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Mrs. Poe

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,507 Ratings  ·  1,395 Reviews
A vivid and compelling novel about a woman who becomes entangled in an affair with Edgar Allan Poe—at the same time she becomes the unwilling confidante of his much-younger wife.

It is 1845, and Frances Osgood is desperately trying to make a living as a writer in New York; not an easy task for a woman—especially one with two children and a philandering portrait painter as h
Hardcover, 318 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Gallery Books
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Erin The book is biographical fiction meaning it takes a historical individual and recreates elements of their life in turn telling a fictional narrative.…moreThe book is biographical fiction meaning it takes a historical individual and recreates elements of their life in turn telling a fictional narrative. Poe and Osgood did have a relationship of some kind, but the exact details and nature of their association is anyone's guess. (less)

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Ah distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
that at the library I spied, a fictional tale of Poe's young bride.
Over the pages I did pour, but the book fast became a chore,
the text echoing verbatim lore, a novel that had come before.
After that I swore - no more!

It is a poor effort, I admit, but my comments on Lynn Cullen's Mrs. Poe are closely tied to the incident described in the paltry parody above this passage
Ann Sloan
Oct 08, 2013 Ann Sloan rated it it was ok
Shelves: ann-s
Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen

I chose and was granted permission to read it by NetGalley. I was interested in it because of its title. I am and always have been a major Poe fan (I memorized Annabel Lee for my 9th grade English class – this was back when students had to memorize poetry – a practice that should be reinstated but won’t be since it’s not a skill on The Test).

What a mishmash of fact and fiction! Coincidentally, I just taught a class on American Lit from the Beginning until 1865, so these na
Jan 03, 2016 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top, to-the-island, i-said

I walk these streets of New York City with Mrs. Frances Osgood ( 1811- 1850), an American poet and one of the most popular woman writers of her time, also famous for her exchange of romantic poems with Edgar Allan Poe. It is 1845 and Mrs. Osgood is en route to Miss Anne Charlotte Lynch’s conversazione, where none other than Mr. Poe, whose poem, ‘The Raven’, has reached fever pitch adulation here, is expected to attend.

Earlier when Mrs. Osgood was reading this poem out loud to her daug
Aug 28, 2013 Undine rated it did not like it
Oh, dear God, the very last thing the world needs is another novel about Poe that completely trashes all the known facts about him and transforms the man into a slimy ladies' man, to boot.

Where do I begin? There was NO AFFAIR between Poe and Frances Osgood. There is not one genuine Poe scholar who takes the idea at all seriously. Their relationship was, at most, a platonic acquaintance that lasted only one year. Osgood and her husband were never estranged, and there is no evidence whatsoever tha
Where I got the book: e-ARC from NetGalley.

What was fact and what was fiction? That was the question in my mind after I finished Mrs. Poe. It tells the tale of Frances (Fanny) Osgood, who is pretty much unknown today but was a hugely popular writer in the mid-1800s, writing poetry and children's books mostly, I think. I had to stop and look her up in Wikipedia about halfway through, because I needed to know more or less where the line between reality and fiction fell, which is the trouble with n
Erika Robuck
Sep 24, 2013 Erika Robuck rated it it was amazing
Having lived just outside of Baltimore my entire life and being a fan of Poe’s macabre and romantic tales, I was thrilled to receive an early copy of MRS. POE for possible endorsement. From the first page, I was spellbound by the dark and captivating story of the famous writer, his sickly wife, and his troubled mistress.

Frances Osgood is the best kind of heroine: sympathetic, flawed, industrious, and conflicted. Her husband dallies with other women, leaving her to support their young children wh
Sara Steger
May 28, 2016 Sara Steger rated it really liked it
This is a well-written, fun historical novel that casts a completely different light on the life and personality of Edgar Allan Poe. My entire scope of knowledge going in was that Poe did, in fact, have an on-going friendship with Frances Osgood and that there were rumors of something much more. Lynn Cullen takes that information and develops it into the love affair that might have been.

Along the way, she introduces us to other well-known celebrities of the time and has them rub elbows in New Y
Crystal Craig
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"Pay attention to fate, Mrs. Osgood. It will always have the last word."

I didn't know what to expect from this book. My knowledge of Edgar Allan Poe is limited. I've always been curious about his work—I think that's what likely drew me to this book.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel. There was enough going on to hold my interest. The writing was decent, and the book appeared well researched—on top of that, I learned all about Poe.

