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Publisher's Summary

A writer and his demons. A woman and her desires. A wife and her revenge . . .

Inspired by literature's most haunting love triangle, award-winning author Lynn Cullen delivers a pitch-perfect rendering of Edgar Allan Poe, his mistress's tantalizing confession, and his wife's frightening obsession . . . in this "intelligent, sexy, and utterly addictive" (M. J. Rose) new masterpiece of historical fiction.

1845: New York City is a sprawling warren of gaslit streets and crowded avenues, bustling with new immigrants and old money, optimism and opportunity, poverty and crime. Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" is all the rage - the success of which a struggling poet like Frances Osgood can only dream. As a mother trying to support two young children after her husband's cruel betrayal, Frances jumps at the chance to meet the illustrious Mr. Poe at a small literary gathering, if only to help her fledgling career. Although not a great fan of Poe's writing, she is nonetheless overwhelmed by his magnetic presence - and the surprising revelation that he admires her work.

What follows is a flirtation, then a seduction, then an illicit affair . . . and with each clandestine encounter, Frances finds herself falling slowly and inexorably under the spell of her mysterious, complicated lover. But when Edgar's frail wife Virginia insists on befriending Frances as well, the relationship becomes as dark and twisted as one of Poe's tales. And like those gothic heroines whose fates are forever sealed, Frances begins to fear that deceiving Mrs. Poe may be as impossible as cheating death itself. . . .

©2013 Lynn Cullen (P)2013 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Very Enjoyable Historical Glimpse of NYC Literati

This book offers great character depictions of the "Who's Who" in 1840s and 50's New York and an enticing story with macabre elements that kept me going to see how it all ended. The portrayals of the characters is very good and the cadence of the reading is just right. It had a few "Wuthering Heights " over the top moments but it was a very enjoyable read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Harriet
  • Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
  • 12-30-14

Great surprise ending!

This book started slow for me. However, once you get a few chapters in you will become hooked!
I also found the information regarding women's rights and the superiority of men at the time to be very interesting and informative. The author did a good job on research.
Don't get the idea that this is a book about women's rights. It is not.
It is a love story, drama, and thriller all wrapped up into one.

As a fan of Edgar Allen Poe's writings, I was surprised to find out that what I always believed true about his life was not. The epilogue clarifies many misconceptions that I had.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Mr. Poe

Although this historical fiction book is titled, Mrs. Poe, it is really more about Mr. Poe, and his involvement with Mrs. Osgood, another poet. Somewhat tedious at time but still an interesting look at the period.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 02-03-14

Catchy Title, but know what you are getting

First of all, this is Poe, so it is suspenseful, and that was exactly as it should be. But for that reason, it is hard to review this without giving anything away.

So, generically I will say I am glad I read it, I did learn quite a bit about Poe and some about Mrs. Poe, and I learned even more about Fanny Osgood. Well researched and written from a historical standpoint, and the number of famous literary persons who appear in the book is pretty astounding. Some romantic scenes felt trite, but didn't ruin the book.

Bottom line: There is plenty to discuss -- with someone who has read the book. If you are into Poe, you will enjoy this, but I just know that the title is a gimmick.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great narration for insomniacs.

What would have made Mrs. Poe better?

a better narrator and a quicker plot.

Would you be willing to try another book from Lynn Cullen? Why or why not?

Probably not.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Monotone, in my opinion. But it definitely led me to sleep right away!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Edgar A. Poe and Frances Osgood definitely had a interesting relationship. Seeing it from such a perspective made me intrigued more about the real persons that I did some research of both on my own.

Any additional comments?

I actually bought the hard copy to read on my own. I just couldnt stand the narration.

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  • P. Fowler
  • Knoxville, TN United States
  • 10-02-16

Powerful...

Well read, well acted, and certainly food for thought. Is the Poe I have always been taught about really the Poe that was? Now, after reading this book and the author's findings, I am not so sure.

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Ok book

Good book. Not great book. Struggled to finish, got bogged down in places. Not really memorable.

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Times and troubles

This book is about the lover of Edgar Poe and told from her point of view.

What I enjoyed most, however, were the details of the times and places in which Edgar Allen Poe and Franny lived, the intersections of the authors who also lived and visited in New York, and the glimpse into marriage and health issues.

I liked the narrator, Eliza Foss.

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  • Lois
  • Centennial, CO, United States
  • 04-03-16

Didn't know!

Learn more about the man & his time! Liked the book but didn't love it! But do love the man's verse!

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Read if You Love A Great Book

Amazing story that has historic detail making it even better. This book is refreshing because it's complex and elegant.