Mrs. Poe

Mrs. Poe

by Lynn Cullen
4.1 53


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Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen

Inspired by literature’s most haunting love triangle, award-winning author Lynn Cullen delivers a pitch-perfect rendering of Edgar Allan Poe, his mistress’s tantalizing confession, and his wife’s frightening obsession in this new masterpiece of historical fiction to which Sara Gruen says, “Mrs. Poe had my heart racing...Don't miss it!”

And make sure to check out the captivating new novel from Lynn Cullen—Twain’s End—where the acclaimed author tells a fictionalized imagining of the relationship between iconic author Mark Twain and his personal secretary, Isabel Lyon.

1845: New York City is a sprawling warren of gaslit streets and crowded avenues, bustling with new immigrants and old money, optimism and opportunity, poverty and crime. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is all the rage—the success of which a struggling poet like Frances Osgood can only dream. As a mother trying to support two young children after her husband’s cruel betrayal, Frances jumps at the chance to meet the illustrious Mr. Poe at a small literary gathering, if only to help her fledgling career. Although not a great fan of Poe’s writing, she is nonetheless overwhelmed by his magnetic presence—and the surprising revelation that he admires her work.

What follows is a flirtation, then a seduction, then an illicit affair…and with each clandestine encounter, Frances finds herself falling slowly and inexorably under the spell of her mysterious, complicated lover. But when Edgar’s frail wife, Virginia, insists on befriending Frances as well, the relationship becomes as dark and twisted as one of Poe’s tales. And like those gothic heroines whose fates are forever sealed, Frances begins to fear that deceiving Mrs. Poe may be as impossible as cheating death itself…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476702919
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 10/01/2013
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lynn Cullen grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and is the bestselling author of Twain’s End and Mrs. Poe, which was named a Target Book Club Pick, an NPR 2013 Great Read, and an Indie Next List selection. She lives in Atlanta surrounded by her large family, and, like both Poe and Mark Twain, enjoys being bossed around by cats.

