November 29, 2016

The Algonquin Round Table: A Historical Guide
Kevin C. Fitzpatrick

“You might as well live” – I finished reading this book, a Who’s-Who What’s-What Guide to the famous and infamous literary rat pack of the 1920s and 1930s, tucked in a cozy room at the Algonquin Hotel. I wasn’t checked into suite 1005, where, I learned, Marc Connelly wrote the banquet scene from To the Ladies. Nor was I huddled in suite 908, where Lerner and Lowe composed much of My Fair Lady. One hopes I wasn’t in the room where James Thurber died, where, in the words of The New Yorker, “He died sad and gassy and alone, in the Algonquin Hotel, after too much coleslaw and beer.” Ouch. But that snakebite is what made the Round Tablers – Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Franklin P. Adams, George S. Kaufman and the others – the Vicious Circle.


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