Thursday, May 3, 2018

Buoyed in Boston: On the Trail of...Murder, Naturally!

my last day in Boston
 After the Edgars I was able to take a trip to Boston for a few days, to see an old friend and his wonderful spouse, whom I met for the first time.  I was taken around Boston, where I made a haul at Commonwealth Books, as well as Providence and Fall River, Rhode Island. 

In Fall River I naturally wanted to see the Lizzie Borden house, which I did, though I got there too late for a tour. I also saw the house of the wife of a mystery writer we are reprinting this year, who lived about a two minutes' walk from the Borden house.  I also saw Maplecroft, the more elegant house on the hill where Lizzie, newly acquitted of axing her father and stepmother and flush with their cash, went to live with her sister. 

In Providence I saw some vintage Lovecraftiana (places associated with local horror writer HP Lovecraft) and numerous beautiful locations on College Hill. 

Lovecraft bust at the Providence Atheneum
in front of the mystery section
I can't help wondering if Murder Among the Angells, by Roger Scarlett (companions Dorothy Blair and Evelyn Page, who lived in Boston at the time of its writing), is an allusion to Lovecraft, who was born and lived most of his life at Angell Street. Both detective fiction and Lovcraft's horror fiction were ridiculed by that froggish croaking aesthetic scold Edmund Wilson, who wrote of the latter's work: "The only real horror in most of these fictions is the horror of bad art and bad taste."  Oh, Edmund, so cutting and unkind!

However, the most important thing, from my perspective as a researcher and writer, was getting to look at the Hugh Wheeler archive at Boston University. 

Hugh Wheeler, as devoted readers of this blog likely know, was one-half--with his twenty-year companion Richard Wilson Webb--the writing team of Patrick Quentin, Jonathan Stagge and Q. Patrick (the latter pen name had other people involved in early stages as well). I found quite a bit of riveting new detail on the writers, confirming all my suppositions (and that's always nice), as I will discuss a bit in a later post and more, much more, in depth in a forthcoming book.  Some more trip pics coming too!

Striking up a new acquaintance in Providence

1 comment:

  1. Very much looking forward to your learning about Q Patrick et al