- Derby, Edward Pickman
- In “The Thing on the Doorstep,” the weak-willed husband of Asenath Waite, who forces him to exchange his personality with hers. As a youth, Derby was a boy genius, who published the volume of poetry, Azathoth and Other Horrors . After undergoing several horrible experiences in the company of his wife, including participation in various gatherings of the witch-cult, he summons up the nerve to kill Asenath, burying her in the basement of their house in Arkham. But Asenath’s personality survives, and she thrusts Derby’s personality into her decaying corpse while she occupies his own body. With incredible effort, Derby unearths himself from his makeshift grave and brings a message to his longtime friend Daniel Upton, urging Dan to kill the individual occupying his own body. Derby appears to be a synthesis of HPL’s various proteges—chiefly Frank Belknap Long and Alfred Galpin—and perhaps Clark Ashton Smith. Like HPL, Derby marries a strong-willed woman somewhat late in life, although the woman HPL married was several years older than him whereas Asenath is fifteen years younger than Edward.
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.
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