Mrs. Poe

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Mrs. Poe

by Lynn Cullen

Gallery Books | October 1, 2013 | Hardcover

Mrs. Poe is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.
A writer and his demons. A woman and her desires. A wife and her revenge . . .

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 “intelligent, sexy, and utterly addictive” (M. J. Rose) new masterpiece of historical fiction.

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. . . .

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9 × 6.12 × 1.1 in

Published: October 1, 2013

Publisher: Gallery Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1476702918

ISBN - 13: 9781476702919

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely period piece with lots of fact woven inary read wi Lynn Cullen's combines history, romance and a dash of mystery in her latest release - Mrs. Poe. The result? An excellent read. 1845 New York. Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven has just been published and it is a hit with both the literary set and the man on the street. Frances (Fanny) Osgood is also a poet, struggling to support her daughters after being abandoned by her philandering husband. She has found minor success with her children's poetry (Puss in Boots), flower and love poems. But an editor encourages to write something that he can sell - something shivery for the ladies. "You'd like me to be a sort of Mrs. Poe? Ha! Yes.That's the ticket." And somewhat prophetic. For Fanny does meet Poe - and there are immediate feelings of attraction between them. "I knew that I should dislike the man, should fear him, should keep my distance at all costs. I knew that I would not." The real Mrs. Poe takes a liking to Fanny as well. Or is she simply keeping a rival close to hand? Taking on actual historical figures as the main characters in a novel is a delicate dance. Of course, there has been much written about Poe. Cullen shows us a man who has achieved notoriety, but struggles with accepting and embracing it. His struggles with his personal life are no less challenging - alcohol, finances and of course the health of the real Mrs Poe. Poe married his thirteen year old first cousin, Virginia, when he was twenty three. Virginia's mother and Poe's aunt Mrs. Clemm, lives with them. I liked Fanny right from the first pages - she's ambitious, pragmatic, curious and intelligent. As the book progresses, we see her romantic side take the upper hand as she follows her heart, ignoring the whispers of society. Virginia Poe is bit of an enigma. Cullen chooses to reveal her through actions and dialogue. The supporting cast was wonderful as well, again incorporating many historical figures. I was particularly drawn to Eliza Bartlett and her warmth, as well as Sarah Fuller and her early women's rights activism. Cullen's language and dialogue was wonderful, capturing the time period and social mores. The dancing within words was such fun to read - barbs couched in acceptable form, underlying meanings just below the surface and more. Her descriptions of the settings were vivid, bringing 1845 New York to life. The literary references were fun - Clement Moore despairs that he will only be remembered for "his children's poem A Visit From St. Nicholas and not for his professorship in Oriental languages at the college that he founded." The discussions held at Anne Lynch's “conversaziones,” were fascinating. I learned so much from this novel - I stopped reading many times to head for the net, to follow up on a reference or character. The romance between Poe and Fanny builds slowly but inexorably, leading down dangerous paths. The actual facts point to a true affection between these two historical figures. Poe's poem, A Valentine, was written for Frances Osgood. Cullen takes literary license and imagines an alternate journey and ending for Edgar, Frances......and let's not forget Virginia. Cullen comes up with her own twist on things and surprised me in the last few chapters. Mrs. Poe is definitely recommended reading
Date published: 2013-09-25

– More About This Product –

Mrs. Poe

by Lynn Cullen

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9 × 6.12 × 1.1 in

Published: October 1, 2013

Publisher: Gallery Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1476702918

ISBN - 13: 9781476702919

Read from the Book

Mrs. Poe One When given bad news, most women of my station can afford to slump onto their divans, their china cups slipping from their fingers to the carpet, their hair falling prettily from its pins, their fourteen starched petticoats compacting with a plush crunch. I am not one of them. As a lady whose husband is so busy painting portraits of wealthy patrons—most of whom happen to be women—that he forgets that he has a family, I have more in common with the girls who troll the muddy streets of Corlear’s Hook, looking to part sailors from their dollars, than I do with the ladies of my class, in spite of my appearance. This thought bolted into my mind like a horse stung by a wasp that afternoon at the office of The Evening Mirror. I was in the midst of listening to a joke about two backward Hoosiers being told by the editor Mr. George Pope Morris. I knew that the news Mr. Morris was obviously putting off giving me must not be good. Still, I laughed delightedly at his infantile joke, even while choking on the miasma created by his excess of perfumed hair pomade, the open glue pot sitting upon his desk, and the parrot cage to my left, which was in dire need of changing. I hoped to soften him, just as a “Hooker” softens potential customers by lifting a corner of her skirt. I struck when Mr. Morris was still chuckling from his own joke. Showing teeth brushed with particular care before I had set off to confront him after a silence of twenty-two days,
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From the Publisher

A writer and his demons. A woman and her desires. A wife and her revenge . . .

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 “intelligent, sexy, and utterly addictive” (M. J. Rose) new masterpiece of historical fiction.

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. . . .

About the Author

Lynn Cullen is the author of numerous children's books and young adult novels including The Backyard Ghost, The Mightiest Heart, and I Am Rembrandt's Daughter, which was an ALA Best Book of 2008. The Creation of Eve is her first work for adults.

Editorial Reviews

"Mrs. Poe is a captivating novel. Cullen’s attention to historical detail, lush prose and enlightening evocation of an interesting moment in American literary history make this story a fascinating read.”
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