Mencken: Charlotte no place for ‘a civilized man’

“When [Edgar Lee] Masters did leave [New York] to reunite with his estranged wife and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, [H.L.] Mencken said that he could not imagine how a civilized man could remain content in such a town.”

— From “Mencken: The American Iconoclast” by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers (2005)

In fact, Masters seems to have been reasonably content during his residence  (1944-45)  in Charlotte. In his mid-70s and well past his creative and physical prime, the author of “Spoon River Anthology” lived in the Selwyn Hotel with his wife, head of the English department at Charlotte Country Day School,  and son, a student at Davidson College.

“We have everything we need here,” he wrote friends. “There’s good food in the hotel restaurant downstairs. I spend the day reading or working. Ellen… can bring me any book I want from the library…. The beds are fine and we have good sleeps.”

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