I’ll put up this retro review from March 3, 2006 even though, as I make clear, it’s of limited interest.
Review: The Gentleman from Angell Street: Memories of H. P. Lovecraft, Muriel E. Eddy and C. M. Eddy, Jr, 2001.
How much you’ll get out of this book depends on whether you’ve read S. T. Joshi’s Lovecraft: A Life. If you have read it, then you will find little new in this book since Joshi mined most of it. The memorial poems are nothing distinguished, and the brief recollections of the Eddys’ daughter, Ruth, add little. Like Joshi, I’m suspicious of Muriel’s statements about her early acquaintance with the Lovecraft family before actually meeting HPL.
However, the book is a treat if you haven’t read Joshi’s biography. The Eddys were some of Lovecraft’s few friends in Providence, and C.M. even collaborated with Lovecraft on the necrophilic tale “The Loved Dead” as well as some other, less notable, tales of Eddy’s. The Lovecraft that comes through here is a warm, generous man with a sweet tooth and a love of cats, a gifted reader of his own work, haunter of Providence and its surrounding swamps. Muriel’s romantic notions of a match between the divorced Lovecraft and his ghostwriting client Hazel Heald bring a smile.
As thin as the book is, it suffers from repeated anecdotes and facts because it is a collection of reminisces and not a single essay.
It does include photos of its authors, Lovecraft’s wife and his parents, and a surprisingly pudgy Lovecraft from his doomed sojourn in New York City.
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