Archive for August, 2012

Tarkington… Antisemite?

In my own steeped reading of Tarkington’s oeuvre and associated biographies, period magazine articles, and Tarkington’s autobiographical texts, however, I can’t recall ever thinking, “Gee, I bet people thought Tarkington was an anti-Semite.” Patronizingly and mildly racist? Yes, in the way that anybody is a product of their times; but specifically anti-Semite? No, not at all.

The Poetry of Mrs. Tarkington

One of the central dramas of Booth Tarkington’s life was the death, at age 16, of his beloved daughter Laurel–the victim of a broken home, likely schizophrenia, and the loss of the will to live. It was a sad tragedy that nearly broke Tarkington’s own will… and also brought a premature end to the life of Laurel’s mother, Louisa Fletcher, who died only a year afterward.