In the historical fiction novel Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen the success of Edgar Allan Poe’s has poet Frances Osgood anticipating the chance to meet the famous poet. He is an ominous, knotty man who discovers his love for Frances. They both can sense the connection between them but they are both married, this doesn’t stop Mr. Poe from going after her. People start to question the connection between them and Mrs. Poe seems to also catch on. Mrs. Poe is ill but still capable of showing her dark side, Frances fears deceiving Mrs. Poe may be impossible because of her fierce nature.
In Mrs.Poe Frances lives in New York City with a close friend named Eliza. Frances is a poet with very little income and hopes to be able to support her family. Frances Osgood is trying to provide for her daughters after her scoundrel of a husband runs off with one of his many mistresses. She is inspired by a poet named Edgar Allan Poe who wrote the famous poem ‘The Raven’. She goes to a gathering to meet Mr. Poe who seems to be a very mysterious man. His child like wife, Mrs. Poe is also there and appears almost childlike. She gets a chance to talk to him but makes a fool of herself by telling him she writes children stories and her adult books are about flowers. She decides not to go to Mr. Poe’s next gathering because of her last meet with him. A few days later she meets with a friend who tells her
As the story progresses she discovers her love and desire for Mr. Poe. Mr. Poe also feels the connection between the two of them and they soon want to be with each other. She knows divorcing her husband would only make her an outcast but she doesn’t care. The only problem is Mr. Poe seems to not agree with the idea of leaving his wife. Frances doesn’t understand why she should have to deal with this. Soon people start to talk about the connection between Mr. Poe and herself. Mrs. Poe seems to be very interested in her and she knows it will be hard to keep the relationship going with Mrs. Poe watching her every move.
Lynn Cullen did an excellent job writing this story and keeping the suspense. With dull moments came exciting moments followed with breath taking ones. Putting this book down is almost as impossible as deceiving Mrs. Poe! Which was proven to be very difficult. I found Mrs. Poe a much layered read, full of atmosphere, tension, passion and mystery. Cullen does an excellent job weaving bits of history into her own creation about the relationship between Edgar, his wife Virginia, and the poet Frances Osgood. It's never overly romantic but you get the sense of true affection. She created such a vivid world, and her words are almost as poetic as Frances and Edgar's.
Although I enjoyed reading Mrs. Poe a few aspects of the book weren’t as enjoyable. For example, there is no real evidence that Samuel, Frances husband was ever unfaithful. The only evidence is Frances own speculations. Mrs. Poe is a bit repetitive and the events quickly loose meaning. A few plot twist do make the book worth reading. I also believe the story went a bit slow paced. The main character did spice things up a bit and made this an interning story.
Mrs. Poe had good moments and bad moments but Cullen did a wonderful job making the good moments stand out. It took me on an interesting adventure through time with very suspenseful moments. I would give this novel a 4 out of 5 stars and I cannot wait to read more of Cullen’s books.
Cullen did a good job bringing 1845 back to life. The book took place in New York and that was where Edgar Poe Allen and his wife lived during this time. The characters in Cullen’s book also lived in New York. About half of her characters were based on a person who lived around this time period. She did add in a few fictional aspects to her characters but it made the book more relatable and interesting. One of the few things I noticed was the way the way Cullen wrote Mr. Poe’s wife Virginia, she made her more weak and frail then what I believed her to be. I believe the amount of historical details was just enough to make the book enjoyable.
Short informational piece
“The play commenced. It was a fair enough comedy. The woman who played the silly wife lusting after status drew all the appropriate laughs, and the actor playing her cringing husband, who nearly ruined himself trying to appease her, commanded chuckles of sympathy. But as I sat there in the dark, I could feel Mrs. Poe spirits still soaring from the admiration she had garnered and disturbingly, if she wanted me to recognized her possession of her husband, she had succeeded.”
Poe had begun connecting with Frances Osgood, a married poet. Virginia was aware of the friendship and might even have encouraged it. She often invited Osgood to visit them at home, believing that she could help Poe with his drinking problem and he was never drunk in Osgood's presence. In the book Mrs. Poe still invites her to their home but has a suspicion they are more than friends. She tries to show her possession of her husband threw little acts like this. In reality there in no evidence that supports Frances and Poe actually were in love and so Mrs. Poe had no problem with them being friends.
Dear Mr. Poe,
As much as it hurts me to admit it I do have feelings for you. I feel our spirits reaching out to each other trying to connect the two of us. I know it will be hard to be together but with true love we can work it out. If you truly feel the same way you will understand what must be done. The connection between us it’s undeniable and I hope you realized that by now. If you wish for “us” to continue you must divorce your wife and tell her about our connection.
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