Shiel, M[atthew] P[hipps]
- (1865–1947)British weird writer. HPL discovered Shiel in 1923, when W.Paul Cook lent him The Pale Ape and Other Pulses (1911), containing “The House of Sounds” (originally published as “Vaila” in Shapes in the Fire ), which HPL deemed one of the ten best weird tales in literature. HPL also enjoyed “Xelucha” (also in Shapes in the Fire) and the “last man” novel The Purple Cloud (1901; rev. 1929), whose opening pages (describing a trip to the Arctic) may have influenced HPL’s At the Mountains of Madness (1930). Shiel’s Xelucha and Others(1975) and Prince Zaleski and Cummings King Monk (1977) contain most of his best short weird work.See A.Reynolds Morse, The Works of M.P.Shiel: A Study in Bibliography (Los Angeles: Fantasy Publishing Co., 1948; rev. ed. 1980 [with John D. Squires]); A.Reynolds Morse, ed., Shiel in Diverse Hands: A Collection of Essays(Cleveland: Reynolds Morse Foundation, 1983).
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.