Robert B. Parker: In Memoriam


This exhibition commemorated the life and career of the late Robert B. Parker, beloved creator of Boston's detective, Spenser. Parker's doctoral dissertation, The Violent Hero, Wilderness Heritage and Urban Reality: A Study in the Private Eye in the Novels of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald," was completed at Boston University in 1971. In 1973, Parker's first novel, The Godwulf Manuscript, introduced the reading world to his tough-talking detective.

The exhibition included various typewritten drafts, heavy with hand corrections from a number of Mr. Parker's novels. There is also correspondence from Mr. Parker to actor Avery Brooks, "Hawk" from, the popular Spenser For Hire television series, sharing his thoughts on the character as it was originally conceived in the context of the Spenser novels and his frustration with the industry's inability to project that original character.

 Although Parker rarely contributed to the Spenser For Hire series, there are pages on exhibit of a script co-authored by Robert and Joan Parker based on the Spenser novel, Pale Kings and Princes. There was also, on special loan for the exhibition, a letter of condolence to Mrs. Joan Parker from President William J. Clinton expressing his sympathy as an admirer of the author's work. 

This exhibition is no longer on view.

Robert Parker
Robert Parker