Description

    Scarce Roman-A-Clef about Tuxedo Park

    Willard Rich (pseudonym of William T. Richards). Brain-waves and Death. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940. First edition. Octavo. [2: blank], [viii], 244, [245-246: blank] pages. Publisher's decorated green cloth, front and spine lettered and stamped in dark blue, top edge stained blue, fore-edge untrimmed, in original dust jacket. Housed in custom clamshell case. Spine lean, a fine copy in nearly fine pictorial dust jacket with light wear at spine ends and corner tips.

    Brain-Waves and Death was published posthumously under the pseudonym "Willard Rich" a few weeks after its author, William T. Richards, took his own life. Richards worked for Alfred Lee Loomis and his novel was a thinly veiled account of a real-life laboratory located about 40 miles north of New York City nicknamed "Tuxedo Park." This "secret palace of science" was founded and funded by Loomis, arguably one of the most significant and uncredited figures in the history of modern military science. Loomis, a world-class tinkerer in his own right, was a visionary who saw that technology would win the looming war - and indeed that an investment in "big science" would be the key to national strength in the future. Loomis went on to establish the MIT Rad Lab and later was instrumental in setting up the Manhattan Project. According to legend, Loomis had all copies of Richards' roman-a-clef bought up and destroyed. Obviously he missed a few copies, but the book is uncommon, especially in jacket. Hubin (1994), p. 678. Adey, Locked Room Murders 958.


    More Information: A scientist under observation in a sealed room is killed during an experiment in the Howard M. Ward Laboratory where a research team is studying electroencephalography. Shortly thereafter a second murder is committed under circumstances as puzzling as the first. The murders are solved by Inspector Noonan, a "practical" Boston detective.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
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