Sue for Ronelle and Bob Mills
Tennessee Williams
Sat Nov 3, 2018 12:31

I look forward to both your books coming out.

Hauptmann's execution meant there would be no more possible answers from him about the Lindbergh case.

Tennessee Williams -- of "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The Glass Menagerie" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" fame.

I find it interesting that Tennessee Williams wrote poetry about Hauptmann, one piece written close to the time Hauptmann was initially to be executed -- March 31, 1936.

"The Darkling Plain" and a poem that starts with "Ask the man who died in the electric chair."

See the book, Notebooks: Tennessee Williams, edited by Margaret Bradham Thornton, published in 2006.

Page 28 includes both works cited above.

Page 29 has a picture of Hauptmann in the courtroom with Reilly and others -- probably one that you are already familiar with, but interesting because the editor chose to include it in the book.

Also, there is a 2014 interview (that you can find online) with an actor named Marcel Meyer that includes the question/answer:

"Did Williams base his story on someone he knew? A real person?

In 1936 Tennessee Williams felt a deep compassion for Bruno Hauptman, who was sent to the electric chair for allegedly kidnapping and murdering the infant son of Charles Lindbergh. There are references to Hauptman in Williams’ notebooks from 1936 and Williams also wrote a poem “Ask the Man Who Died in the Electric Chair” and a prose elegy titled “The Darkling Plain” about the Hauptman execution."

Tennessee Williams might have based his short story, "One Arm," on Hauptmann.

Also, there is another book, published in 2013. That title is: Tennessee Williams: A Literary Life by J. Bak.

John Bak.

Apparently,"The Darkling Plain" -- (For Bruno Hauptmann Who Dies Tonight)," was an unpublished piece. The Bak book provides more information about "The Darkling Plain." (and I don't think the Thornton book includes the entire elegy.)

Sorry that I cannot provide a page number in the Bak book, but the reference is somewhere about 3/4 through the book.

If you already know this information about Tennessee Williams/LKC...

  • noronelle to bob mills, Wed Oct 31 22:05
    There should NOT be a death penalty in any case. Every one of us is endangered by that law as long as it exists. Any one can be mistakenly identified or framed for a crime never committed. You and... more
    • Re: noMichael 5260 for Ronelle, Sun Nov 4 08:45
      Hi Ronelle. What are your thoughts about the handwriting.
    • Tennessee Williams — Sue for Ronelle and Bob Mills, Sat Nov 3 12:31
      • Re: Tennessee Williamssteve for sue, Tue Nov 6 09:38
        great find sue
      • cat on a hot electric chair?bob mills for sue, Sun Nov 4 04:41
        Thanks, Sue. Great work. Didn't know about Tennessee Wiliiams vis a vis Hauptmann, but it seems to fit with Williams' dark personality. My new book isn't about the LKC. It's a critique of the... more
        • The Glass Menagerie and MoreSue for Bob, Sat Nov 10 11:15
          Best of success with your new book about the two-party system! Semi-autobiographical and dark, "The Glass Menagerie" was required reading in high schools in the 1970s. I wonder if Williams had more... more
    • death penaltybob mills for ronelle, Thu Nov 1 08:46
      Ronelle, I hope nothing I posted suggests that I favor the death penalty. I do not. It doesn't deter crime, is applied inconsistently, and occasionally an innocent person has been executed. In... more
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