C. M. Eddy, Jr.


C. M. Eddy, Jr.
Clifford M. Eddy, Jr.
Born 1896
Providence, Rhode Island
Died 1967
Providence, Rhode Island
Pen name C. M. Eddy, Jr.
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Genres Horror & Science fiction
Spouse(s) Muriel E. Eddy

Clifford Martin Eddy, Jr. (A.K.A. C. M. Eddy, Jr.) (January 18, 1896 - November 21, 1967)[1] was an American author best known for his horror and supernatural short stories. He is best remembered for his work in Weird Tales magazine.

Contents

Career

C.M. Eddy, Jr., was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 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.

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, 1919), was a detective story. 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.

The Eddys' first contact with H.P. Lovecraft was as early as 1918;[3] they first met Lovecraft face to face in August 1923. 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. He 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 and Lovecraft also sought the Dark Swamp, the legend surrounding the place (which they never found) seeming to have influenced the opening of The Colour Out of Space (1927). The Dark Swamp was also the basis for Eddy's unfinished short story "Black Noon" (1967) (published in Exit into Eternity).

Eddy's memoir of Lovecraft, "Walks with H.P. Lovecraft," appears in The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces. It was also published (in French) in L'Herne No. 12 (1969), the special Lovecraft issue, and has been reprinted in the Fenham Publishing edition of The Gentleman from Angell Street (see below). There is also a published letter by Eddy on his relationship with Lovecraft - see The Providence Journal 138, No. 283 (26 Nov 1966), 21 (as "Knew Lovecraft").

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 in 1967, aged 71, and is interred at Swan Point Cemetery.[1]

Muriel E. Eddy

Eddy's wife Muriel E(lizabeth)(Gammons) Eddy (1896–1978) was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, 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.

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.[3]

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, 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

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, and from Eastern Nazarene College in 1943. In 1966, she received an extension diploma from Brown University. 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.

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

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

Miscellanea

  • During World War I, Eddy registered for the draft on January 5, 1917.[4]

Bibliography

  • Exit Into Eternity: Tales of the Bizarre and Supernatural (Providence, RI: Oxford Press, 1973; Narragansett, RI: Fenham Publishing, 2000). Introduction by Muriel E. Eddy.
  • 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).
  • The Gentleman from Angell Street: Memories of H.P. Lovecraft (with Muriel Eddy) (Narragansett, RI: Fenham Publishing, 2001). Edited by Jim Dyer.

Secondary reading

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

References

  1. ^ a b Fenham Publishing, About the Authors
  2. ^ a b c Brown University Archival & Manuscript Collections Online, Historical note
  3. ^ a b Eddy Family manuscript collection
  4. ^ U.S. Army Military Records, World War I Draft Registration Card, 1917

"Clifford M[artin] Eddy, J (1896-1971)" in S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia (Greenwood press, 2001), pp. 83–84.

"Muriel E[lizabeth] (Gammons) Eddy (1896-1978)" in S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia (Greenwood press, 2001), pp. 84–85.

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