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American Mystery Classics: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

[ Edited ]

American Mystery Classics is a new feature at Barnes & Noble's Mystery Forum, created at your request. The last week of every month we'll be featuring a different author. 

 

This month, we're focusing on ERLE STANLEY GARDNER, creator of Perry Mason and author of other mysteries, some written as A.A. Fair.

 

A discussion of Erle Stanley Gardner has already started over on the thread announcing this new feature. Check it out here: 

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/American-Mystery-Classics/m-p/1233052/highlight/false...

 

 

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Re: American Mystery Classics: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

[ Edited ]

There's a whole website dedicated to Erle Stanley Gardner here:

 

http://www.erlestanleygardner.com/

 

The website notes:

 

Featuring the Erle Stanley Gardner--Raymond Burr Library & Museum: The World's Most Significant Archive of Personal and Professional Papers, Scripts, Photographs, Costumes, Mementos and Memorabilia in private hands, from the man who created Perry Mason  and Mr. Perry Mason, himself. 

 

The Erle Stanley Gardner Museum will shortly be open at 748 E. Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001 in the Bank of Books building.

 


 

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Re: American Mystery Classics: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

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Re: American Mystery Classics: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

 

 

More from the museum website: http://www.erlestanleygardner.com/

 

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Re: American Mystery Classics: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

Some Erle Stanley Gardner links:

 

There's a school named after him: 

http://www.tvhsi.com/schools/Stanley_Gardner_Middle_School.htm

 

Raymond Burr Vineyards: http://www.raymondburrvineyards.com/

 

Here's the first part of an article that appeared here: 

http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/gardner.html

 

Erle Stanley Gardner
(1889-1970; also wrote as A.A. Fair, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J. Kenney, Charles M. Green

 

Although many critics felt that Erle Stanley Gardner was not a very good novelist (Rex Stout, for example, once claimed that the Perry Mason books weren't even novels!), Gardner was one of the best selling writers of all times, and certainly one of the best-selling mystery authors ever. He was best known for creating the world's most famous fictional lawyer, Perry Mason. If that were all he ever did, he'd probably still rank a bio on this site, given that Mason, in his earliest books, was little more than a private eye licensed to practise law. But he did more, much more...

Gardner was born in Massachusetts, but his father's job as a mining engineer took the family all over--sometimes as far as the Klondike. A bit of a roughneck as a lad, he was constantly getting into brawls. He once boasted he was kicked out of Indiana's Valparaiso university for "slugging a professor." He also participated and organized several illegal boxing matches. At this point, young Erle eventually decided that a little knowledge of the law might come in handy, so he landed a gig as a typist at an Oxnard, California law firm. He stuck around, picking up what legal knowledge he could, and three years later, without any formal training, he passed the bar in 1911, and began to practise law himself. The fledgling lawyer soon found himself gaining a rep among the Chinese and Mexican communities, with whom he developed some long-standing friendships. (To his credit, characters from these communities who appeared in his fiction were not the usual stereotypical villains so popular at the time, but actually appeared as real people, or at least as real as any of Gardner's characters ever were. Let's just say in-depth characterization wasn't his strong suit.)

Always on the eye to increase his income, Gardner abandoned the law for a short stint, working as a tire salesman, but soon realized he missed the law and returned, this time signing on with a Ventura, Californuia firm. About this time, he also began to write, forcing himself to churn out four thousand words a night. It took two years, but he made his first sale to the pulps. It wouldn't be the last.

The fact is, before he'd even written a single novel, Gardner was one of America's most successful writers. He was truly the king of the pulps, writing millions and millions of words, cranking out a steady barrage of characters in everything from Black Mask to Argosy. Most of his stories dealt with one side or the other of the law (and often, both). A contemporary of Carroll John Daly andDashiell Hammett, Gardner had the longest run of any author in Black Mask, and wrote more stories for the magazine (more than a few under pseudonyms) than any other author. In fact, he probably created more characters, particularly continuing characters, for the magazine than any one else. Asked once why he wrote, Gardner confessed that "I write to make money, and I write to give the reader sheer fun." He succeeded on both counts. He favoured action and dialogue over characterization or overly-complicated plots, and tended to stress "speed, situation and suspense." It was just what the pulps wanted.

And although his greatesr creation, Mason , never appeared in its pages, in the early 1930s Black Mask published a string of six short stories starring crusading defense lawyer Ken Corning who fought against injustice in a corrupt city. In many ways, Corning served as a rough template for Mason.


