1958 letter from writer Richard Armour to Playboy editor Ray Russell   

$35.00 CAD

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Typewritten letter from satirist Richard Armour to Ray Russell, fiction editor at Playboy, Chicago Ill. Mention of Armour's article in the July issue, that has since then gone on to be quoted in many books.

September 16,1958
Dear Ray:
            Much pleased to see the two flattering letters and not by people I know -- in the current issue about “The Age of the Chest.”. Have you another copy of the July issue I could have? Got some, but by the time I looked for another they were off the stand and replaced by the next month’s…Think another idea may be forming in my twisted mind, but still germinating…Hope McGraw-Hill sends you a copy of my new book, IT ALL STARTED WITH MARX, which will be published Sept. 29. A lot of reading went into it, and there is some fact and some sense under the surface fooling,
Best, Dick (signed)


Nice condition.

3 ¼" x 5 ½" .


Richard Willard Armour (July 15, 1906 – February 28, 1989) was an American poet and author who wrote more than 65 books.

Armour also wrote satirical books. These books were typically filled with puns and plays on words, and gave the impression of someone who had not quite been paying attention in class, thus also getting basic facts not quite right, to humorous effect. It All Started with Marx includes the rabble-rousing Lenin declaring in public "Two pants with every suit!", "Two suits with every pants!" and "The Tsar is a tsap!".


“…Writing in Playboy in 1958, humorist Richard Armour even suggested that the fifties be know as “The Age of the Chest, for the upper part of the male torso has begin to catch on…A man may not be tersely described as 44-32-34, but his chest may do more for him, on the beach or in Hollywood, then merely serving as the outside of his lungs”…”

Masked Men: Masculinity and the Movies in the Fifties By Steve Cohan


Ray Russell (4 September 1924 – 15 March 1999) was a Chicago-born American writer of short stories, novels, and screenplays. Russell is best-known for his horror fiction, although he also wrote mystery and science fiction stories.

His most famous short fiction is "Sardonicus", which appeared in the January 1961 issue of Playboy magazine, and was subsequently adapted by Russell into a screenplay for William Castle's film version, titled Mr. Sardonicus. American writer Stephen King called "Sardonicus" "perhaps the finest example of the modern gothic ever written".

In the 1950s, Russell began working for Playboy magazine as a fiction editor. In this capacity Russell published a large amount of science fiction, fantasy and horror in the magazine; Russell also encouraged and promoted the fiction of Charles Beaumont.

In 1991 Russell received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.