On 23 July, 1888, Raymond Thornton Chandler was born in Chicago, the first and only child of Florence Thornton Chandler and Maurice Benjamin Chandler. His mother was Irish; she had met and married Maurice while staying with relatives in Nebraska. When Chandler was seven, his parents divorced. That same year he came down with scarlet fever. Florence soon returned to Britain with her son, and Chandler did not see his father again; but he would remember him as ‘an utter swine’, and would later worry about what portion of his father’s deficiencies he had inherited.
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