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C. M. Eddy Jr.

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Clifford Martin Eddy Jr. (C. M. Eddy Jr.; January 18, 1896 – November 21, 1967)[1] was an American author known for his horror, mystery and supernatural short stories. He is best remembered for his work in Weird Tales magazine and his friendship with H.P. Lovecraft.

Clifford M. Eddy Jr.
C. M. Eddy, Jr.jpg
Born (1896-01-18)January 18, 1896
Providence, Rhode Island
Died November 21, 1967(1967-11-21) (aged 71)
Providence, Rhode Island
Resting place Swan Point Cemetery
Pen name C. M. Eddy Jr.
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Genre Horror, science fiction
Spouse Muriel E. Eddy

Contents

CareerEdit

Eddy was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in January 18, 1896. He went to Classical High School in Providence,[2] and as a child was a precocious reader and writer. He continued to be an avid reader and writer, interested in mythology and the occult. According to his wife Muriel, "Cliff was always interested in the idea of parallel planes - where life on another level, either astral or otherwise, would be similar to that on earth - or where life might exist, but in another time or another form. He was also fascinated by the themes of teleportation, vampirism, ghosts and the mystery of unexplained phenomena...he spent hours in the library researching the unusual, the unique, the bizarre.".[3]

Horror writerEdit

He began his career writing short stories for a broad range of pulp fiction magazines such as Weird Tales, Munsey's Magazine, and Snappy Stories. His first published tale, "Sign of the Dragon" (Mystery Magazine,[4] 1919), was a detective story. (In October 2012 it was released as a standalone e-book.)

Various tales of mystery, ghosts, and song-writing (he himself wrote songs, including "When We Met by the Blue Lagoon", "In My Wonderful Temple of Love", "Dearest of All", "Underneath the Whispering Pine", "Sunset Hour", and "Hello Mister Sunshine (Goodbye, Mister Rain)"), continued to appear through 1925 in various magazines. They included "A Little Bit of Good Luck" (a story about songwriting), Munsey's Magazine, 1920; "Moonshine" (ghost story), Action Stories, 1922; "The Unshorn Lamb (another story about songwriting) Snappy Stories, 1922. Some stories written at this time were unpublished: "Pilgrimage of Peril", "The Vengeful Vision" and "A Solitary Solution" (all 1924) until collected in Exit Into Eternity (1973).

Friendship with H.P. LovecraftEdit

The Eddys' first contact with H. P. Lovecraft occurred as early as 1918;[5] They first met face to face in August 1923, according to Muriel Eddy being introduced by Eddy's and Lovecraft's mothers,who were both active in the women's suffrage movement.[3]

Lovecraft frequently visited the Eddys' home on Second Street in East Providence, and later called on them at their home in the Fox Point section of Providence. Eddy was a member of Lovecraft's inner circle of friends and authors, and he and Lovecraft edited each other's works.[2] Both authors were also investigators for Harry Houdini and served the magician as ghostwriters. The two collaborated on The Cancer of Superstition, ghostwritten for Houdini, but the latter's death in October 1926 curtailed the project. (Notes and surviving fragments were published in The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces.)

Eddy and Lovecraft took scenic walks, including one to the Old Stone Mill in Newport, Rhode Island; August Derleth later incorporated notes taken by Lovecraft on this occasion into The Lurker at the Threshold (1945).

Eddy's wife Muriel typed many of Lovecraft's manuscripts and Lovecraft would often read the stories to the couple. Eddy wrote several stories that were published in Weird Tales during 1924 and 1925. These were "The Ghost Eater" (a werewolf tale), 1924; "The Loved Dead" (about demoniac desire for the dead i.e. necrophilia), 1924; and "Deaf, Dumb and Blind", a chronicle of Satanic sensations, 1925. Lovecraft's contribution seems to have ranged from making suggestions and perhaps a paragraph change. These tales are collected in The Loved Dead and Other Tales.

Other stories by Eddy which appeared in Weird Tales during 1924 and 1925 were "Ashes" (an experiment by a chemistry professor), 1924; "With Weapons of Stone" (a story of prehistoric man), 1924; "Arhl-a of the Caves" (another prehistoric man tale); and "The Better Choice" (about a machine for reviving the dead), 1925.[3] These tales are also included in The Loved Dead and Other Tales (Fenham Publishing, Narragansett, RI 2008)

The Dark Swamp and "Black Noon"Edit

In August 1923, Eddy and Lovecraft sought the Dark Swamp, a place of which Lovecraft had heard rumours and which was said to lie "off the Putnam Pike, about halfway between Chepachet, Rhode Island and Putnam, Connecticut." [6][7] The legend surrounding the place (which they never found) seems to have influenced the opening of Lovecraft's story "The Colour Out of Space" (1927).

