Hell in Paradise Flat
Largely forgotten now, Myrtle Reed dazzled as a best-selling romance novelist and Chicago socialite 100 years ago. But in her personal life, a happy ending proved sadly elusiveby Dan Carlinsky
It started with an old book at a yard sale, a book I judged, frankly, by its cover: mauve with a gilt art nouveau floral design. The book was Lavender and Old Lace by Myrtle Reed, copyright 1902. Turn-of-the-century romance, Edwardian chick lit. I figured I'd never read the thing, but it was attractive, and the price was a buck.
At home, I spread the covers, fanned the pages, and caught a folded brown newspaper clipping as it fell loose: Author a Suicide, Puts Blame Upon Model Husband; Myrtle Reed, Who Wrote "Lavender and Old Lace," Takes Poison Dose...
Complete article can be found at Chicago Magazine.