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Mrs. Poe 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Wakela_Runen More than 1 year ago
One of my all time favorite authors is Edgar Allan Poe. So when I heard that they were making an historical fiction book based on his life, I was super excited. I was even more excited when I found out that I would get the chance to review it. I received this book from NetGalley with no compensation in exchange for an honest review. I ended up reading this book in one night! The author went to great lengths to get the majority of details as close to real as possible. I felt transported back through time so that I would be spending the evening chatting with Edgar Allan Poe and many of his other peers. I loved the fact that she didn't go down the route of Edgar Allan Poe being completely insane and drug addled. Many literary scholars now believe that version of Poe's life was falsified after postmortem by one of his rivals. Yes, he had his demons. He was a heavy drinker which seems to be extremely common during that period in history. However, he did go on the wagon once he started having his poetic affair with Francis Osgood. If you like good historical fiction or are just a huge Edgar Allan Poe fan like me, then you need to pick up this book as soon as it hits the shelves in October! (Just in time for the anniversary of his death October 7, 1849)
StephanieCowell More than 1 year ago
Danger, sensuality, mystery and passion fill the pages of this bewitching story set in the crowded cobbled streets, alleyways, cheap boardinghouses and literary gatherings of mid-nineteenth century New York City. Everyone warns the lovely, near penniless poet Mrs. Osgood, a deserted wife with two young children, to stay away from the dark-eyed writer Edgar Allen Poe who has fallen in love with her. She writes tender verses; he creates blood-curdling tales but he is darker than his writing, carrying secrets of his frail much younger wife and his heinous past. Even when Mrs. Osgood understands that someone is trying to kill her because of him, she cannot put aside her passion until it is almost too late. MRS> POE is real page turner from one of our most skillful novelists!
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
When I saw this on Netgalley, my interest was immediately piqued. I’ve had a fascination with Edgar Allan Poe since I read “The Tell-Tale Heart” in middle school. Even though I’ve shied away from historical fiction in the past, I knew I had to get my hands on this book. While I’ve read some of his works and a biography on him, I won’t pretend I’m an expert on Edgar Allan Poe. And other than hearing her name before, I have very little knowledge at all of Frances Osgood. Luckily, whether or not you have any knowledge of the two main characters makes little to no difference at all when reading this book. Lynn Cullen fills in the gaps about what we know of Osgood and Poe and their relationship. She creates, what I feel is, a believable story about Osgood and Poe’s love affair. She weaves in some darkness with Mrs. Poe (with both her sickness and her obvious knowledge of her husband’s affair). In all, we’re presented with a rather unique story. It was clear to me that Cullen had certainly done her research before she wrote this book. It certainly made me wonder about what actually happened between Osgood and Poe. *This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had read good reviews on this book, but they could not prepare me for what I was about to experience. Being a Poe admirer myself, it was an amazing experience to connect with the characters portrayed in this book. Lynn Cullen did a wonderful job of piecing together bits of history to paint a brand new image of Poe. Needless to say, I could not put it down and highly encourage the reading of this wonderful book.
lsmeadows More than 1 year ago
An interesting story surrounding the relationship between Poe, his wife, and poet Frances Osgood. Contrary to what the title might indicate, this book is not a fictional account of the life of Edgar Allen Poe's wife. Instead author Lynn Cullen presents us with a story narrated by American Poet Francis Osgood regarding the complex relationship between herself, Poe, his wife, Virginia. Although most of Cullen's book is pure fiction, she begins with a few kernels of truth. Francis Osgood did meet her husband Charles in the manner included in the book. He did leave her to fend for herself in NY with their children. Francis Osgood did have a relationship of sorts with Poe, they did spend time together and correspond with each other. Poe's wife, Virginia, was sickly and did help foster the relationship between her husband and Osgood. In fact, biographers say that Virginia Poe actually helped to foster the relationship as she felt that Osgood was a good influence on the unstable Poe. Most everything else in Cullen's story is pure fiction, which she uses to tell a great story about one of the most interesting figures in American writing.  I really enjoyed the way that Cullen took a historical relationship that was not ordinary to begin with, and made it into a complex interaction between three people who lived unconventional lives. Through the character of Francis Osgood we get a glimpse of how life was for women writers in the the mid 19th century. A time when women were still trying to be taken seriously in the field of prose. Cullen's Poe is a man at war with himself and his various demons. Given Poe's reputation and his writing, this Poe is entirely believable. Even the sickly Virginia Poe gets to be more than just a "behind the scenes" character. I also enjoyed the cameo appearances by other historical figures such as John Astor, Louisa May Allcott, and Walt Whitman and the little historical tidbits that she included such as the origin of the graham cracker.  When all was said and done, though, the thing that I liked the most about this book was the way that Lynn Cullen used Edgar Allen Poe and his life to craft a very Poe-like story. As the story progresses I began to suspect that something else was going on besides just the historical recounting of the possible relationship between these three people. Just like a Poe story this book takes a bit of a dark turn, which kept me engaged and came to a satisfying conclusion.  Yes, I was drawn to this book by the title and the idea that it would focus on the life of Poe and his wife, I found, though, that I really enjoyed the story as presented, as well as appreciating the amount of research Cullen did in order to be able to insert the historical kernels that were in the story. So if you are looking for an interesting take on the story of Poe, Virginia, and Osgood, one with a bit of a fanciful twist, this is the book for you. If you are looking for a serious biography about Poe or his wife, I would skip it.  Thanks to Gallery Books and Netgalley for making this book available to me in exchange for a review.
