- (1896–1961)Revision client of HPL, residing in Somerville, Mass. According to Muriel E.Eddy ( The Gentleman from Angell Street), Heald was a member of a New England writers’ club that Mrs. Eddy had begun; sometime in 1932 Mrs. Eddy introduced Heald to HPL, having read “The Man of Stone,” which she found poorly written but with an interesting plot. Although other parts of Mrs. Eddy’s memoir appear falsified or erroneous, nothing in HPL’s letters contradicts this account; HPL, in fact, never mentions how he first came to know Heald. HPL eventually revised five stories for her — “The Man of Stone,” “Winged Death,” “The Horror in the Museum,” “Out of the Aeons,” and “The Horror in the Burying-Ground” — most of them in 1932–33. (See entries on individual stories for details of publication and other particulars.) Four of the stories feature an element in common: a human being who is either dead or immobilized but whose brain is alive (“Winged Death” features a man whose brain or personality ends up in the body of an insect). Mrs. Eddy suggests that Heald, a divorcee, was romantically attracted to HPL and that she once invited him to a candlelight dinner in Somerville; in his memoir W.Paul Cook notes that after his trip to Quebec in the summer of 1932, HPL stopped to visit him in Athol, Mass., and that “he was going to take a midnight bus to Providence after dinner in Somerville” (Cook does not mention Heald in his account). HPL himself does not seem to have been particularly attracted to Heald. Heald did not keep her letters from HPL.
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.
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