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Edwin Baird (1886 – September 27, 1954, age 69[1]) was the first editor of Weird Tales, the pioneering pulp magazine that specialized in horror fiction.

Edwin Baird
Born 1886
United States
Died September 27, 1954 (aged 67–68)
United States
Occupation Magazine editor
Language English
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Genres Horror, pulp fiction
Baird's novel The Heart of Virginia Keep appeared in The Argosy in 1915.

Baird, hired by Weird Tales publisher J. C. Henneberger, put out the magazine's premiere issue, dated March 1923.[2] Over the course of the next year, Baird published some of the magazine's most famous writers, including H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Seabury Quinn.[3]

Baird—in marked contrast to his successor—accepted everything that Lovecraft submitted to the magazine,[4] including "The Hound", "Arthur Jermyn", "The Statement of Randolph Carter", "The Cats of Ulthar", "Dagon", "The Picture in the House", "The Rats in the Walls", "Hypnos" and "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs".[5] He did, however, insist that Lovecraft retype his first submissions using double spacing, causing the author to remark, "I am not certain whether or not I should bother."[6]

Under Baird's editorship, Weird Tales lost a considerable amount of money—estimated at $51,000.[7] After the April 1924 issue, Henneberger fired him and offered his job to Lovecraft.[8] When Lovecraft declined, the publisher made Farnsworth Wright, until then Baird's assistant, the editor of Weird Tales, a position he held until 1940.[9]

Baird remained as editor of another of Henneberger's titles, Detective Tales. In this post, he rejected Lovecraft's "The Shunned House" in July 1925.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  • Lin Carter, Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Vincent Starrett, "Books Alive" (column), Chicago Tribune, February 13, 1955. Starrett added several brief details about Baird's life, but gave no further information about his death.
  2. ^ Joshi and Schultz, p. 15.
  3. ^ Carter, p. 37.
  4. ^ Joshi and Schultz, p. 305.
  5. ^ Carter, pp. 32-35.
  6. ^ H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Frank Belknap Long, May 13, 1923; cited in Carter, p. 33.
  7. ^ Carter, pp. 35-37.
  8. ^ Carter, pp. 41-43.
  9. ^ Joshi and Schultz, pp. 304-305.
  10. ^ Joshi and Schultz, p. 14.