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Continued from: http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/gardner.html

 

He created at least three dozen characters for the pulps alone. Here they are, and the pulps they mostly appeared in:

  • Sheriff Billy Bales (Clues)
  • Jerry Bane (another name for Paul PryArgosy)
  • Dave Barker
  • Black Barr (Western gunslinger/detective, aka "Fate's Executioner)
  • Dred Bart
  • Dudley Bell (All Detective)
  • Bob Crowder
  • Dick Bentley (Dime Detective)
  • Jax Bowman (Argosy)
  • Major Copley Brane (Argosy; a freelance diplomat)
  • Perry Burke (Clues)
  • Ken Corning (slick attorney who predated Mason; Black Mask)
  • Bob Crowder (All Detective)
  • Speed Dash, The Human Fly
  • Senor Arnaz de Lobo (soldier of fortune)
  • Double Decker (Detective Story)
  • Fong Dei
  • Go Get 'Em Garver (Dime Detective)
  • Hard Rock Hogan
  • Ed Jenkins (con artist/thief, Black Mask)
  • Rex Kane (Detective Action Stories)
  • Jax Keen (Double Detective)
  • Barney Killigen (Clues)
  • Bob Larkin (adventurer-at-large and amateur juggler, whose only weapon is a pool cue)
  • Win Layton (This Week)
  • Lester Leith (gentleman con artist/thief, has his own butler, a "jauntyfigure of assured indifference.")
  • Señor Lobo (Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • The Man in the Silver Mask (Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • The Man Who Couldn't Forget, Mr. Manse (Detective Action Stories)
  • Fish Mouth McGinnis
  • Ed Migraine, the Headache
  • Sam Moraine (written under the pseudonym of Charles Kenny)
  • The Patent Leather Kid
  • Old Walrus (West and some other cowboy pulps)
  • El Paisano (he can see in the dark; Argosy)
  • The Patent Leather Kid (mostly Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • Paul Pry (con artist)
  • Steve Raney (Clues)
  • Rapp
  • Buck Riley
  • Snowy Shane (an unorthodox P.I.)
  • Dane Skarle
  • Small, Weston & Burke (or is it Smith, Weston & Burke? Dime Detective)
  • Pete Wennick (Black Mask)
  • Whispering Sands
  • Slicker Williams (an ex-convict who uses the tricks of crookery to rescue a damsel in distress)
  • Yee Dooey Wah
  • Bob Zane
  • Sidney Zoom (millionaire adventurer and his police dog; Detective Fiction Weekly)


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Continued from: 

http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/gardner.html

 

Gardner wrote for all kinds of pulps, not just Black Mask and Argosy, but also CluesAll DetectiveDime DetectiveDetective StoryDime DetectiveDetective Action Stories,Double DetectiveThis Week, Detective Fiction WeeklyWest and some other cowboy pulps). He also wrote for slicks such as Country GentlemanCosmopolitan and The Saturday Evening Post.

The last year that he wrote exclusively for the pulps, 1932, saw Gardner earning around 20,000 bucks, and that's at a few cents a word! Maybe not a fortune these days, but this was the Depression. To put it in perspective, those are Stephen King-like numbers.

In his pulp days, Gardner was notorious for killing off the final heavies with the last bullet in the hero's gun, which led to some editors teasing him about how all his good guys seemed to be such bad shots. Gardner's alleged explanation? "At three cents a word, every time I say 'Bang' in the story I get three cents. If you think I'm going to finish the gun battle while my hero still has fifteen cents worth of unexploded ammunition in his gun, you're nuts."

In 1933, Gardner unleashed his first novel, The Case of the Velvet Claws, which introduced hard-boiled attorney Perry Mason. But Gardner gradually softened the character, mostly to make him more palatable to the editors of Saturday Evening Post, a market he was eager to crack. From the early fifties on, many of the Mason novels were serialized or excerpted in the Post prior to book publication, a fact that no doubt contributed to the series success, though successful movies, radio shows, comic strips and a hit TV show certainly played their part as well.

The Mason series proved even more popular than his short fiction. So Gardner started to write novels. But Gardner, workaholic that he was, continued with his short fiction. Besides the long-running Mason seres, he wrote a series of novels featurng the memorably mismatched private eye team of Bertha Cool and Donald Lam, as well as novels featuring Doug Selby (District Attorney) and Sherriff Bill Eldon. Around this time, to keep up with demand, Garner chucked his typewriter for a bevy of six secretaries. He subsequently dictated everything!



UNDER OATH

  • "The popularity of Mason overshadows his other creations and that's a shame in many ways. Don't get me wrong. I am a sucker for the Mason novels. I just finished The Case of the Terrified Typist (1955) and could not stand any interruption as I neared the conclusion. Whatever his faults, Gardner is a master of pace and I find him compulsively readable....
    Even if Gardner had not created Perry Mason, he would be considered a giant of the 
    Black Mask "school" of writing. In fact, I think the bland, watered down last decade of Perry Masons did considerable damage to the writer's reputation."
    (Richard Moore)
    .


