March 9, 2014

Chandler’s second career was the one that stuck

The biography of Raymond Chandler, progenitor of the hard-boiled detective story, reveals a well-educated and cosmopolitan man. He was born in Chicago in 1888. His parents’ marriage soon fractured, and his Anglo-Irish mother, Florence, moved to Ireland and then England with her son. Chandler attended Dulwich College in London and studied languages in Paris and Germany; in his 20s he returned to the United States. He survived trench warfare in World War I as part of a Canadian unit, then returned to California. There he met and married the artistic Cissy Pascal, his great love and 18 years his senior.

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