My rating of 3 stars is based purely on my level of enjoyment. I've a
Nov 16, 2013 Judy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sue
This is one of the latest contributions to what is becoming one of my favorite fiction sub-genres, the telling of tales from the viewpoint of a spouse or person closely connected to a famous person. The choice of Frances Osgood to be the narrator proved to be excellent. Fanny offers a unique look at Edgar Alan Poe as she was a fan of his, a poetess and therefore, a contemporary of his, his married lover and a member of the preferred society of the time. She also shared his pain in many regards i ...more
Diane S ☔
Oct 17, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it liked it
I have always been intrigued by Poe, his tortured genius, his dark character, the fact that while he was the toast of the town he was always broke and died destitute. Just never seemed fair.

So this book recounts a big time in his life, The raven has been published and he is terribly in fashion, all hostesses want him for their soiree's and though many hate him for his cutting remarks, he is still someone everyone wants to know. This book is easy to read, but so many of the ideas presented I had
Apr 30, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
I really, really liked this book. It was very well written and keeps you interested from beginning to end. Once you get to chapter four it moves quickly and you become fully vested in the novel. This is how a historical fiction about factual characters should read. It was an emotional read not just fact after fact. After reading this novel it makes me want to revisit some of the actual tales written by Edgar Allan Poe. Very well done Lynn Cullen. Very good character development!!!
Oct 27, 2013 Orsolya rated it it was ok
Much like his work, Edgar Allen Poe has a mysterious and dark aura. This can also be said of his personal life which includes his women and marriages. Lynne Cullen pursues this romantic angle in “Mrs. Poe”.

To clear any misunderstandings, “Mrs. Poe” is not directly a novel of Poe’s wife (although Virginia Poe is indeed a character). Rather, it follows Frances “Fanny” Osgood, a fellow poet who becomes involved with Poe and also befriends Virginia. Cullen’s topic focus intrigues but sadly, her writ
Oct 29, 2013 Gary rated it really liked it
I was very anxious to read this one before Halloween ,and I made it. The author is a historian, who wrote this as a historical fiction novel.It works! I really enjoyed it a lot. She tells that all the events in this story are true according to research she painstakingly did on the subject. I was a bit shocked by the ending, of finding out some things I didn't know.

The story in this novel is well written,and I enjoyed the interaction between the characters in the story. I was ready for it to get
May 08, 2014 Dee rated it it was amazing
"Pay attention to fate, Mrs. Osgood. It will always have the last word"

Fact or not...I absolutely loved this novel about the affair between Frances Osgood and Edgar Allen Poe.
It was beautifully written with a historical detail that enthralled me. Mystery, passion, compelling characters and heartbreak make this dark tale addictive.
"If I had known that our night together would be our only one, I would have not let you go that morning. I would have shanghied you on Astor's boat to China, or whiske
Lynn Cullen
May 27, 2013 Lynn Cullen rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
MRS POE is such compelling novel, bringing history to vivid life. 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 cre ...more
Nov 29, 2014 C.W. rated it it was amazing
Edgar Allan Poe has become a fascinating and controversial figure in the many years since his death. His morbid, often gruesome stories and poems evoke a tormented visionary, whose own historical repute has been tarnished by rumors of alcoholism, madness, and a bizarre marriage to his thirteen-year old cousin. Mr Poe is certainly ripe fodder for novelization, as attested by the quantity of fiction featuring him, yet MRS. POE rises above the fray with its sensitive, tragic, and often creepy depic ...more
AmberBug **
ShelfNotes Review

Dear Reader,

I absolutely loved everything about this book, starting with the literary references right down to the forbidden romance. Cullen took all the pieces, fact and rumors, about Edgar Allen Poe and the characters around him and wrote a beautiful story that delves into feminism, technological progress, NYC literary society, and so much more. Right away Cullen gives us the setting perfectly, telling us of the NYC smells as horse manure, garbage and urine. This gives us a pi
Heather Fineisen
Mar 10, 2014 Heather Fineisen rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
I wouldn't classify this as a romance, but gothic borderline mystery sort of romance and someone's not quite right . Definitely builds suspense and is an imaginative speculation of Poe and his cousin/wife. I liked the history of women writers for the time period and the treatment of double standards for married women and men. Cullen' s fictional account made me want to learn more about the enigmatic Poe and break out a volume of his work. Bibliophiles, Poe fans, and those who enjoy a creepy bit ...more
Jan 10, 2016 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
MRS. POE fängt mit einem wunderbaren ersten Satz an:
"When given bad news, most women of my station can afford to slump onto their divans, their china cups slipping form 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."
Aber meine Hoffnung, eine ganz besondere Geschichte über die Beziehung zu einem außergewöhnlichen Menschen zu lesen, hat sich Seite um Seite immer weiter zerschlagen; imm
Jun 17, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
I have always wondered about Poe’s personal life and what drove him to write such stories. I didn’t know anything about his wife or his literary circles. I too had so many misconceptions about him before reading this novel. When I first discovered this book, I was completely intrigued with the book cover first off and when I discovered the premise of the story, I knew I HAD to read this book as soon as I could.

