The archivist at Dulwich College, where crime writer Raymond Chandler attended school from 1900 has been in touch to say that on May 5th 2009 the Lower School Library will be renamed the Chandler Library to mark the 50th anniversary of his death. The ceremony will be conducted by Tom Rob Smith, a more recent ‘Old Alleynian’ and author of Child 44, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008. Dulwich already has a ‘Wodehouse Library’, in honour of the creator of ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ who preceded Chandler at the school. I wonder if the remaining Junior School library will eventually be named for C.S. Forester, author of The African Queen, who attended Dulwich College after Chandler and also lived and wrote in California.
Meanwhile, more information is emerging about Chandler’s life in the United States before he moved to England. Chandler researcher Loren Latker has uncovered evidence of Chandler attending school in Plattsmouth, Nebraska in 1895 and 1896 and this, combined with Nebraska census records showing he and his mother were resident in Plattsmouth in 1900, suggests that he did not move to the UK in 1895 as has been commonly thought. It seems more likely that he and his mother crossed the Atlantic in June 1900 so that he could begin his studies at Dulwich.
More on Chandler’s early life here [Updated]