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Continued from: 

http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/gardner.html

 

SHORT STORIES

  • "The Shrieking Skeleton" (December 15, 1923, Black Mask; as Charles M. Green)
  • "The Serpent's Coils" (January 1, 1934, Black Mask; as Green)
  • "The Verdict" (February 1, 1934, Black Mask; as Green)
  • "A Fair Trial" (June 1924, Black Mask; no byline)
  • "Accomodatin' a Lady" (September 1924, Black Mask; Bob Larkin)
  • "Without No Reindeer" (December 1924, Black Mask; Bob Larkin)
  • "Beyond the Law" (September 1925; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Hard As Nails" (March 1925,; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Painless Extraction" May 1925, Black Mask; Bob Larkin)
  • "Not So Darn Bad" (June 1925; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Three O'Clock in the Morning" (July 1925; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Ham, Eggs and Coffee" (August 1925, Black Mask; Bob Larkin)
  • "The Girl Goes With Me" (November 1925, Black Mask; Black Barr)
  • "The Triple Cross" (December 1925; Ed Jenkins)
  • "According to Law" (January 1926; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Goin' Into Action" (February 1926, Black Mask; Bob Larkin)
  • "Register Rage" (April 1926; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Thisissosudden!" (May 1926; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Forget 'em All" (June 1926; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Laugh That Off" (September 1926; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Buzzard Bait" (October 1926, Black Mask; Black Barr)
  • "Money, Marble and Chalk" (November 1926, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Dead Men's Letters" (December 1926, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Whispering Sand" (January 1927, Black Mask; Black Barr)
  • "The Cat-Woman" (February 1927, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "This Way Out" " (March 1927, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Come and Get It" " (April 1927, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "In Full of Account" (May 1927, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Where the Buzzards Circle" (September 1927, Black Mask; Black Barr)
  • "The Wax Dragon" (November 1927, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Grinning Gods" (December 1927, Black Mask; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Yellow Shadows" (February 1928, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Whispering Feet" (March 1928, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Snow Bird" (April 1928, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Out of the Shadows" (May 1928, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Fangs of Fate" (August 1928, Black Mask; Black Barr)
  • "The Devil's Deputy" (September 1928, Black Mask; Black Barr)
  • "Curse of the Killers" (November 1928, Black Mask; Black Barr)
  • "Thec Next Stiff" (December 1928, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "One Crook to Another" (January 1929, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Bracelets for Two" (February 1929, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Painted Decoy" (February 23, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Hooking the Crooks" (March 1929, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "A Tip from Scuttle" (March 2, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Dummy Murder" (March 23, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "No Questions Asked" (April 1929, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Case of the Fugitive Corpse" (April 6, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Pay-off" (April 27, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "A Hot Tip" (May 11, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Scum of the Border" (June 1929, Black Mask; Bob Larkin)
  • "All the Way" (July 1929, Black Mask; Bob Larkin)
  • "A Peach of a Scheme" (July 20, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Spawn of the Night" (August 1929, Black Mask; Bob Larkin)
  • "Even Money" (August 3, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "It's a Pipe!" (August 10, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Faster than Forty" (August 31, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Hanging Friday" (September 1929, Black Mask; Bob Larkin)
  • "Double Shadows" (September 21, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Artistic Touch" (October 26, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Straight from the Shoulder" (October 1929, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Brass Tacks" (November 1929, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Lester Takes the Cake" (November 23, 1929, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Triple Treachery" (December 1929, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Double or Quits" (January 1930, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Doubtful Egg" (January 11, 1930, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Crime Crusher" (May 1930, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Both Ends Against the Middle" (May 3, 1930, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Purple Plume" (May 24, 1930, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Hell's Kettle" (June 1930, Black Mask; also 1985, The Black Mask BoysEd Jenkins)


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Short Stories, continued:

 

