Tuesday, September 24, 2013

MRS. POE by Lynn Cullen: ARC #Review

Mrs. Poe
Author: Lynn Cullen
Edition: hardcover, 336 pages
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster)
Genre: historical fiction, romance, New York, Edgar Allan Poe
Rating : 5 out of 5 stars
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The relationship between some of the world's greatest poets and their muses (Dante and Beatrice, Cervantes and Dulcinea, Wordsworth and Lucy, Keats and Fanny) will remain one of history's most enduring mysteries: in broad daylight or in scandalous clandestinity, those enamourments inspired immortal verses while shrouded in an aura of legend. The alleged affair between Edgar Allan Poe and Fanny Osgood is probably one of the most haunting and gossiped-about literary 'friendships': hardly supported by facts, we can safely say it was just a rumor, but an extremely fascinating one. It involves, in fact, the most innovative and demonized literary figure of the 19th century, a po├Ęte maudit whose real life was darker than his imaginative worlds. And absolutely fascinating is Lynn Cullen's fictional rendering of Poe and Osgood's rumored liason: as a fanatic of historical fiction and long time admirer of the Bostonian's contribution to the Romantic Movement, I fell under the spell of Cullen's exquisite imagination and appreciated every single facet of this gemstone, from the accurate and evocative description of a pre-Civil War New York and its literary salons to the magnetic and stark characterization of Poe. Cullen's luminous and eloquent prose is remarkable, absorbing and convincing the intimate warmth of the narrating voice. Mrs. Poe was a riveting read. I loved it. 

***ARC e-book provided by the publisher via NetGalley in return of an unbiased and honest opinion.

An extended review of Mrs. Poe will be available on this site upon publication (October 1). In the meantime, enjoy this blurb:

"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 her husband. As Frances tries to sell her work, she finds that editors are only interested in writing similar to that of the new renegade literary sensation Edgar Allan Poe, whose poem, “The Raven” has struck a public nerve.

She meets the handsome and mysterious Poe at a literary party, and the two have an immediate connection. Poe wants Frances to meet with his wife since she claims to be an admirer of her poems, and Frances is curious to see the woman whom Edgar married.

As Frances spends more and more time with the intriguing couple, her intense attraction for Edgar brings her into dangerous territory. And Mrs. Poe, who acts like an innocent child, is actually more manipulative and threatening than she appears. As Frances and Edgar’s passionate affair escalates, Frances must decide whether she can walk away before it’s too late...

Set amidst the fascinating world of New York’s literati, this smart and sexy novel offers a unique view into the life of one of history’s most unforgettable literary figures."



  1. I've read a couple historical fiction novels based on the lives of writers. This one sounds fascinating. Poe must have been quite intriguing in real life. I'm sure the author had fun imagining what his life was like in this book. Definitely going on my TBR list.

    1. I love when modern authors take the risk and fantasize about these legendary figures. This one turned out really well.

  2. Yet another must read due to a Mina Review! Even the cover of this book draws me in! Brilliant as always Mina.

  3. Thank you, Maryellen! I cannot resist the lure of the past and the charm of a legend...I had to read this and I loved it.