Down Memory Lane (Authors & Events)

Memories Revisited: We Remember Seabury Quinn

Seabury Quinn

Who were the most popular writers of Weird Tales magazine? Most readers would name Robert E. Howard, H.P Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. But we keep forgetting Seabury Quinn — the creator of the once incredibly popular occult detective Jules de Grandin.

Seabury Quinn The Devils BrideQuinn, a resident of Washington D.C., was a law graduate. He served in World War I and subsequently started his writing career as a pulp fiction writer. His early stories include Demons of the Night (published in Detective Story Magazine), Was She Mad,  The Stone Image, and The Phantom Farmhouse. Quinn also worked as a government lawyer during World War II.

Quinn’s main claim to fame was, of course, Jules de Grandin. Interestingly, he was not the first to develop the concept of occult detective. Notable examples from the past include Sax Rohmer’s Morris Klaw (check out The Dream Detective), and Algernon Blackwood’s John Silence: Physician Extraordinary. However, Grandin simply smoked his predecessors to ashes in terms of popularity. Right from their first adventure together on Weird Tales — The Horror on the Links — Grandin and Trowbridge was a blockbuster hit with the readers. The occult detective turned out to be one of the most popular attractions of Weird Tales and this led to Quinn’s lifelong association with the magazine.

seabury quinn the adventures of jules de grandinQuinn’s work was even more popular than his iconic competitors like Howard and Lovecraft. He knew exactly what the readers wanted and dished out something unapologetically pulp and surprisingly non-repetitive with the right dose of sensuality. Also, he was Weird Tales’ most prolific writer by far.

You might try out The Complete Adventures of Jules de Grandin (Battered Box edition), but there is also a comprehensive 6 volume paperback series from Popular Library:

• The Adventures of Jules de Grandin,
• The Casebook of Jules de Grandin,
• The Hellfire Files of Jules de Grandin,
• The Horror Chambers of Jules de Grandin,
• The Skeleton Closet of Jules de Grandin.
• The Devil’s Bride (only Jules de Grandin novel)
The skeleton closet of Jules de Grandin Seabury Quinn
Quinn’s last pulp story was Master Nicholas (1965) published in The Magazine of Horror. He died in 1969, just a week before his 80th Birthday.

Unlike Lovecraft and Howard, Quinn has faded away from public memory. Jules de Grandin brought him fame and fortune, but he was also panned by the critics, who described his works as “undistinguished”, and “stereotyped”. Nonetheless, Quinn was enormously popular, and he is still a guilty pleasure for old school readers. His works are delightfully pulpish, but as Robert Weinberg points out, they are “best when taken in moderate doses.”

Seabury Quinn ebook free:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32514/32514-h/32514-h.htm

Select Bibliography

Jules de Grandin Stories

• The Horror on the Links (1925)
• The Tenants of Broussac (1925)
• The Isle of Missing Ships (1926)
• The Vengeance of India (1926)
• The Dead Hand (1926)
• The House of Horror (1926)
• Ancient Fires (1926)
• The Great God Pan (1926)
• The Grinning Mummy (1926)
• The Blood-Flower (1927)
• The Veiled Prophetess (1927)
• The White Lady of the Orphanage (1927)
• Creeping Shadows (1927)
• The Curse of Everard Maundy (1927)
• The Man Who Cast No Shadow (1927)
• The Poltergeist (1927)
• Body and Soul (1928)
• The Chapel of Mystic Horror (1928)
• The Serpent Woman (1928)
• The Jewel of Seven Stones (1928)
• The Gods of East and West (1928)
• Mephistopheles and Company, Ltd. (1928)
• Restless Souls (1928)
• The Black Master (1929)
• The Devil-People (1929)
• The Devil’s Rosary (1929)
• The House of Golden Masks (1929)
• The Corpse-Master (1929)
• Trespassing Souls (1929)
• The Silver Countess (1929)
• The House Without a Mirror (1929)
• Children of Ubasti (1929)
• Stealthy Death (1930)
• The Curse of the House of Phipps (1930)
• The Drums of Damballah (1930)
• The Dust of Egypt (1930)
• The Brain-Thief (1930)
• The Priestess of the Ivory Feet (1930)
• The Bride of Dewer (1930)
• Daughter of the Moonlight (1930)
• The Druid’s Shadow (1930)
• The Wolf of St. Bonnot (1930)
• Satan’s Stepson (1931)
• The Ghost-Helper (1931)
• The Lost Lady (1931) [SF]
• The Door to Yesterday (1932)
• The Bleeding Mummy (1932)
• The Heart of Siva (1932) [SF]
• The Devil’s Bride (1932)
• The Dark Angel (1932)
• A Gamble in Souls (1933)
• The Thing in the Fog (1933)
• The Hand of Glory (1933)
• The Chosen of Vishnu (1933)
• Malay Horror (1933)
• The Mansion of Unholy Magic (1933)
• Red Gauntlets of Czerni (1933)
• The Red Knife of Hassan (1934)
• The Jest of Warburg Tantavul (1934)
• Hands of the Dead (1935)
• The Black Orchid (1935)
• The Dead-Alive Mummy (1935)
• Witch-House (1936)
• A Rival from the Grave (1936)
• Children of the Bat (1937)
• Satan’s Palimpsest (1937)
• Pledged to the Dead (1937)
• Living Buddhess (1937)
• Flames of Vengeance (1937)
• Frozen Beauty (1938)
• Incense of Abomination (1938)
• Suicide Chapel (1938)
• The Venomed Breath of Vengeance (1938)
• Black Moon (1938)
• The Poltergeist of Swan Upping (1939)
• The House Where Time Stood Still (1939)
• Mansions in the Sky (1939)
• The House of the Three Corpses (1939)
• Stoneman’s Memorial (1942)
• Death’s Bookkeeper (1944)
• The Green God’s Ring (1945)
• Lords of the Ghostlands (1945)
• Kurban (1946)
• The Man in Crescent Terrace (1946)
• Three in Chains (1946)
• Catspaws (1946)
• Lotte (1946)
• Eyes in the Dark (1946)
• Clair de Lune (1947)
• Vampire Kith and Kin (1949)
• Conscience Maketh Cowards (1949)
• The Body-Snatchers (1950)
• The Ring of Bastet (1951)
• The Phantom Fighter (1966)

Others:

• The Cloth of Madness (1920)
• The Phantom Farmhouse (1923)
• Out of the Long Ago (1925)
• Itself (1925)
• The Monkey God (1927)
• The Vagabond-at-Arms (1933)
• The Bride of God (1933)
• The Spider Woman (1934)
• The Web of Living Death (1935)
• Strange Interval (1936)
• The Globe of Memories (1937)
• Roads (1938)
• The Temple Dancer (1938)
• Goetterdaemmerung (1938)
• Fortune’s Fool (1938)
• As ‘Twas Told to Me (1938)
• Lynne Foster Is Dead! (1938)
• More Lives Than One (1938)
• Susette (1939)
• Washington Nocturne (1939)
• The Door Without a Key (1939)
• The Lady of the Bells (1939)
• Uncanonized (1939)
• Glamour (1939)
• Mortmain (1940)
• The Golden Spider (1940)
• The Gentle Werewolf (1940)
• The Lesser Brethren Mourn (1940)
• The Last Waltz (1940)
• Doomed (1940)
• Two Shall Be Born (1941)
• Some Day I’ll Kill You! (1941)
• Wake —and Remember (1941)
• There Are Such Things (1941)
• Song Without Words (1941)
• I Married a Ghost (1941)
• Birthmark (1941)
• The Bush Sorceress (1942)
• Who Can Escape… (1942)
• Fate Rolls the Bones (1942)
• Is the Devil a Gentleman? (1942)
• Never the Twain . . . (1942)
• Repayment (1943)
• A Bargain with the Dead (1943)
• The Miracle (1943)
• Louella Goes Home (1943)
• Bon Voyage, Michele (1944)
• The Unbeliever (1944)
• Take Back That Which Thou Gavest (1945)
• Hoodooed (1947)
• Masked Ball (1947)
• Mrs. Pellington Assists (1947)
• The Merrow (1948)
• And Give Us Yesterday (1948)
• Such Stuff as Dreams (1948)
• If Two Are Dead (1949)
• Dark O’ the Moon (1949) also appeared as:
• Variant Title: Dark of the Moon (1949)
• Blindman’s Buff (1949)
• Congo Fury (1950)
• Dark Rosaleen (1950)
• The Last Man (1950)
• Rebels’ Rest (1950) also appeared as:
• Variant Title: Rebel’s Rest (2012)
• Brands from the Burning (1951)
• Fling the Dust Aside (1951)
• The Scarred Soul (1952)
• Master Nicholas (1963)
• The Fire-Master (1975)
• The Best Proof (2009)

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