  • "Put It in Writing!" (June 7, 1930, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Big Shot" (July 1930, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Hot Dollars!" (July 26, 1930, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "In Round Figures" (August 23, 1930, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Valley of Little Fears" (September 3, 1930, Argosy Weekly)
  • "The Man on the End" (September 27, 1930, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Crime Juggler" (October 1930, Gang World; Paul Pry)
  • "The Racket Buster" (November1930, Gang World; Paul Pry)
  • "Lester Frames a Fence" (December 13, 1930, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "In Round Figures" (1930, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Daisy-Pusher" (December 1930 , Gang World; Paul Pry)
  • "Wiker Gets the Works" (January 1931, Gang World; Paul Pry)
  • "Cold Clews" (January 10, 1931, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "A Double Deal in Diamonds" (February 1931, Gang World; Paul Pry)
  • "The Candy Kid" (March 14, 1931, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Big Money" (April 18, 1931, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Hot Cash" (May 23, 1931, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Slick and Clean" (April 1931, Gang World; Paul Pry)
  • "Not So Dumb" (June 27, 1931, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Tommy Talk" (July 1931, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Girl with the Diamond Legs" (July 11, 1931, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Hairy Hands" (August 1931, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Promise to Pay" (September 1931, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Gold Magnet" (September 26, 1931, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Hot Squat" (October 1931, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Crimson Mask" (November 7, 1931, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Rolling Stones" (November 21, 1931, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Strictly Personal" (December 1931, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Red Herring" (December 26, 1931, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Face Up" (January 1932, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Play's the Thing" (February 27, 1932, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Feet First" (March 1932, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Straight Crooks" (April 1932, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Bird in the Hand" (April 9, 1932, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Under the Guns" (May 1932, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Crooking Crooks" (June 1932, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Hell's Danger Signal" (June 1932, Blue Steel Magazine; Paul Pry)
  • "Thieves' Kitchen" (June 4, 1932, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Rough Stuff" (July 1932, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Closer than a Brother" (July 9, 1932, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "A Deal in Cement" (July 30, 1932, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Black and White" (September 1932, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "On Two Feet" (October 1932, Black Mask; Bob Larkin)
  • "False Alarm" (November 5, 1932, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Honest Money" (November 1932, Black MaskKen Corning)
  • "The Top Comes Off" (December 1932, Black MaskKen Corning)
  • "Juggled Gems" (December 24, 1932, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Bird in the Hand" (1932, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Close Call" (January 1933, Black MaskKen Corning)
  • "The Hour of the Rat" (February 1933, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "One Jump Ahead" (February 4, 1933, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Red Jade" (March 1933, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Chinatown Murder" (April 1933, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Radio Ruse" (April 1, 1933, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Weapons of a Crook" (May 1933, Black Mask; Ed Jenkins)
  • "Making the Breaks" (June 1933, Black MaskKen Corning)
  • "Thin Ice" (June 10, 1933, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Hand of Horror" (July 1, 1933, Dime Detective)
  • "Devil's Fire" (July 1933, Black MaskKen Corning)
  • "Crooks' Vacation" (July 8, 1933, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Blackmail With Lead" (August 1933, Black MaskKen Corning)
  • "Dressed to Kill" (September 1,1933, Dime Detective; Paul Pry)
  • "Whispering Justice" (September 1933, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Murder Push (October 1933, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Cross-Stitch Killer" (November 15, 1933, Dime Detective; Paul Pry)
  • "Dead Men's Shoes" (December 1933, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Burden of Proof" (December 2, 1933, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Time for Murder" (1933; also 2004, The Danger Zone and Other Stories)
  • "A Guest of the House" (January 1934, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Lost, Strayed and Stolen" (February 24, 1934, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Cop Killers" (March 1934, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "New Twenties" (April 1934, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Kid Clips a Coupon" (April 21, 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • "Dead to Rights" (June 2, 1934, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Burnt Fingers" (June 1934, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Crocodile Tears" (June 30, 1934, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Heavenly Rat" (September 1934, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Hot Cash" (November 1934, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Case of the Howling Dog" (1934; also by Perry Mason)
  • "Winged Lead" (January 1935, Black Mask; Black Barr)
  • "Queens Wild" (January 26, 1935, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "A Chance to Cheat" May 1935, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Crash and Carry" (October 1935, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Screaming Sirens" (November 2, 1935, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Above the Law" (December 1935, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Bald-Headed Row" (March 21, 1936, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Beating the Bulls" (May 1936, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "This Way Out" (March 1937, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Among Thieves" (September 1937, Black Mask; Pete Wennick)
  • "Leg Man" (February 1938, Black Mask; Pete Wennick)

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Short Stories, continued:

 

  • "Muscle Out" (April 1938, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Planted Planets" (December 1938, Detective StoryLester Leith)
  • "The Monkey Murder" (January 1939, Detective StoryLester Leith)
  • "The Seven Sinister Sombreros" (February 1939, Detective StoryLester Leith)
  • "Take It or Leave It" (March 1939, Black Mask; Pete Wennick)
  • "The Fourth Musketeer" (March 1939, Detective StoryLester Leith)
  • "With Rhyme and Reason" (April 1939, Detective StoryLester Leith)
  • "The Queen of Shanghai Night" (May 1939, Detective StoryLester Leith)
  • "The Ring of Fiery Eyes" (August 1939, Detective StoryLester Leith)
  • "Dark Alleys" (September 1939, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Lester Leith, Magician" (September 16, 1939, Detective Fiction Weekly; aka "The Hand is Quicker Than the Eye" Lester Leith)
  • "A Thousand to One" (October 28, 1939, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Fair Exchange" (November 18, 1939, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Sugar" (January 20, 1940, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Monkeyshine" (March 16, 1940, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Tong Trouble" (June 1940, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Jade Sanctuary" (December 1940, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Exact Opposite" (March 29, 1941, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "The Chinese People" (May 1941, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "A Sugar Coating" (November 29, 1941, Flynn's Detective FictionLester Leith)
  • "Rain Check" (December 1941, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Exact Opposite" (1941, Detective Fiction WeeklyLester Leith)
  • "Two Dead Hands" (April 1942, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Something Like a Pelican" (January 1943, Flynn's Detective FictionLester Leith)
  • "The Incredible Mr. Smith" (March 1943, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "Caws and Effect" (July 1943, Flynn's Detective FictionLester Leith)
  • "The Gong of Vengeance" (September 1943, Black MaskEd Jenkins)
  • "The Clue of the Hungry Horse" (February 1947, The Country Gentleman; Sheriff Bill Eldon)
  • "The Clue of the Screaming Woman" (January 1949, The Country Gentleman)
  • "The Affair of the Reluctant Witness" (1949; also March 25, EQMM)
  • "Flight Into Disaster" (May 11, 1952, This Week; aka "Only by Running")
  • "The Case of the Irate Witness" (January 17, 1953, ColliersPerry Mason)
  • "Danger Out of the Past" (May 1955, Manhunt; aka "Protection")
  • "Escape to Danger" (1960)
  • "The Blonde in Lower Six" (September 1961, Argosy; Ed Jenkins)
    .
  • Undated
  • "The Case of the Crimson Kiss" (Perry Mason)
  • "The Case of the Crying Swallow" (Perry Mason)
  • "The Jeweled Bride"


