Edgar Allan Poe was famous for his dark yet brilliant literature and his controversial life, but what about the women in his life? Who were they? What were they like? Married to a sickly child bride and deeply in love with a fellow writer, Poe was at the center of one truly fascinating love triangle. In "Mrs. Poe" by Lynn Cullen, readers learn about the two women in Poe's life: the beautiful and talented writer, Frances Osgood and his young and fragile wife, Virginia Poe.
Seen through the eyes of Frances "Fanny" Osgood, the novel explores Frances' love for Poe and her relationship with the author and his wife. Abandoned by her artist husband and struggling to raise their two daughters, Frances desperately tries to make money as a writer and becomes a fixture at all the events that the literary circles in New York City host. It is there that Poe and Frances meet. They immediately develop a connection between one another and the dark and mysterious Poe lets down his guard little by little and declares his love and passion for his soul mate Frances. Through her relationship with Poe, Frances enters the life of his young wife, Virginia. Virginia is Poe's first cousin, much younger than him, and dying of tuberculosis. Frances and Virginia develop an odd relationship with Virginia seemingly admiring Frances, but as Poe and Frances become more and more in love and desperate to be with another, Virginia turns that admiration of Frances to viciousness creating a complex and dangerous love triangle. Set in the mid 1840's in New York City with appearances from well-known literary figures, "Mrs. Poe" is a look at Edgar Allan Poe, beyond his magnificent works. It is a look at the man who was protective of his young wife, but deeply in love with his soul mate and the two women that were drawn to Poe like a moth is drawn to a flame.
"Mrs. Poe" is an absolutely brilliant novel. Readers will immediately feel a connection to Frances Osgood because Cullen brings her absolutely to life. You'll feel her deep love for Poe, her guilt at their affair, and her love for her children and writing. She's a vibrant character leaving you understanding why Poe felt so connected to her and deeply in love with her. Frances is a complex and interesting. She's not perfect, but you'll understand her.
Cullen's Edgar Allan Poe is absolutely delicious. Sarcastic, dark, brooding, and surprisingly romantic, it is no wonder that women threw themselves at Poe and were so fascinated by him. Whether he is brooding over his latest work or stealing passionate kisses with Frances in dark corners, you'll long to be the muse of Poe as well. Poe absolutely comes to life in Cullen's novel.
Another fascinating portrayal in the novel is Virginia Poe. She's childlike and sickly, but every so often you will see the vicious and temperamental side of Mrs. Poe come out leaving you surprised and horrified. She goes from looking at Poe in awe and wonderment to shooting nasty comments and mean looks to Frances. She's a fascinating and surprisingly dark character despite her childlike innocence.
The novel is full of rich and fascinating literary figures of the time period including Poe's rival Reverend Rufus Griswold. You'll feel as if you stepped back in time to New York City in the mid 1800's and were a member of the elite literary circles.
"Mrs. Poe" is a wonderful and fascinating novel. Poe is a well-known writer and historical figure, but Cullen brings him even more to life in this amazing novel. "Mrs. Poe" is receiving critical acclaim and praise right now and it is richly deserved. "Mrs. Poe" is truly one of the best historical fiction novels of 2013 and possibly ever.
To purchase "Mrs. Poe": http://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Poe-Lynn-Cullen/dp/1476702918
For more information on Lynn Cullen: http://lynncullen.com/