The Duke de Reichleau becomes The Duke de Richleau

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ericmocata
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Post by ericmocata » Fri 20 Jul, 2012 23:04:46

You hit the nail right on the head. Once I read They Used Dark Forces, I thought Hutchinson was being a bit misleading. "Was Hitler a Satanist?" Well, I didn't meet the guy, but I don't think so and I am pretty sure he ain't in that book, either. But I think, as you said, they wanted to cash in on some interest at the time. It is well-documented that many of the highest Nazis were interested and even influenced by the occult. Hess was a big believer in astrology and Himmler was a major occultist. The Nazi party was partially born out of an esoteric group in the '20s/'30s, the Thule Society. All of that would have been a good idea for a book.

The bad thing about presenting the book that way is that it can make the book disappointing since it isn't what the reader expects it to be, but it is actually quite a good book.

Okay, that really is enough of my topic derailing.

duncanpaul17
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Post by duncanpaul17 » Sun 22 Jul, 2012 09:46:06

Sorry to continue the topic derailing, my theory is that Denis in his writing, or possibly Arrow in their marketing, included 'The Irish Witch' and 'They Used Dark Forces' in the Black Magic stories to get readers interested in the main character and that character's series of books.

Although he wrote many books to me it is the Black Magic stories that DW is best remembered for. Phil Baker even called his book 'The Devil is a Gentleman'.

Jim
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Post by Jim » Mon 5 Nov, 2012 22:44:45

I recently noticed another one!

In the Richard Humphreys section of this site is a letter from DW written in 1954. His correspondent had suggested an adventure for the Duke set on Easter Island. In response, our author wites:
"Thank you, too, for sending me your idea for a new plot to suit the Duke de Reichleau and his friends."

I guess he didn't much care, one way or t'other, how it was spelled...

Charles
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Post by Charles » Thu 8 Nov, 2012 00:00:16

Well, Jim,

I think you've provided the final piece of proof - at least until some further evidence turns up.

While DW may have started with 'de Reichleau' and then migrated to 'de Richleau', the manuscript pages displayed in the Museum show it wasn't a wholly consistent change, and your spot of that 1954 letter - which was sitting on the website unobserved (at least in this respect) - shows that DW was capable of switching to the old / alternative spelling even in the middle of his career.

Perhaps this is related to his periodic lapses in spelling, despite being so incredibly widely read. Indeed, I have sometimes wondered if this was the result of some kind of impairment which meant he was somehow incapable of picking up on wrong spelling.

Whether it was or wasn't, I guess the main thing is that he could tell a very good story ... but as one who like you finds these alternative spellings of his main character completely fascinating, I must congratulate you on finding this new piece of evidence ...

Best as always !
Charles

duncanpaul17
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Post by duncanpaul17 » Wed 4 Nov, 2015 08:33:19

Among the topics some of us discussed at the dinner break at the 2015 convention were numerology and the different spelling of De Richleau's name.

I thought I could remember a post somewhere, (it is in this thread from Alan) of a theory that the spelling was changed from De Reichleau to De Richleau to give the correct numerical value for the Duke in The Devil Rides Out.

Grabbing my copy of TDRO to put this theory to the test, and if my calculations are correct, I have to agree with Alan.

If DW had retained the spelling De Reichleau, this would have added 5 to his name giving the Duke a final numerical value of 4,(ironically the same number as Richard Eaton) not the number of 8 which is so important to the story.

Duncan

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