Mrs. Poe – Book Review


Mrs. Poe
Author – Lynn Cullen
Published October, 2013
352 pages
Hardcover, paperback, kindle, audio


Book Description from Goodreads

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 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.


My Thoughts

I picked this book because I was curious about the wife of Edgar Allen Poe and I love the time
period, pre-civil war, which this book is set in. This book however deals more with the affair that Poe had with Frances Osgood than it does with his wife.

I struggled with the first 40% of the book and it’s worn out cliches. It wasn’t until I did a little
research and discovered there actually was a mistress named Frances Osgood that the book picked up for me and I became more interested. There was an incredible amount of research done.

In addition to the dark tale of Mrs. Poe, the book includes one of Osgood’s poems, an author’s note that gives grim details to what happened in real life to the main characters and a section Reading Group Guide.

I would recommend it to fans of Poe because it shows a more gentlemanly person than other biographers have portrayed. If you are just looking for a historical romance, there are more positive books out there.

Other books by Lynn Cullen
The Creation of Eve, 2010 480 pages
Reign of Madness, 2011, 449 pages
I am Rembrandt’s Daughter, 2011, 320 pages
Moi and Marie Antoinette, 2006, 32 pages
The Mightiest Heart, 1998, 32 pages
Little Scragglly Hair: A Dog on Noah’s Art, 2003, 32 pages
The Backyard Ghost, 2000, 164 pages
Nelly in the Wilderness, 2002, 192 pages
Godiva, 2001, 32 pages
The Three Lives of Harris Harper, 1996, 165 pages
Meeting the Make-Out King, 1994, 131 pages
Ready, Set–Regina!, 1996
Regina Calhoun East Dog Food, 1997, 96 pages
The Assignment, 2000
Stink Bomb, 1998, 128 pages


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