Monday, June 9, 2014

". . . Being of Sound Mind . . ."

ANCIENT, CURIOUS AND FAMOUS WILLS.
By Virgil M. Harris (1862-1923).
Little, Brown, and Co.
1911. 472 pages. $4.00
Chapter III: "Wills in Fiction and Poetry."
Online HERE and HERE.
What would detective story writers do without the last will and testament? As The Green Bag, a rather unserious legal journal (1889-1914) sagely observed, they'd be nowhere:
Where would the novelist of the period be without the disinheriting will, the manipulated will, the secreted will, and all kinds of wills in every style of obliteration and in every stage of destruction?
Why, he would be nearly as bereft of staple stock in trade as if he had lost the lovelorn maiden, the tender-hearted soldier, or the grand old hall of our ancestors.
Even writers of a higher grade find it convenient to make use of such machinery to help make the story go. — Quoted in Virgil M. Harris, ANCIENT, CURIOUS AND FAMOUS WILLS, page 51.
Reviews of this book are HERE (page 268) and HERE (page 214).

Categories: Detective fiction, Crime nonfiction

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