Required Reading

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen

 I have read a lot of Edgar Allan Poe but little or nothing about Edgar Allan Poe.   Poe's reputation was trashed by a rival and that nonsense has carried through for years and years.   This book addresses the life of Poe in a much more sympathetic manner.

Frances Osgood was the muse that drove Poe, possibly drove him mad.   She is portrayed as emotionally torn and faced with overwhelming circumstances based primarily on the social mores of the time.  

Ms. Cullen does an excellent job with showing the fragility of the marital institution in the mid-1800s.   Growing up in the era of bra burning and strong women it is sobering to think that over 50% of the population was relegated to second class citizenry.  Actually if you consider slavery the number of second class citizens was substantially higher than 50%. 

This story was somewhat tedious as was the life of Poe.   The emotional angst was suffocating.   I'm not much for the romantic novel but the historic aspect of this book as well as the cameos of so many famous literary figures.

I recommend it.

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

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