westkayla1221 More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure of what I was expecting when first deciding to read and review this novel. Maybe a memoir of sorts or a tale so much more ordinary. But was absolutely exquisite in its telling. A shivery tale that was not intended but which thrilled me to my very core. Almost as much as the characters, or most of them anyway, in this book were by the poem "The Raven." And speaking of "The Raven", I do not know a time when I have heard it mentioned so much. I mean, every other chapter or two someone was asking poor Mr. Poe to recite it. I literally sighed with frustration every time someone queried about it. I loved that, though, because it kind of emulates how things truly are. People find something that they adore, a poem or story, and then they work it to death. Now on to the characters. Edgar Allan Poe is a subject that many are familiar with, but I have to say that I knew little about his wife or mistress. I just knew they existed in a sense as to have made him a bit of who he was as a person, just like everyone all of us will ever meet will influence us. I actually truly loved how Frances brought out this light in Poe. He seems so dark and brooding in the beginning that it felt as if he basically considered the world an annoyance. But when she came along, I have to say, he writing became considerably brighter, even if only in poems to her, he seemed, dare I say it, happy. And his wife...WOW!!! Um...she was quite interesting. Seriously, though, I felt so many emotions toward her: fear, pity, fear...Okay, so maybe two words in all, but considering she was dying throughout all of this, she was a tough cookie. She was bound and determined to see Poe go with her in the end. All around, I loved the characters in this. The main ones (Frances, Poe, Mrs. Poe) and the not-so-main. The obnoxious and the downright deplorable. The understanding and the not-so-understanding. Everyone brought something to the table. Right down to the kitten, Miss Poe. Each brings another level to the affair which forms between Poe and Frances. Not a disappointment at all. In fact, I absolutely fell in love with it. There are really no other words to describe this story. I can only shake my head in satisfaction and say, "Go on...pick it up. You'll love it from its first line all the way to its last."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must-read novel for any historical fiction reader! As an avid fan of EAP, I was drawn in with the title, but the story kept me turning the pages! Thank you, Lynn Cullen for this masterfully written book that is sure to delight Poe aficionados and first-time fans alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MRS POE is a fantastic novel! I highly recommend it. I loved other novels about women who had love affairs with famous men (Hemingway for the Paris Wife and  Frank Lloyd Wright for Loving Frank) and that in itself intrigued me - I hadn't known that Poe pursued the poet Frances Osgood and won her (telltale!) heart!   I've always been intrigued by Poe and now I'm an even bigger fan.  And of Frances Osgood, and Mrs Poe (the character) and of course Lynn Cullen, who brings together their story brilliantly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the setting New York 1845,  Cullen really did her research well.  Beautifully written. The best historical fiction I read this year.
Nessypeep More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I think I will actually read it again!!
cgreen37 More than 1 year ago
Fans of historical fiction who like to know that what they're reading is historically accurate for the most part will find a fast paced story with compelling characters in "Mrs. Poe." The pre Civil War setting in NYC weaves in many of the big names and political movements of the day, which is also appealing to those of us who find this era so fascinating. A central plot line may be entirely fictional, but it makes for good reading. A little research after completing the book confirmed that Poe's character was tarnished by a slanted biography coming out shortly after his death; this book gives him his due while being an entertaining, informative read. A few passages had me concerned that it was going in the direction of a bodice-ripper, but fortunately these were few enough and sufficiently restrained to keep the material elevated to acceptable levels. Call it "chick-lit for intellectuals."
