Quotes from “Mrs. Poe” by Lynn Cullen

I just read Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen, a historical fiction novel about Edgar Allan Poe and his alleged affair with the poet Frances Osgood. It is set in 1840s, high literary society, New York City. There were a lot of really awesome quotes from the book that I wanted to share! 

Enjoy! =)

“The stench of rotting sea creatures commingled with sweet scent of perfumes, as did the spicy odor of unwashed human flesh and the aroma of baking pies.”
– about downtown Manhattan; still pretty accurate in 2013

“The unspoken truth was that New Yorkers considered everyone in the world to be just a tad – well, more than a tad, a lot more than a tad – old-fashioned, compared to themselves.”

“Maybe we all have the ability to perceive another’s soul, and do so every day, only we take it for granted and don’t even know when we’re doing it. It’s called knowing someone’s ‘character’ or ‘personality’.” 

“If by a soul one means the creature who lives within each of us, a creature born loving, born joyful, but who with each worldly blow shrinks more deeply into its shell until at last, the poor desiccated thing is unrecognizable even to its own self, yes. I do [believe there is a soul]”

“Our soul is as much a part of us as our hand or our voice yet we are terrified to acknowledge it. Why is that?”

“It is as if producing a creative work tears a piece from your soul. When it is ripped completely free of you, the wound must bleed for a while. How similar it is to letting go of a dream, your hope, or your heart’s desire. You must open up and let it drain.”

“Pay attention to fate. It will always have the last word.”

“I admire any wild thing that won’t be ruled by man.”

“Americans are being poisoned all in the name of profit, producing a weak-minded race of people who are given to lust and desire.”

-“How many people have ruined their lives by giving into their desires?”
-“You’ll excuse me, but I cannot agree. Many people have improved their lives by following their desires.”

“Desire inspires us to be our very best.”

“Tell me, who is behind a great woman? That’s right. No one. She has to get there by herself.”

“Mid-May in New York: the season for foolishness.”

“Is their a creature more unstable than a woman made mad by desire?”

“It is my belief that marriage is made holy by two souls in communion, not by the order of the law.”

“What if women don’t want to control men’s desires? What if women have their own? Why must women always deny their desires? Why must men always deny theirs? It is unnatural to do so.” 

“Don’t fall in love with a poet. All they love is their words.” 

“Madness is as a drop of ink in water. It sends sly tendrils from the afflicted person into everyone around until all are shaded in black. Soon one does not know who is mad and who is not.”

“Need is the mother of creation.”

“Wedded bliss is a tale made up to keep the species going.”

“Why are we doomed to crave most that which we cannot have?”

“Fortunate is the person who can succeed in extracting honey from such a flower as this life, whose root and every petal is bitterness.”

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but loving you isn’t one of them.” 

Which one is your favorite? 

Such a good read! I definitely recommend.