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FILM

  • THE CASE OF THE HOWLING DOG
    (1934, Warner Brothers)
    Based on the novel by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Directed by Alan Crosland
    Starring
     Warren William as PERRY MASON
    with Helen Trenholm as Della
    .
  • THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS BRIDE
    (1935, Warner Brothers)
    Based on the novel by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Directed by Michael Curtiz
    Starring Warren William as PERRY MASON
    with Claire Dodds as Della
    .
  • THE CASE OF THE LUCKY LEGS
    (1935, Warner Brothers)
    Based on the novel by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Directed by Archie L. Mayo
    Starring Warren William as PERRY MASON
    with Genevieve Tobin as Della
    .
  • THE CASE OF THE VELVET CLAWS
    (1936, Warner Brothers)
    Based on the novel by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Directed by William Clemens
    Starring Warren William as PERRY MASON
    with Claire Dodds as Della
    .
  • THE CASE OF THE BLACK CAT
    (1936, Warner Brothers)
    Based on the novel "The Case of the Caretaker's Cat" by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Directed by William McGann
    Starring Richard Cortez as PERRY MASON
    with June Travis as Della
    .
  • THE CASE OF THE STUTTERING BISHOP
    (1937, Warner Brothers)
    Based on the novel by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Directed by William Clemens
    Starring Donald Woods as PERRY MASON.

RADIO

  • PERRY MASON
    (aka The New Adventures of Perry Mason)
    (1943-1955, CBS)
    Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Starring Barlett Robinson as PERRY MASON
    (also played by Santos Ortega, Donald Biggs, and John Larkin)
    .
  • CHRISTOPHER LONDON
    (1950, NBC)
    Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Starring Glenn Ford as CHRISTOPHER LONDON
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Re: American Mystery Classics: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

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COMIC BOOKS

COMIC STRIP

  • PERRY MASON
    (October 16, 1950-June 21, 1952, Universal Syndicate)
    Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Written by: Erle Stanley Gardner? (it's possible -- he liked to keep a hand in things)

TELEVISION

  • PERRY MASON
    (1957-1966, CBS)
    Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Starring Raymond Burr as PERRY MASON
    .
  • PERRY MASON
    aka The New Adventures of Perry Mason
    (1973-1974, CBS)
    Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
    Starring Monte Markham as PERRY MASON

REFERENCE BOOKS

  • Fugate, Francis L. and Roberta B.,
    Secrets of the World's Best-Selling Writer: The Storytelling Techniques of Erle Stanley Gardner
    New York, New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc., 1980....Buy this book
    Using the mountain of personal papers, journals, notebooks and scraps of paper, coctail napkins, matchbook covers and Lord knows what else that Erle Stanley Gardner left behind, the authors try to explain his phenomenal success. A fascinating insight to the man, but I'm not sure how practical the advice is for writers. Still, it's well worth reading.
    .
  • Hughes, Dorothy,
    The Case of the Real Perry Mason
    New York: William Morrow & Company.. Buy this book
    One great mystery writer's nod to another.

RELATED LINKS

  • Erlestanleygardner.com
    It bills itself as "the Official Web site of Ventura, California's most famous son, author of Perry Mason and Champion of Human Rights" but it's essentially a plug for the Gardner Museum in Ventura and a solicitation for funds to keep the site going.

  • The Gooseberry Lay
    An excerpt from Erle Stanley Gardner's article "Getting Away with Murder," which talks about Hammett's use of"gunsel," "gooseberry lay" and so on. Part of the Rara-Avis site.
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Re: American Mystery Classics: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

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NOVELS

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Re: American Mystery Classics: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

Novels, continued:

 


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http://www.mysterynet.com/perrymason/

 

Perry Mason

 

Erle Stanley Gardner, the creator of the world's most famous literary lawyer, was born in Massachusetts in 1889. At the age of 20, he began his career as a lawyer, practicing law for two decades before beginning his lengthy run of success as a writer.

