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Mrs. Poe

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  10,499 ratings  ·  1,768 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
...more
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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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  10,499 ratings  ·  1,768 reviews


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Arah-Lynda
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Breathless

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
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Erin
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

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
...more
Ann Sloan
Jul 19, 2013 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
...more
Undine
Aug 28, 2013 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
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Erika Robuck
Jun 03, 2013 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
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Jane
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Connie G
Lynn Cullen introduces us to the literati of New York City in 1845 in her novel "Mrs Poe". The poet Frances Osgood is a young mother raising two children while her philandering husband is off in another city. She meets Edgar Allan Poe in a literary salon. It's the start of a love triangle involving Frances, Poe, and his wife Virginia who is ill with consumption. When Frances and Poe write flirtatious love poems to each other in a literary journal under assumed names, rumors start about their rel ...more
Sara
May 08, 2016 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
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Diane S ☔
May 20, 2013 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
...more
Laura
Apr 26, 2014 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!!! ...more
Orsolya
May 13, 2013 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
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Judy
Nov 08, 2013 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
Stephanie
Jul 12, 2013 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
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'v
...more
Donna
Apr 30, 2014 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
...more
Gary
Oct 23, 2013 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
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Lynn Cullen
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexw
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating historical fiction account of Poe having a child with another woman and who tries to kill that woman through out the book. A must read for us Poe aficionados.
AmberBug com*
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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C.W.
Nov 29, 2014 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
Stefani
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.
...more
Stephanie
Jun 17, 2014 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
...more
Heather Fineisen
May 30, 2013 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
Jessica Manuel
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best part of this book was imagining so many 19th Century authors mingling at weekly salons. Herman Melville bores the crowd with his long-winded conversation, Nathaniel Hawthorne is somewhat unknown for having written, "The Scarlett-whatever." The historical and literary context made it a fun read. The story itself felt a little weak at times, but still worth it. Edgar Allan Poe was believable as a character, mostly.
Erica
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
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Elizabeth Drake
Sep 13, 2013 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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Caroline
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
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Julie
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen is a 2013 Gallery Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Everyone is aware of the tragic story of Virginia Poe who died at twenty-four of consumption. (TB) In our minds we feel nothing but complete sadness at the loss of life at such a young age. Most of us are also aware of Edgar Allen Poe's life story which was drenched in death and sorrow. Rumors did surface that "Eddie" was having an affair
...more
Danielle
Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews

Opening with several of Poe’s poems, To F--, To F——s S. O——d, and A Valentine, Lynn Cullen certainly makes a case that Edgar Allen Poe and Frances Osgood indeed had a romantic affair in the summer of 1845. Unfortunately, what I don’t think the author makes a case for is why.

Frances Osgood is a writer of some success, particularly with children’s stories and poems about flowers. Unfortunately, none of that seems to be selling at the beginnin
...more
Shane
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
“It’s a mean world, Mrs. Osgood,” says Phineas Barnum (of Barnum & Bailey fame), one of the many famous personalities that dot this narrative. “Mean and spiteful.” He should have added, “And everyone dies young of tuberculosis.” And so we enter a fictional recreation of the love affair between Frances (Fanny) Osgood, a reputed but struggling poet and America’s Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, in mid-19th century New York City.

Fanny is struggling to get her work published while being a single mother
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