Raymond Chandler (1888–1959)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch12

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Raymond Chandler (1888–1959), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch12

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) - categorized as a mystery writer, albeit one of the best practitioners of the genre;
  • Blackmailers Don't Shoot,” accepted by a leading magazine - of the genre, Black Mask, in 1933;
  • Chandler's famous private eye, Philip Marlowe - not making an appearance, until the first of his novels;
  • Chandler, worked on his The High Window (1942) and The Lady in the Lake (1943) - both at the same time;
  • Marlowe, himself - being always scrupulous about money;
  • The Lady in the Lake, the more successful of the two - becoming Chandler's best-selling novel up to that point;
  • The High Window and The Lady in the Lake - Chandler, turning out pulp fiction short stories supplementing his income;
  • film work, delaying Chandler's plans - for his next novel, publishing his essay “The Simple Art of Murder” in the Atlantic Monthly;
  • film version of The Big Sleep, reaching cinemas in 1946 - screenplay co-written by William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett;
  • Chandler's periods of depression, increasing - along with heavy drinking, and little serious writing


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography