Chess novel!

Jun 7, 2007, 1:56 PM |
New Literary Site (If You Like Chess and Murder)

Check out Matt Fullerty's new website and novel The Pride and the Sorrow at

The Brothels of Basin Street

Paul Morphy is today remembered as "the pride and the sorrow" of chess, a short-lived genius. Clarabelle and her fellow tricksters of Basin Street , New Orleans, have been forgotten by history. These image shows the townhouse brothels of New Orleans, and Basin Street as it is today.


The Boy Genius

The Pride and the Sorrow is the story of the famous New Orleans chess player, Paul Morphy, and his impassioned and destructive love for a prostitute, Clarabelle. A story of Creole family, fame and love, the novel depicts the high life and the underbelly of New Orleans, London and Paris.


The Big Easy

The Pride and the Sorrow takes place at a time when prostitution in the Big Easy was legally sanctioned, before child prodigies and mental illness were better understood. In the mid-nineteenth century chess matches were fought as duels, with seconds, monetary stakes and gambling, and true genius was lauded but not without jealous undercurrents. Mismatched love could be fatal.

Before modern chess competition but not before Mardi Gras, operatic funerals, destructive hurricanes, Creole slavery, Civil War Union soldiers lining Bourbon Street, or real passage d'armes fought for love and honor…a chess player caught the national interest, a gentleman with a calm passion for the royal game but a troubled obsession for an unsuitable woman.


Passion and Destruction

Who is Paul Morphy? Paul Morphy is a real person, a child prodigy born into a wealthy Creole family in the French Quarter in 1837. He grows up to become the unofficial chess world champion, 'breaking' Europe while only twenty-one. He defeats all chess challengers, performing miraculous blindfold feats along the way. No one dares play him.

After astounding Paris and London, he returns to New Orleans, lionized, but misunderstood. Rooted in Paul is an irrational obsession for the red-light district crib-girl, Clara. Paul abandons chess and grows reclusive in his love. A strict amateur on the board, off the board he develops a misconceived love for a professional working girl who cannot understand his world, or he hers.  


Young and Immortal

This is a bronze bust of the famous New Orleans chess player Paul Morphy, created in Paris by Eugene Lequesne, 1858.



The Pride and the Sorrow

Welcome to the Blog site for Matt Fullerty's The Pride and the Sorrow. The Pride and the Sorrow is a novel about chess. And New Orleans. And a prostitute called Clarabelle.


The Murderess and the Hangman

Please visit The Pride and the Sorrow's sister pages, The Murderess and the Hangman, the story of maid Kate Webster who murdered her London landlady before she met the hangman William Marwood, inventor of the famed 'long drop' technique. See the full blog at