kochc09 More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! I'm a huge historical fiction fan but I was a little hesitant about this book given what we all generally know about Edgar Allen Poe. I wasn't interested in another story about his struggles with alcohol and the like. However, Lynn Cullen did a wonderful job of presenting a side of Poe that is never represented, and did this while tying the story together with actual works of Poe and Osgood. It was so refreshing to see Poe in love, passionate, and full of life - in such contrast to his works. Personally, I was not aware of the link between Mrs. Osgood and Poe. I did a little research on it before starting this book and saw that not much is actually known about their relationship, just a lot of speculation. I have to say though; I really hope it happened the way it is described in Mrs. Poe. Cullen crafted together such a beautiful yet dark (I mean, we are talking about E.A. Poe) relationship based on the works of these great poets. Mrs. Poe is a page turner and I had such trouble putting it down. The plot is well paced and all the twists and turns of the relationship and struggles between Poe and Osgood keep the reader enthralled. This is one of my favorite historical fiction books I've ever read and am excited to read more by Cullen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Historical fiction at its best! A page turner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A slow moving bodice ripper trying to be more than it is with literary references that are nothing more than name dropping with no substance and very little accuracy. Teddy Roosevelt is seen on Manhattan street but Poe was dead before TR was born. Relationship between main characters did not seem genuine/ realistic at all. Had to stop reading. Am I missing something? Awful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing read; really transports you to the time period. Lynn Cullen brings these huge names to life in this novel. Mostly historically accurate and hard to put down. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, a good mystery, and Edgar Allen Poe.
Gina04 More than 1 year ago
Being a Poe fan this book screamed for me to read it. And I am so glad I did!!!
CherylM-M More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the Author's Notes in the back. Cullen doesn't take herself too seriously and says it like it is. This is a work of fiction born from her imagination with the added help of facts and gossip. What if Poe and Osgood really were smitten by lust and forced to endure their own marital woes because the society would never have allowed them to be together? Is it really that unfathomable when you take their published love poems to each other into consideration. Then again perhaps that was just a ploy to sell papers. Any kind of gossip can become face or a myth if repeated often enough. In the end the actual truth is forgotten. Poe does suffer with the most wretched of reputations. Griswold did commit himself to assassinating Poe's character on a large scale and the fact that Poe's mother-in-law left his estate to his purported enemy suggests that she wanted Poe to suffer even in death. When it comes to his character I would consider his work but one shouldn't let it form to strong an opinion about the man. How dark and twisted his mind seemed to be. His obsession with death, pain and torture. Then again he did spend many years watching his wife die slowly and painfully. He was obviously a man tormented by many demons and those demons came alive in his work. What I liked most about this fictitious account was the wife and her character. Throughout the book the reader is never quite sure whether Virginia is a psychopath or if she shares a sadistic or masochistic relationship with Poe. Perhaps it was a combination of two dark minds that helped create the morbid horror filled stories. It is infuriating to read how women were treated in that era. Effectively they were nothing more than part of their husbands property. No rights and no permission to claim anything for themselves. Thwarted and ignored by society if they do dare and stand up for themselves. Overall it was a fun read even if the dialogues were often quite awkward and over-dramatic. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Best book ever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book captured my attention from the first page. Very good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you for one of the best reads.
nbaker1234 More than 1 year ago
I was excited to initially begin a book about Mrs. Poe and the grim, mysterious and unnerving husband, Edgar Allen Poe. However, when it takes nearly two weeks to finish a book, when a normal reading lasts only 1-3 days, at most, then surely something in the story was amiss for this reader's taste. Poe's stories, like his life, have a very tragic, melancholy air about them. I felt this story lent credence to his known life and writings, but also depicted him as very much a "lady's man" and I had difficulty accepting him as such. The flow of the story seemed extremely slow to me and I felt it could have been shortened considerably with the same effect. All in all, it was an entertaining read, with what could be considered a different viewpoint of the dark Mr. Poe, but it is important to any reader to separate the fact from the fiction. I have marked it off of my "to read" list and will probably think of it nevermore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting story. Lives entertwined with a sad but realistic ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love history. This book makes you feel like you're back in time with the characters.
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
Inspired by a true life story - poets Edgar Allan Poe and fledgling poet Frances Osgood exchanged a series of poems printed in Poe's circular, as well as letters. Did they have an affair, or was it only a professional friendship? Was sickly Mrs. Poe - a child bride, aware of the relationship, and disturbed by it? And who's behind the series of sinister attacks on Mrs. Osgood? Set in New York City, there are all kinds of cameos by the literati of the day, like Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott, it's very well written, and suitably dark and creepy in tone, as suits the author of The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart.
Becky-Books More than 1 year ago
What a unique perspective! Before I read this book, I first read up on Edgar Allan Poe, his wife Virginia, and Frances Osgood. After learning some facts about the three, I then dove into ths book. The writing was great, the subjects was interesting, and I was hooked after the first page. Lynn Cullen did a great job letting the reader feel as if they were right there, in 1845 New York City, and standing right next to Frances throughout the entire book. This book gave a perspective on E.A. Poe's life, and those around him. A must read for any type of reader.