The Dark Swamp was also the basis for Eddy's unfinished short story "Black Noon" (1967) (posthumously published in Exit into Eternity: Tales of the Bizarre and Supernatural, see below). The introduction to Exit Into Eternity explains that Eddy was unable to complete the work due to illness, and died in 1967; also that August Derleth was intending to finish this work, and perhaps expand it into a full-length novel, but it remained unfinished due to Derleth's death in 1971.[8] "Black Noon"'s protagonist is a pipe-smoking businessman called Biff Briggs (standing in for Eddy himself -'Biff' instead of 'Cliff') who reads pulp magazines in his spare time .After discovering the work of a superb horror writer named Robert Otis Mather (a thinly veiled fictitious version of H.P. Lovecraft) in the new pulp Uncanny Stories and finding he lives in the same town, Briggs befriends him and becomes a frequent visitor to Mathers' house at 31 Spring Lane, Fenham. (This fictitious town was invented by Eddy and is featured in "The Loved Dead" (1923) and "Deaf, Dumb and Blind" (1924). Mathers (known as Rom for short, due to his initials), is partly cared for by his aunt, Agatha Sessions. Mathers writes a trilogy of novels which seem to have taken him over almost by demonic possession. In the summer, Rom wants to investigate a town called Granville, which is reputed to have numerous haunted houses, and calls on Briggs to transport him. Over a period of two weeks they hold nightly vigils awaiting supernatural manifestations; while no ghosts appear, Rom's life is nearly ended several times by seemingly unnatural accidents.

There is a published letter by Eddy on his relationship with Lovecraft.[9]

Later careerEdit

Eddy was also a theatrical booking agent for 25 years, promoting shows that featured many famous vaudevillians and performers of the early twentieth century. In later years, he was a proofreader for Oxford Press, a principal clerk at the business management office of the Rhode Island State Department of Public Health, secretary treasurer of the Rhode Island Theatrical Booking Agents' Association, and president (1954–1956) and treasurer (1962–67) of the Rhode Island Writers' Guild.[2] He died on November 21, 1967, aged 71, and is interred at Swan Point Cemetery.[1]

Muriel E. EddyEdit

Eddy's wife Muriel E(lizabeth)(Gammons) Eddy (1896–1978) was born in Taunton, Massachusetts[10] and educated in Attleboro Falls, Massachusetts; Redlands, California; and at the Horace Mann School in San Jose, California. She spent some parts of her early life living in California before returning to New England and living the rest of her life in Rhode Island, primarily in Providence. She married Clifford Eddy in 1918 following a correspondence which developed from their common interest in creative writing. They both continued their writing careers after marriage and raised three children (Clifford Myron, Fay Audrey and Ruth Muriel).[11]

Muriel E. Eddy wrote numerous memoirs of H.P. Lovecraft. See, for instance, her 1945 piece "Howard Phillips Lovecraft" in Rhode Island on Lovecraft.

The range of Muriel's memoirs of Lovecraft includes letters published in The Providence Journal in 1944, 1948, and 1958, and in Magazine of Horror (May 1970), as well as uncollected pieces such as "Memories of H.P.L." (Magazine of Horror 2, No 6 (Winter 1965-66) and "Lovecraft's Marriage and Divorce" (Haunted 1, No 3 (June 1968). The late essay "H.P. Lovecraft Among the Demons" (The Rhode Islander (the Providence Sunday Journal Magazine) 8 March 1970) has been reprinted in the Fenham Publishing edition of The Gentleman from Angell Street(see below).

Some of Muriel's memoirs were privately printed in Providence as booklets, including The Howard Phillips Lovecraft We Knew (undated but published prior to 1969); H.P. Lovecraft Esquire: Gentleman (no date); the substantial The Gentleman from Angell Street (with Clifford M. Eddy) (an expansion of her essay from Rhode Island on Lovecraft) (1961, 1977), also reprinted by Fenham Publishing (see below) and in Lovecraft Remembered); and Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Man and the Image ([Providence]: Muriel E. Eddy (Studio Guild Press), 1969. The Gentleman from Angell Street is one of Muriel Eddy's most significantly lengthy memoirs on Lovecraft.

Lovecraft's mother and Eddy's mother (Mrs. Grace Eddy) became friends by meeting at a women's suffrage meeting, and they discovered that their sons were both enthusiasts of the weird. Lovecraft and the Eddys corresponded extensively until Lovecraft's mother Susie was taken to the hospital in spring 1919. Lovecraft sent the Eddys application blanks for the United Amateur Press Association along with a letter regarding Eddy's amateur standing dated September 21, 1918.[5]

Apart from her work on Lovecraft, Mrs. Eddy wrote in many genres including romance, occult, biography and poetry. Stories by her appeared in various magazines, including numerous appearances in The Tryout between 1918 and 1925, as well as stories in Complete Novel, Scarlet Adventuress, and Personal Adventure Stories. She had letters published in Weird Tales, Strange Tales, Strange Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Oriental Stories and Golden Fleece: Part 5. A letter which serves as an obituary for her husband was published in Magazine of Horror (July 1968).

She served as president of the Rhode Island Writers' Guild for more than twenty years, and also taught creative writing. She was an avid letter writer, sometimes writing and sending ten notes a day. Some of her many correspondents included H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, L. Sprague de Camp, Sonia Greene, Joseph Payne Brennan, Robert Bloch, and Princess Red Wing. She died aged 82 on January 30, 1978, and is interred at Swan Point Cemetery.

Ruth M. Eddy (1921–2009)Edit

Of the Eddys' children, Ruth, who remembered seeing Lovecraft as a child, wrote a brief memoir of him, "The Man Who Came at Midnight" (Fantasy Commentator 3, 3 (Fall-Summer 1949)), which has been reprinted in the Fenham Publishing edition of The Gentleman from Angell Street.

Ruth Muriel Eddy was born in 1921. She graduated from Central High School in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1939, where she was editor of the Black & Gold yearbook. She received the D.A.R. Good Citizenship Award, and the Campbell Trophy for Scholastic excellence and leadership. She was an alumnus of the class of '47 of Eastern Nazarene College and from Eastern Nazarene College in 1943.

She was a proofreader for Oxford Press, a newsroom typist for The Providence Journal, and a public relations writer for WJAR-TV. In 1950, she founded the Rhode Island Writers' Guild serving in various capacities as President, Vice President and Secretary. However, Ruth was primarily a poet; her collections include Impression of the Terminal, Poems for Christian Youth and Stardust, Silver and Gold (Oxford Press, Providence, 1949).'

She served as chairman of the Rhode Island Chapter of American Women in Radio-TV, was a member of the National Council on Aging, and was listed in Who's Who in American Women. In 1966, she received an extension diploma from Brown University.

Both Ruth and her mother Muriel had poems in the anthology Omniumgathum, edited by Jonathan Bacon and Steve Troyanovich (Stygian Isle Press, 1976).

Ruth M. Bell (Eddy) died on Thursday, May 21, 2009, at St. Elizabeth Home, East Greenwich, Rhode Island. [4] She was interred at Swan Point Cemetery.

Ruth also wrote a handful of horror stories, and like her father, she wrote music for songs.

Fenham PublishingEdit

Eddy's grandson Jim Dyer (son of Eddy's daughter) set up Fenham Publishing in Narragansett, Rhode Island, in 2000 to publish the works of his grandparents Clifford M. and Muriel E. Eddy.[12]

BibliographyEdit

  • Exit Into Eternity: Tales of the Bizarre and Supernatural (Providence, RI: Oxford Press, 1973; Narragansett, RI: Fenham Publishing, 2000). Introduction by Muriel E. Eddy. Contents:
    • "Pilgrimage of Peril" (1924; unpublished until this volume)
    • "The Vengeful Vision" (1924; unpublished until this volume)
    • "Miscreant from Murania" (1951, unpublished until this volume)
    • "A Solitary Solution" (1924; unpublished until this volume)
    • "Black Noon (a beginning) (1967; unfinished as explained above; unpublished until this volume)
  • Erased from Exile (Lamoni, IA: Stygian Isle Press, 1976)
  • The Terror Out of Time (Providence, RI: Dyer-Eddy, 1976)
  • The Loved Dead and Other Tales (Narragansett, RI: Fenham Publishing, 2008). Edited by Jim Dyer.
  • The Gentleman from Angell Street: Memories of H.P. Lovecraft (with Muriel Eddy) (Narragansett, RI: Fenham Publishing, 2001). Edited by Jim Dyer.

Secondary readingEdit

  • Popkins, George. "He Wrote of the Supernatural". Providence Evening Bulletin (Nov 25, 1963), 37.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Fenham Publishing, About the Authors
  2. ^ a b c Brown University Archival & Manuscript Collections Online, Historical note
  3. ^ a b c C.M. Eddy Jr. Exit into Eternity: Tales of the Bizarre and Supernatural Providence RI: Oxford Press, Inc, 1973. p. (iii).
  4. ^ http://www.philsp.com/mags/mystery_magazine.html
  5. ^ a b Eddy Family manuscript collection
  6. ^ C.M. Eddy Jr. "Walks with H.P. Lovecraft", in The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces; reprint (in French) in L'Herne No. 12 (1969), the special Lovecraft issue; reprint in Muriel E. Eddy and C.M. Eddy Jr, The Gentleman from Angell Street: Memories of H.P. Lovecraft, Narragansett, RI: Fenham Publishing Co, 2001
  7. ^ See also Lovecraft's Selected Letters I Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1965, pp. 264–67
  8. ^ C.M. Eddy Jr. Exit into Eternity: Tales of the Bizarre and Supernatural Providence RI: Oxford Press, Inc, 1973. p. (iv).
  9. ^ The Providence Journal 138, No. 283 (26 Nov 1966), 21 (as "Knew Lovecraft")
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ [3]

External linksEdit