An early contributor to Black Mask, the popular pulp magazine specializing in crime fiction, Gardner published several short stories before introducing Perry Mason to the public-at-large in "The Case of the Velvet Claws" (1933).

 

A success from the start, Mason was adored by the public. Featured in more than 80 novels, several movies, and a popular 1940s radio show, Mason was already a household word when in 1957 the long-running, immensely popular Perry Mason television series began. The show ran for 10 years, during which time Gardner continued to produce novel after novel starring the courtroom sleuth.

An honest fearless champion of good, Mason took on cases with the help of his friend, Paul Drake, owner of a detective agency in his building, and Della Street, his fiercely loyal secretary.

Always at odds with D.A. Hamilton Burger and Lieutenant Arthur Tragg of the L.A.P.D., Mason was famous for his brilliant courtroom maneuvers, usually unmasking the guilty party while he or she was on the stand, unmercifully firing questions until the inevitable confession ensued.

 

Perry Mason

 

Using the pseudonym A.A. Fair, Gardner also published more than 25 novels featuring the detective team of Donald Lam and Bertha Cool.

Gardner also founded The Court of Last Resort, an organization formed to aid persons falsely accused of a crime. His book about the court's work won The Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award in 1952.

Following Gardner's death in 1970, three short stories and two novels featuring Mason were published posthumously, attesting to the great popularity of his famous character.

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Re: American Mystery Classics: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

Erle Stanley Gardner > Quotes

 

 

“I like what I like and not what I'm supposed to like because of mass rating. And I very much dislike the things I don't like.” 
― Erle Stanley GardnerThe Case of the Careless Cupid

 

“Dear Editor: It's a damn good story. If you have any comments, write them on the back of a check. ” 
― Erle Stanley Gardner

 


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Re: American Mystery Classics: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

ERLE STANLEY GARDNER (1889-1970)

by WILLIAM F. NOLAN

 

CONSIDER THE STATISTICS: in a career that spanned five decades, Erie Stanley Gardner sold more than seven hundred fictional works, including 127 novels (82 of them featuring his fighting lawyer, the global icon Perry Mason). Adding in four hundred articles and more than a dozen travel tomes, his overall creative total climbs past eleven hundred, embracing 155 published books in thirty- seven languages around the world. Media totals for Perry Mason alone include six motion pictures, 3,221 radio episodes, 271 television episodes, and more than twenty made-for- television movies. No updated figures are available, but it is estimated that some 325 million of Gardner's books have been distributed globally, making him one of history's all- time best-selling mystery writers. At the height of his popularity (in the mid- 1960s), his novels were being sold at an average of twenty-six thousand copies per day! No other author came close to this amazing sales record.

Yet writing was only one facet of Gardner's complex life. He spoke fluent Chinese, worked as a professional attorney for twenty- two years, and was an ardent sportsman (boxing, fishing, archery, tennis, and golf), a constant traveler (China, Baja California, and the desert country of the American Southwest), a working rancher (raising horses, dogs, and cattle), founder of and activist in the Court of Last Resort (established to aid prisoners who maintained that they had been unjustly convicted), an enthusiastic wildlife photographer (illustrating his own travel books), and an amateur explorer and criminologist-with an in-depth knowledge of geology, archaeology, engineering, astronomy, forensic medicine, natural history, and the breeding habits of the California gray whale.

 

Early Life

Erie Stanley Gardner was born to Charles W. Gardner and Grace Adelma Waugh Gardner on 17 July 1889, the second of three sons, in Malden, Massachusetts, a modest community boasting a strong New England heritage. Speaking of his ancestors (as quoted in The Black Mask Boys), Gardner declared that his roots extended back to the Mayflower on his mother's side and that he was "descended from hardy New England stock. My forebears were the captains of windjammers, whalers...out of Nantucket " (Nolan, p. 94).

At age ten, he had just completed the fourth grade when his father moved the family west to Portland, Oregon, where the elder Gardner intended to pursue a career in engineering. Three years later they were headed into the Klondike, where Charles Gardner found employment as a mining engineer.

 

Continued...

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Continued...

 

Shortly after the turn of the century, the author's family settled in the small mining town of Oroville, in northern California, where Charles Gardner became an expert in gold-dredging placer mining. His son was a natural rebel who chafed under authority. By 1906, at age seventeen, after lampooning his school's officious principal, he was suspended from Oroyule Union High School. He transferred to Palo Alto High School, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he managed to graduate in June of 1909.

Erie Stanley Gardner's father wanted him to become a lawyer. Following high school, in pursuit of this goal, he went to work in a law office in Willows for twenty dollars a month. By that autumn, however, he was attending Valparaiso University in Indiana, where he lasted less than a month. During a fistic encounter in Gardner's dorm (which he had converted into a boxing ring), a professor was knocked down. Eventually, a warrant for Gardner's arrest was issued by the university. (He later claimed to have skipped town just "one jump ahead of the sheriff.)

