and singing, when she coughed and a drop of blood came out of her mouth. Edgar realized to his horror that she had contracted the same disease that every woman he had ever cared about had suffered and died from. Virginia suffered terribly from the disease for seven years, before finally succumbing and dying. Edgar could hardly bear her loss. Her illness inspired a lot of Edgar's works, including his most famous poem, "The Raven", which he wrote while she was sick, and reflects his horror at the idea that she was going to die and he was never going to see her again (see the following lines for an example):
"vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore"... "Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?' Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'"
She was also the inspiration behind the beautiful love poem, "Annabel Lee", which was written after her death. "I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea, and we loved with a love that was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee"
You can see a lot of his works involve blood and the color red...probably due to the trauma of having seen so much of it watching his loved ones die from tuberculosis.
There are a LOT of sites online where you can read about his life and his works. Here are a couple to get you started: