Paul Morphy: The Pride and Sorrow of Chess is the only full-length biography of Paul Morphy, the antebellum chess prodigy who launched United States participation in international chess and is still generally acknowledged as the greatest American chess player of all time.
But Morphy was more than a player. He was a shy, retiring lawyer who had been taught that such games were no way to make a living. The strain of his fame and the pull of his domineering family led Morphy to set another precedent: chess madness.
Morphy's mental descent after retiring from chess became a part of his lore, made all the more magnanimous by a spate of twentieth-century examples.
The Pride and Sorrow of Chess tells the full known story of the life of Paul Morphy, from his privileged upbringing in New Orleans to his dominance of the chess world, to the later tragedy of his demise.
This new edition of David Lawson's seminal work, still the principal source for all Morphy biographical presentations, also includes new biographical material about the biographer himself, telling the story of the author, his opus, and the previously unknown life that brought him to the research.
Thomas Aiello is an assistant professor of history at Valdosta State University. He is the editor of Dan Burley's Jive (Northern Illinois University Press, 2009) and author of several forthcoming titles.
A Note on the Text
Lawson’s Photo Gallery
Chapter 1: The New World Welcomes
Chapter 2: Three Encounters and a Problem
Chapter 3: A Surprise Encounter
Chapter 4: From School to the Mississippi
Chapter 5: The National Chess Congress
Chapter 6: First Prize and Congress Aftermath
Chapter 7: The Challenge
Chapter 8: London and Lowenthal
Chapter 9: Staunton and Stakes
Chapter 10: Harrwitz and “Letters of Gold”
Chapter 11: The Staunton Miscarriage
Chapter 12: La Régence and Society
Chapter 13: “Morphy Won’t Let Me”
Morphy’s Image Gallery
Chapter 14: “The World Is His Fatherland”
Chapter 15: Farewell to England
Chapter 16: Testimonials and the Queen’s Knight
Chapter 17: Morphy and the Ledger
Chapter 18: The Deacon Games
Chapter 19: Odds Before Even
Chapter 20: Kolisch, Secession, and Cuba
Chapter 21: Paris and Petroff
Chapter 22: Paul Morphy, Attorney at law
Chapter 23: Paris, Frustration and Obsessions
Chapter 24: Psychoanalysts and Paul Morphy
Chapter 25: The Pride and Sorrow of Chess
Chapter 26: Trophies and Authenticity
Editor’s Annotated Bibliography