On this day in 1954 Raymond Chandler’s wife Cissy died. Chandler was arguably one of the greatest mystery writers in American history. If you don’t believe me, read The Lady In The Lake.
Chandler wrote this about Cissy after her death, in a letter to a friend:
I have received much sympathy and kindness and many letters, but yours is somehow unique in that it speaks of the beauty that is lost rather than condoling with the comparatively useless life that continues on. She was everything you say and more. She was the beat of my heart for thirty years. She was the music heard faintly at the edge of sound. It was my great and now useless regret that I never wrote anything really worth her attention, no book that I could dedicate to her. I planned it. I thought of it, but I never wrote it. Perhaps I couldn’t have written it. … Perhaps now she realizes that I tried, and that I regarded the sacrifice of several years of a rather insignificant literary career as a small price to pay, if I could make her smile a few times more.