THE RECTOR AND THE ROGUE by W. A. Swanberg

THE RECTOR AND THE ROGUE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Rector was Morgan Dix of New York's wealthy Trinity Parish, the time was 1880, and the rogue was E. Fairfax Williamson whom the author wishes to rescue from present obscurity and simultaneously elevate his memory as the hoaxer's hoaxer. E. F. W., a convicted homosexual, an early-day gossip columnist with entree to Andrew Carnegie, and an issuer of wedding invitations (he always kept the gifts but never married) might have carried off his elaborate hoax if he had not begun writing to newspapers. He scheduled a complex series of arrivals of tradesmen, peddlers and doctors on the doorstep of the formidably high church Episcopal Rector who had ordered up none of them. Williamson was brought to book eventually, confessed to a few things the authorities didn't even know about, lost his spirit, and died in prison. Shiny scholarship expended on a tiny footnote in N.Y.C. history, this deserves an April Fool publication date even if it won't get much of a readership then, either.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Scribners