Mencken and Sara: A Life in Letters: The Private Correspondence of H.L. Mencken and Sara Haardt

H. L. Mencken, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $22.95 (551p) ISBN 978-0-07-041505-8
When he met Sara Haardt in 1923, H. L. Mencken, ""The Bad Boy from Baltimore,"" was 42, the best-known journalist, editor and critic in America, renowned for his ""toughness"" and a confirmed bachelor. She was 24, an Alabama writer at the start of her career. The hundreds of letters in this volume, mostly from Mencken, chronicle a love story that evolves from a master-pupil relationship to warmth and passionate love, revealing a kind, considerate and courtly Mencken that his public rarely saw. The couple married in 1930, and Haardt died from tuberculosis in 1935. Rodgers, a Mencken scholar, puts the relationship in perspective in a long, largely biographical introduction. There's a certain sameness to the letters, and a slightly disappointing lack of intellectual discussion. These are the letters of two busy writers intensely solicitous of each other and agreeing on most things. Photos. 15,000 first printing; 15,000 ad/promo. (January 19)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Genre: Nonfiction
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