I have discovered Frances Osgood through this intriguing story and I enjoyed the inter
What the hell, me? You just barely finished The Paris Wife and got all fed up with it and then you move straight on to this? Really? What were you thinking?

Ok, to be fair, I had forgotten I'd put this book on hold at the library. It just happened to become available for my reading pleasure two days after I finished with the Hemingways. This was not an intentional reading of one biographical fiction after another.

I don't remember putting this on hold nor do I know why I did but when I got the boo
This book was an interesting read for me but not entirely what I expected. I expected to find a forbidden love story complicated by a manipulative and conniving wife. What I got was a whole lot of social repartee of the wealthy and elite of early 1900′s New York with a kind of love story and suspicions about the wife that weren’t very well proven with facts. That disappointed me but the story was still ultimately entertaining.

Frances was the main character, despite the title suggesting that Mrs.
Bonnie Kassel
Jul 23, 2013 Bonnie Kassel rated it it was amazing
I was given this book at the Javits BookExpo during a speed reading seminar and was just reading it because it looked like fun. But it turned out to be so much more than a good beach read. It's not unlike an unrequited romance novel, but to begin with it's extremely well written. And then there's an added element of interest because the characters are so familiar to us as is the setting. The descriptions of New York in the mid eighteen hundreds--current fashions and horse drawn carriage transpor ...more
Arah-Leah Hay
I have been a fan of Edgar Allan Poe's works for as long as I can remember. It is his book in my home that is most treasured. The one that in a hypothetical fire, I would save. With great anticipation this quickly jumped to the top of my to read list. This is historical fiction based on some very real people in Mr. Poe's life 1845 New York. It is the story of an illicit love affair between two poets; Edgar Allan Poe and Frances Osgood. Where the plot thickens we meet the very child like and frai ...more
Heather Webb
Mar 28, 2016 Heather Webb rated it it was amazing
Immersed in beautiful and often dark descriptions, MRS.POE kept me enthralled to the final page. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my preconceived notions of Edgar fall away as his true passionate nature came to light. What's more, Frances Osgood was a heroine worth rooting for--I, at once, felt sympathy for her. Throw in a few plot twists and I couldn't put it down!
A writer and his demons. A woman and her desires. A wife and her revenge . . .

Edgar Allan Poe was famous for his dark yet brilliant literature and his controversial life, but what about the women in his life? Who were they? What were they like? Married to a sickly child bride and deeply in love with a fellow writer. I got to learn about the two women in Poe's life, the beautiful and talented writer, Frances Osgood and his young and fragile wife, Virginia Poe.

Imagine my surprise when I realized
The Lit Bitch
Oct 16, 2013 The Lit Bitch rated it it was amazing
This book was utterly stunning. I LOVED IT! I can’t say enough good things about this book! It was half a love story and half a shivery tale. Though not a gruesome as one of Poe’s own original tales, it was suspenseful and chilling all the same.

I loved how Cullen portrayed Mrs Poe. She was socially awkward in all the right ways, she was chilling and ominous and I couldn’t help but shutter every time she called on Frances. As a reader it was hard for me to really despise her and read her as the v
I was really looking forward to Mrs. Poe, as I think that the plot is a very interesting idea. It's due to this idea and some decent writing--though the quality does range--that I'm not lowering it to a one-star book. I liked it about as much as a one-star book; but hey, the cover's pretty, right?

Edgar Allan's Poe life is quite controversial. He was, on the one hand, a genius. On the other hand he was an alcoholic who married his thirteen year old cousin. When Jerry Lee Lewis did it, down went h
Elizabeth Drake
Sep 14, 2013 Elizabeth Drake rated it did not like it
I quit 70 pages in. I could not, for the life of me, find anything the least bit interesting about the main character. She is whiney and self absorbed, complaining about her situation and waiting for a man to swoop in and save her.

I became more and more frustrated by her constant struggle with her writing. Clearly, she had seen success in children's stories but was trying to write something more prolific that would pay more. I am not one to bash artistic endeavors, but perhaps in attempting to
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“First you must believe there is a soul."

"Do you?"

"If by a soul one means the creature who lives within each of us, a creature born loving, born joyful, but who with each wordly blow shrinks more deeply into its shell until at last, the poor desiccated thing is unrecognizable, even to its own self, yes. I do.”
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