Sunday, November 26, 2006

C. M. Eddy, H.P.L., & Houdinii: According to L Sprague de Camp

"Lovecraft passed some revision work on to Clifford Eddy, who had been acting as Houdini's booking agent. Houdini had taken the place of david Bush as Lovecraft's most demanding and best paying ghosting client. When Houdini played Providence early in October 1926, he invited Lovecraft and the Eddys to his show and afterwards took them to supper with his wife Beatrice. Houdini payed Lovecraft $75 (**)for an article exposing the fallacies of astrology. He wanted Lovecraft to write another for hm on witchcraft and to come to Detroit to colalborate. Dreading another exile, Lovecraft put Houdini off. The next he ehard, Houdini had been stricken with his terminal illness." (1)

{deCamp is under the impression that Houdini died of cancer.}

Maddeningly, de Camp gives almost no footnotes on where he extracted this information.

However, we have testimony that Houdini was in Detroit at the Garrick Theater when he collapsed with a 104 F fever. (2)

(1)H. P. Lovecraft A Biography, L. Spague de Camp, 1975, 1996, Barnes and Noble, pp. 264, 265
(2) The Secret Life of Houdini. Kalush and Sloman, p. 511.

(**) Updated information. Research shows that the 1926 mimimum wage was $6 per day - based on From World's Work, October 1926 pp. 613-616. "HENRY FORD: Why I Favor Five Days' Work With Six Days' Pay" By SAMUEL CROWTHER. Lovecraft's pay of $75 for an article was a truly significant sum and demonstrated Houdini's generosity.

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