Courtesy of the Stout estate, pulled from Rex Stout's own archives, here is rarely seen memorabilia. Rex Stout's own description of his beloved character, written in 1949 and not meant for publication at the time:
Height 6 ft. Weight 180 lbs. Age 32.
Hair is light rather than dark, but just barely decided not to be red; he gets it cut every two weeks, rather short, and brushes it straight back, but it keeps standing up. He shaves four times a week and grasps at every excuse to make it only three times. His features are all regular, well-modeled and well-proportioned, except the nose. He escapes the curse of being the movie actor type only through the nose. It is not a true pug and is by no means a deformity, but it is a little short and the ridge is broad, and the tip has continued on its own, beyond the cartilage, giving the impression of startling and quite independent initiative. The eyes are grey, and are inquisitive and quick to move. He is muscular both in appearance and in movement, and upright in posture, but his shoulders stoop a little in unconscious reaction to Wolfe's repeated criticism that he is too self-assertive.
Archie facts from Too Many Women. On page 133, Cecily says, "Your father's name is James Arner Goodwin, and you were born in Canton, Ohio, in nineteen-fourteen. Your mother's maiden name was Leslie. You have two brothers and two sisters."
- Bullet for One: "...as his man Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday...."
- Poison a la Carte: "...his assistant detective and man Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday...."
- If Death Ever Slept: "...Nero Wolfe's man Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday...."
- "I am a Self Made man, and am a roughneck, but not rowdy." Read more great quotes and insights from Elementary Detective Fiction (no longer available online).
- Read Yvette's blog about Archie Goodwin and the Corpus and some really great quotes from Archie: http://yvettecandraw.blogspot.com/
Archie frequently tells us what he (and sometimes Wolfe) eat. He tells us what his likes and dislikes are. He has Fritz to prepare most of his meals, but from his work schedule, his social life, or just for a change, he also eats out, and not always at Rusterman's or an equivalent restaurant. Click here to read all about what Archie has to say about his eating habits.
According to the Topeka Capital Journal (boyhood home of Rex Stout), in 1905, when Rex Stout was 18, his phonograph player was stolen. The name of the policeman credited with tracking down the thief and returning the phonograph to the teenager
was A. G. Goodwin. Click here to read the full story, along with Mr. Stout's comment.
In Rex Stout's first known interview, which appeared in the Topeka Daily Capital in 1907 while he was on leave from he assignment on President Theodore Roosevelt Navy yacht, he notes that "...Archie Roosevelt is a badly spoiled child and is not liked by the crew of the Mayflower." Click here to read to the full article.
Archie—Chillicothe's Home Town Hero
In 2008 The Columbus Dispatch ran a story regarding Chillicothe references in fact and fiction. Rex Stout and Archie Goodwin are of course featured. Click here to read all about it.
Lily and Archie: when Lily christens Archie "Escamillo" in Some Buried Caesar, it's a reference to George Bizet's opera Carmen. In that opera Carmen leaves the innocent man that she has corrupted for the dashing toreador Escamillo. Knowledge of this allusion adds new depth to our appreciation of Lily's quick decision-making in Some Buried Caesar.
Another Lily Tidbit: "Truffles to Die For" is Fritz tale of Lily's contribution to the brownstone's comestibles.(Thank you Alan Vanneman for discovering this rare contribution from Mr. Brenner to brownstone lore.)
Another Famous Archie Fan
Dame Agatha Christie was a huge Rex Stout fan. She was known to go to her local bookstore and enquire after the latest Archie Goodwin novel. The clerk would gently remind her that they're referred to as Nero Wolfe mysteries, to which Christie would reply, "Nonsense! Everyone knows that Archie does all the work!"
Archie Goodwin—Second Banana
Read columnist Bruce Tierneys thoughts on Archie and other Second Bananas:
Also, here is David Zeltserman's keynote speech from a Bouchercon Nero Wolfe Banquet: