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Satire


Death Before Bedtime. Edgar Box. New York: Dutton, 1953.

In addition to achieving success under his own name, in the early 1950s Gore Vidal published three satiric mysteries under a pseudonym. This work, the second of the Edgar Box novels, features Senator Leander Rhodes, chair of the fictitious Senate Spoils and Patronage Committee. Just as he is preparing to announce his presidential candidacy, Rhodes meets an untimely end via an exploding log in the fireplace of his stately home. Under the guiding hand of Vidal/Box, Peter Sargeant II, a public relations man from New York, sets out to identify the culprit.

Senator Solomon Spiffledink. Louis Ludlow. Washington, DC: Pioneer Book Co., 1927.

The author, a Washington correspondent for Indiana and Ohio newspapers, said that his satirical novel "shows Congress at its worst. That is exactly what it is intended to do." But Louis Ludlow cautioned his readers not to judge Congress solely on his vain, boastful, hypocritical title character and spoke of his plans to offer a more positive portrait in a companion volume, Senator John Law, featuring "a bold and fearless public servant, who stands four-square with the world." However, Ludlow never published this sequel. Instead, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served for twenty years.

The Capitol Hill in Fiction bibliography lists more novels about the Senate, House, and Capitol Hill.