After a brief stint on a railroad construction crew in Eugene, Oregon, the youth headed back to California, where he obtained a job in the law office of E. E. Keech in Santa Ana. He spent fifty hours a week in lawyers' offices, and when he was not working or studying, he was boxing. In 1911, with both eyes blackened from an amateur match, he passed the California bar exam. That same year, at age twenty-one, Gardner opened his own one- room law office in Merced, a farming town in California's San Joaquin Valley. Business, however, was dismal. When he was offered the chance to work for I. W. Stewart, a corporation attorney in the southern California town of Oxnard (in Ventura County, some fifty miles up the coast from downtown Los Angeles), he quickly accepted.

Oxnard was a raw, brawling young town then, notorious for its brothels and saloons- and with its own bustling Chinatown. An early champion of the underdog, Gardner soon determined that the Chinese were not receiving fair legal representation iii American courts. They were victims of severe,

quasi-official prejudice and were being used as scapegoats, pawns in dirty local politics. Gardner took on their cause, brilliantly defending them in court against gambling charges, learning to speak their language, and becoming affectionately known to the residents of Chinatown as "t'ai chong tze (the big lawyer).

During this period a young woman from Mississippi, Natalie Frances Talbert, began work in Stewart's law office. She and Gardner met, fell in love, and were married in April of 1912. A year later their daughter (and only child), Natalie Grace Gardner, was born. At the age of twenty-three, the young lawyer became a father. His law practice was experiencing problems. In defending the Chinese, he had alienated the district attorney, the local police, and the city council. A fresh opportunity soon presented itself. He was invited to join in partnership with Frank Orr, a respected young attorney in Ventura, the nearby county seat. Realizing that he was a pariah in Oxnard, he happily took a position in the newly established law firm of Orr and Gardner.

But as a "compulsive rover, he grew restless. This roving spirit may have been what prompted him to leave the firm in 1917 to try his luck as a salesman. He spent the next three years as a rep for Consolidated Sales of San Francisco, crisscrossing the continental United States as he hawked automotive products to manufacturing plants. In later years he cited his experience as a sales rep as the foundation for his sales career as a writer. However, by 1921 the company had foundered, and Gardner was "dead broke.

He was grateful for the opportunity to resume his full-time law practice with Frank Orr in Ventura. Yet he hated the office routine, much preferring what he termed "the good old rough-and-tumble of a courtroom fight in front of a jury (Hughes, p. 57). It was in court that he felt mentally challenged, and according to his biographer Dorothy B. Hughes, he was proud of his exceptional memory: "I could listen to the testimony of witnesses by the hour and recall almost verbatim what each witness had said (p. 67)."

 

Continued...


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Continued...

 

In Erie Stanley Gardner's Ventura, by Richard L. Senate, Gardner's daughter, Grace, recalled their life together in these years: "[My father] believed in exercise and began each day with an outdoor workout. . . . Noon was the main meal of the day and he always came home for lunch. [We ate] good, wholesome food (p. 51). Despite his insistence on "good, wholesome food, Gardner was also a fervent meat-and-potatoes man. As Senate recalled:

"When Mason wins a tough case, he and his staff go out ~or a thick steak (medium rare), garden salad and a baked potato. When Gardner won a case, he would go to Ventura's Pierpont Inn and enjoy a thick steak (medium rare), a garden salad and a baked potato (p. 3). Concerning his courtroom performances, the New York Times reported that Gardner radiated self-confidence. . . his voice was resonant... [and] his way with a hostile witness was plain wizardry. . . . In behalf of his clients, he nosed about in forgotten statutes... to find just the right precedents ... [and] at the proper dramatic moment he would spring the precedent on judge and jury. No one who had known him as a lawyer ever had to look far. . . to find where Perry Mason came from. (Hughes, pp. 62-63)

In 1921, however, Gardner was still a dozen years away from the creation of his legendary character; Mason would have to wait in line behind a host of other fictional heroes. However, Gardner did break into print that year with a fifteen-dollar sale to the rough-edged pulp magazine Breezy Stories. "Nellie's Naughty Nighty, printed in the August 1921 issue, so upset his conservative mother that she refused to read a word beyond the title. How could a good Methodist boy end up in such a shocking publication?

Pulp Fiction

Gardner needed additional income to supplement what he was earning as a lawyer and attempted to start a mail-order law course.

When it failed, he turned to pulp writing. The cheap-paper pulp magazines had begun to flourish during the 1920s and grew to become a huge open market for writers over the next two decades. Gardner was determined to tap into this burgeoning market. There was one big catch. His first sale had been a fluke, since he knew absolutely nothing about the techniques of professional writing. Over the course of the following two years his manuscripts were consistently rejected. Out they would go, and back they would come. This did not surprise or discourage him. "I wrote the worst stories that ever hit New York, he later admitted (Hughes, p. 77). "My stories were terrible.. . . I didn't know how to plot [and] I had no natural aptitude as a writer (Nolan, p. 96)."

Gardner refused to give up. By 1923 he was using the pen name Charles M. Green on all of his fiction, and it was under this appropriate byline that he had mailed a luridly melodramatic novelette, "The Shrieking Skeleton," to Black Mask magazine. The circulation manager, Phil Cody, read it and sent a blistering in-house note to the editor, George Sutton: "This story gives me a pain in the neck . . . it's pretty near the last word in childishness, and the plot has whiskers like unto Spanish moss on an old oak. Cody went on to say that the characters "talked like a dictionary" and that the story was "puerile, trite, obvious, and unnatural (Fugate, p. 44)."

Cody added several other strong negative comments, and the manuscript was quickly returned to Green. By mistake, Cody's note was included with the story. To Gardner, it was a welcome revelation. Up to that time he had never received any editorial criticism.

Using Cody's rejection note as a guide, he rewrote the entire manuscript page by page, word for word. It took three long nights of typing to finish the revision. Then he mailed it back to the magazine. Sutton was so embarrassed by the whole incident that he bought the story... [for] a hundred and sixty dollars. That did it. I was launched on a literary career (Hughes, p. 79). 


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Continued...

 

Actually, it was Black Mask's assistant editor, Harry North, whosaw potential in this new writer. Gardner called him "a patient cuss with something of a sense of humor. ... He'd give me coaching on the margin of rejection slips and in short personal letters (Hughes, p. 79)."

In 1924 Gardner had nine short stories and three novelettes printed in the pulps, but only one really meant much to him: his first appearance in Black Mask under his real name that September with a story featuring series character Bob Larkin, who fought crime armed only with his ready wit and a pool cue. The following year, forBlack Mask, Gardner created Ed Jenkins, the "Phantom Crook," who operated between the law and the underworld and was hunted by both. Jenkins became the author's longest-running series character, starring in a total of seventy-four adventures. Two other long-running series characters made their debut that year: western rider Black Barr, "Fate's Gunslinger," and the improbable Speed Dash, dubbed the "Human Fly" for his ability to scale tall office buildings.

Gardner's sales at Black Mask were by then a steady source of income. He had become one of the magazine's most popular contributors and had made a good friend of Phil Cody. It was Cody who convinced him that he needed an agent and lined him up with Robert Hardy in New York. Gardner told Hardy: "I've never been mediocre in anything I've done yet, and I want to either go to the top in the fiction game or quit it altogether (Hughes, p. 88)."

Indeed, with Hardy opening several new ,pulp markets for him in 1926, Gardner notched an amazing twelve-month total of ninety-seven sales, including twenty-six toBlack Mask alone. His fiction was, however, still wildly melodramatic, as reflected in the overtly flamboyant series characters he created for the pulps: Lester Leith, the "Gentleman Rogue," Sidney Zoom, "Master of Disguise" (with his police dog, Rip); Soo Hoo Duck, "King of Chinatown," Dan Seller, the "Patent Leather Kid," Señor Arnaz de Lobo, "Soldier of Fortune," Paul Pry, the "Crime Juggler," J. Keen, "Alibi Fixer,"; Dane Skarle, the "Gamy Crimefighter,"  El Paisano, the "Roadrunner," Ben Harper, the "Man Who Couldn't Forget,"  and Ed Migrane, the "Headache."

And, along the way, came the Old Walrus, Fish Mouth McGinnis, Hard Rock Hogan, and Go Get Em Garver and his detective duo, Jax Bowman and Big Jim Grood, billed as the "Avenging White Rings" (from the black masks they wore with white rings circling the eyes). Gardner's "Man in the Silver Mask" reflected period melodrama at its most lurid, and the author's description is darkly menacing:

There was a suggestion of grim, sinister firmness about the mouth, a suggestion which was heightened by the firm chin The eyes were a peculiar slate gray. The upper part of the face was concealed by a mask of metallic silver, modeled to conform to the contours of the nose, but not entirely concealing the cheek bones and the lower forehead. From behind the mask, the gray eyes seemed to take on the metallic glint of the silver. (Goulart, pp. 180-181)

The pulp historian Ron Goulart elaborates on Gardner's mysterious protagonist:

Aided by a seemingly sinister Oriental named Ah Wong, the Masked Man was headquartered in a secret hideaway and was fond of kidnaping gangsters and threatening to torture them. His war against crime was basically psychological and he and the deaf-and- dumb Chinese never actually followed through on their threats. Sometimes merely a look at the Masked Man was enough to scare the average crook into talking. (p. 180)

These unsuhtle, larger-than-life characters were featured in more than forty different pulps, from Fighting Romances through Clues, Gang World, Air Adventures, Rapid Fire Detective, Three-Star Western, Ace High, Top Notch, and a host of others equally lurid. Recalled Gardner: "It's a wonder I didn't kill myself with overwork. If I finished one story by twelve-thirty... I couldn't go to bed without starting another (Hughes, p. 83)."