[PW] Firmin Dredd - pseudonym for who?

susankamm at att.net susankamm at att.net
Tue Mar 27 12:19:58 PDT 2018


FWIW, the name isn't listed in the LC Name Authorities database.

Your friendly neighborhood CyberGoddess,
Sue Kamm
Retired!
Los Angeles Dodgers Truest of the Blue, 2000
“It’s time for Dodger baseball!”
- Vin Scully
Email:  susankamm [at] att [dot] net

-----Original Message-----
From: Project-wombat <project-wombat-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org> On Behalf Of Donna Halper
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 9:33 AM
To: list at project-wombat.org
Subject: Re: [PW] Firmin Dredd - pseudonym for who?

ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
> I haven't been able to find out who was behind the name "Firmin 
> Dredd", but I did notice that it displayed some longevity. Of course, 
> it may have been used by more than one person.  The "Chicago Tribune" 
> on March 9, 1900 referred to an article about dime novels by Firmin 
> Dredd in "The Bookman"... [snip]  The name was employed in yet another decade. It appeared in 1922 in "The New York Herald".
>

Dennis Lien then noted correctly that the noted scholar and professor of Latin Henry Thurston Peck edited The Bookman during this time and surmised he might have sometimes assumed the identity of Firmin Dredd. This theory is given some credence with a comment I found in one of the many obituaries for Peck.  He was, by all accounts, "brilliant but
erratic"-- he committed suicide in March 1914, and reporters noted he died in "a cheap boarding house," a far cry from his former life in academia.  Although widely quoted and admired for his scholarly work, he also lived far beyond his means and often had money problems, as well as having problems with women, one of whom sued him for "breach of promise" 
("philanderer" was a word applied to him posthumously).  But in one obituary I found, which originally ran in the New York World, the author noted that Peck supplemented his income by writing articles and opinion pieces under a variety of pseudonyms.  Unfortunately, the obit does not say whether "Firmin Dredd" was one of them.  But given that Peck died in 1914, Garson's comment that several people may have used this name seems
possible-- especially if Peck may have been one of the folks who operated with this pseudonym.  I'll dig further!


--
Donna L. Halper, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication & Media Studies Lesley University, Cambridge MA

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