Life and Letters
Day of the Dead
Malcolm Lowry’s mysterious demise.
by D.T. Max December 17, 2007
Malcolm Lowry died in his cottage in the village of Ripe, in Sussex, late at night on June 26, 1957, or early the next morning. He was forty-seven years old. His wife, Margerie, found his body upstairs, on the floor of their bedroom. An autopsy revealed that Lowry, an alcoholic, had been drunk, and the doctor who examined the body found that he had swallowed a large number of barbiturates and had inhaled some half-digested food from his stomach. An inquest was held, at which a police officer, the Lowrys’ landlady, and Margerie testified. The coroner ruled the fatality a “misadventure”—that is, an accident. Lowry had choked to death on his own vomit.
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