Die meisten Western entstanden in Florenz

Friedrich Schiller („Frederick“) Faust, der amerikanische „Groschenheft-Balzac“, war ab den 20er bis in die 40er Jahre für über 2.500 Geschichten, 170 Unterhaltungsromane und an die 50 Drehbücher verantwortlich. Unter dem Pseudonym „Max Brand“ bleibt er der bis heute fruchtbarste Western-Autor. Die meisten seiner Werke entstanden in einer Villa über Florenz, wo er bis zum Ausbruch des II. Weltkriegs mit seiner Familie wohnte. Eine Kommilitonin aus Berkeley-Tagen hatte ihn 1932 dort besucht und schreibt:

…a villa above Florence, high-ceilinged, spacious, book-lined, each possession, large or small, a joy to look upon, all of it – Old World home of Old World treasures, gardens, swimming-pool beside its pergola walk of pink roses in full bloom, tennis court, terrace and balconies overlooking the Italian city of such irregular charm seen from the hills – all of it integrated by an atmosphere of rarest devotion and unity, by an active valuation of the non-material needs of the spirit, by a hospitality which shared a richness of daily living – rich intellectually, materially, spiritually – with those fortunate enough to come within the villa’s high Italian walls. Each day we were motored in, that June might see something of the superlative offerings of Florence itself – and yet each day we should have been content to spend all our waking hours swimming, playing tennis, lazing about the gardens… lunch in the cool grape-arbored terrace behind the house, tea under the pink-rosed pergola by the swimming-pool, dinner at the stone table on the geraniumed terrace in front of the house overlooking Florence… and evenings of our reading Shakespeare out loud, by parts, sitting about the great Florentine marble fireplace… of Heinie… Faust… reading Chaucer… Spenser… Malroy to us… of talk of books and poetry and men and values…To me it was the actuality, not a mere dream, of what life abroad can signify at its very best… The whole man was taken care of – work, hard work (Frederick Faust wrote many hours a day), play every day, a familiy life bound by mutual interests and the time to share them, and active and never satisfied appreciation of the cultural offerings of the Old World, approached as humble students, enthusiasm ever fresh; time and atmosphere for books, for thought, for good talk, for friends… and the love of two people for each other making the whole complete.

Cornelia Stratten Parker Wanderer’s Circle New York 1934, S. 303-4