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Poe & Fanny

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  123 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe, published his acclaimed poem "The Raven," became the overnight darling of New York literary society, and fell in love with a beautiful—and equally famous—poet. It was the year that ruined him forever.

John May's perfectly imagined novel brings New York's giddy pre-Civil War social scene into brilliant focus as it unfolds the spellbinding story of
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published January 4th 2004 by A Shannon Ravenel Book (first published 2004)
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Aug 30, 2010 Undine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What bothered me most about this book is its utter lack of historical accuracy. No serious Poe scholar believes the "affair" May describes actually happened, much less that Poe fathered Osgood's youngest child. (Poe historian Michael Deas described the notion simply as "ludicrous.") Osgood's leading modern biographer, Mary De Jong, has stated that there is no evidence that Osgood and her husband were ever even estranged, or that either spouse was ever unfaithful. May has simply invented a comple ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally a book about Poe!!! I love EAP but didn't know much about his life. Granted, I could have probably just read up on his life, but reading it via novel is much more enjoyable. Reading about people's lives through works of fiction makes them seem more real to me, which is why I loved this book. May makes EAP human, not just the genius who wrote The Raven. EAP has flaws, desires and weaknesses and, more importantly, a love interest. I think May does a good job on honing in who EAP was as a m ...more
Aug 06, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it
I did not have too high of expectations for this book. However I couldn't put it down. Who knew that Poe was such a lady's man. I felt truly sorry for his wife.
Jul 05, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well researched and well written. While reading, it was easy to forget it was fiction, the characters and period and situations all rang so true.
Aug 12, 2012 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Loved this tale of Poe at the time he wrote "The Raven"
Veronica Ibarra
Jan 30, 2015 Veronica Ibarra rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
This is the fictionalized account of Edgar Allan Poe's affair with Frances Sargent Osgood. Interwoven are excerpts from each of their poems and columns from various magazines of the time. Though he is now recognized as one of America's best writers, Poe had a bitter life and died in debt and disgrace. Knowing a bit of his history one should not expect things to end well even in a fictional account; however, I was disappointed that none of the characters elicited much of my sympathy. While I coul ...more
Melissa Lavery
Apr 04, 2016 Melissa Lavery rated it liked it
I never knew about Poe's alleged affair or of the other literary connections to his world. Reading was slow; I put it down several times. For historical fiction, I expected more emotion. The ending left me unsatisfied as it was abrupt after the climax.
Deann Doolittle
Jun 24, 2016 Deann Doolittle rated it really liked it
I loved the way this book was written. Interesting to read into the lives of other people. Sad the way some things turned out, but love Edgar Allen Poe as an author.
Jan 28, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Although I'm not quite sure how accurate the relationship between these two poets is, I especially enjoyed being swept into the world of the "ten-percenters," historic NYC's upper eschelon. Poe--as both a writer and a man--is fascinating, complex. The other main character, a woman poet, is also extraordinary. Note: the research must have delved deep since the writer includes actual poems he unearthed written by Fanny Osgood.
Kristy Dybala
Jan 23, 2011 Kristy Dybala rated it liked it
Interesting fictionalized take on Poe's hard-scrabble life, and his (probable) illicit romance with a fellow poet. I especially enjoyed the author's folding in actual poems, and the timing of their publication, into the plot of the story. Interesting factoid from the afterword: Poe earned ~$600 from his writing in his entire lifetime. If a new manuscript were to surface today, it would be worth millions...
May 12, 2011 Keith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book!! It's about Edgar Allen Poe and includes details about his life and loves and the life of the middle 19th century america...I don't want to say too much so I won't spoil it. But, if you are interested at all in Edgar Allen Poe then this is a book for you!!! I was kinda sad it ended so soon, but then again it's a nice price to pay for being such a great book!!
Apr 04, 2008 Dawnielle rated it did not like it
I actually didn't finish this book. Read this for by work book club, and it wasn't very good. I had hopes for this one, but was disappointed. The descriptions of 19th-century New York were excellent, but the rest of it was laborious and bland.
Apr 05, 2011 Heidi rated it liked it
Fictionalized account of a real-life relationship between E.A. Poe and Fanny Osgood--a poet in the 19c. It gave insight into his life, which I enjoyed. But it doesn't end well--how could it with Poe as a central character?
Ms W
Oct 18, 2016 Ms W rated it it was ok
MsW: I love a well written historical fiction tale, and have always been fascinated by Poe's stories and bio...but this one was really slow, so sorry to say, had to put it down 50 or so pages in...
Jun 21, 2012 Maria rated it it was amazing
Very interesting insight into an author who I knew almost nothing about. Intriguing how some of the greatest talents of all time were so unable to function outside of their craft.
Jenny Williamson
Oct 21, 2009 Jenny Williamson rated it it was ok
I have always loved Poe's work and wanted a taste of his life. His life was sad and bitter being tied to alcoholism and unfulfilled plans. I didn't love the writing, found it stiff.
Rea Redd
Jan 29, 2016 Rea Redd rated it really liked it
Enjoyable study of Poe and his coterie. Lots of interesting background details.
Nov 29, 2013 Gidiot rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
He's got it in for Poe. Very disappointing.
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