The fictitious affair…

Mrs. PoeMrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the Author’s Notes in the back. Cullen doesn’t take herself too seriously and says it like it is.
This is a work of fiction born from her imagination with the added help of facts and gossip.
What if Poe and Osgood really were smitten by lust and forced to endure their own marital woes because the society would never have allowed them to be together? Is it really that unfathomable when you take their published love poems to each other into consideration. Then again perhaps that was just a ploy to sell papers. Any kind of gossip can become face or a myth if repeated often enough. In the end the actual truth is forgotten.
Poe does suffer with the most wretched of reputations. Griswold did commit himself to assassinating Poe’s character on a large scale and the fact that Poe’s mother-in-law left his estate to his purported enemy suggests that she wanted Poe to suffer even in death.
When it comes to his character I would consider his work but one shouldn’t let it form to strong an opinion about the man. How dark and twisted his mind seemed to be. His obsession with death, pain and torture. Then again he did spend many years watching his wife die slowly and painfully. He was obviously a man tormented by many demons and those demons came alive in his work.
What I liked most about this fictitious account was the wife and her character. Throughout the book the reader is never quite sure whether Virginia is a psychopath or if she shares a sadistic or masochistic relationship with Poe. Perhaps it was a combination of two dark minds that helped create the morbid horror filled stories.
It is infuriating to read how women were treated in that era. Effectively they were nothing more than part of their husbands property. No rights and no permission to claim anything for themselves. Thwarted and ignored by society if they do dare and stand up for themselves.
Overall it was a fun read even if the dialogues were often quite awkward and over-dramatic.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

View all my reviews


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