Seabury Quinn

Seabury Grandin Quinn (also known as Jerome Burke; December 1889 – 24 December 1969) was an American pulp magazine author, most famous for his stories of the occult detective Jules de Grandin, published in Weird Tales.[1]

Seabury Grandin Quinn
Seabury Quinn, date unknown
BornDecember 1889
Died24 December 1969
Other namesJerome Burke


He was born and lived in Washington, D.C. In 1910, he graduated from the law school of the National University and admitted to the District of Columbia Bar. He served in World War I. After his Army service he became editor of a group of trade papers in New York, where he taught medical jurisprudence and wrote technical articles and pulp magazine fiction.

His first published work was "The Law of the Movies", in The Motion Picture Magazine, December 1917. (His story "Painted Gold" may have been written earlier.) "Demons of the Night" was published in Detective Story Magazine on March 19, 1918, followed by "Was She Mad?" on March 25, 1918. He published "The Stone Image" in 1919. He introduced Jules de Grandin as a character in 1925 (taking the character's surname from his own middle name), and continued writing stories about him until 1951.[1] The longest of the de Grandin stories is the 1932 novel-length story The Devil's Bride, strongly influenced by Robert W. Chambers' 1920 novel The Slayer of Souls.[1]

In 1937 he returned to Washington to represent a chain of trade journals, and there subsequently became a government lawyer for the duration of World War II. He alternated between law and journalism all his life. He published over five hundred short stories.

His first book, Roads (a surprising new origin for Santa Claus, drawn from the original Christian legends), was published by Arkham House in 1948.

Ten of the Jules de Grandin stories were collected in The Phantom Fighter (Mycroft & Moran, an imprint of Arkham House), 1966. A broader selection of the stories, including the novel The Devil's Bride, was issued in a six-volume Popular Library paperback edition in 1967-77. A three-volume omnibus reportedly including all the de Grandin stories was issued by a specialty publisher in 2002.[2]

Although the De Grandin stories were enormously popular on their initial publication, modern critics tend to regard them as the weakest part of Quinn's work, with Brian Stableford describing the De Grandin stories "as indeed rather undistinguished", claiming they are full of stereotyped characters and poorly resolved plots.[1] Quinn wrote several non-De Grandin tales in the 1940s and 1950s; Stableford states Quinn's "best stories here are ironically perverted love stories", such as "The Globe of Memories" (1937) and "Glamour" (1939).[1]

Weird Tales February 1937
Brian Stableford wrote that Seabury Quinn's best stories were his "ironically perverted love stories", such as "The Globe of Memories" (1937).

His writing was secondary to his career as a lawyer specializing in mortuary jurisprudence. He taught this subject at mortuary schools for many years, and for some 15 years was the editor of Casket & Sunnyside, a leading trade journal. His Jerome Burke stories are still published in the Dodge embalming magazine.

Of his professional work only two slim books were published. The first was the infamouswhy is it 'infamous'? A Syllabus of Mortuary Jurisprudence, published in book form in 1933 by Clement Williams of Kansas City, Kansas, with a foreword by C. A. Renouard (of the Renouard School of Embalming) and Clement Williams )of the Clement Williams School of Embalming). This was distilled from a lecture he gave in 1914. The text was extant as early as least 1924 / 1925, being serialized in Casket and Sunnyside. Quinn became editor of Casket and Sunnyside in December 1925.

The second was An Encyclopedic Law Glossary For Funeral Directors and Embalmers, published by the Williams Institute of Mortuary Science, Kansas City 1940, with an introduction by Quinn, dated January 1940. This had a series of definitions of terms that had puzzled his students.

Besides contributing to the then De-Ce-Co Magazine, later the Dodge Magazine, for the Dodge Chemical Co, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Quinn wrote articles for The American Funeral Director and other trade journals. His Jerome Burke material, not necessarily in sequence, is available in This I Remember: Memoirs of a Funeral Director, published by the Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, with a foreword by Arnold Dodge.

Quinn was a contemporary of Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith. Mary Elizabeth Counselman was a friend of Quinn's and wrote a tribute to him after he died.[3]

Quinn's posthumously published novel Alien Flesh (1977) is a sexually explicit erotic fantasy about a male Egyptologist who has a magical sex change into a beautiful young woman.[1] It has been described as a "bold and striking celebration of sexual confusion" in the style of Pierre Louÿs.[1] It was illustrated by Stephen Fabian.

Recent publications

Night Creatures, a collection of stories by Quinn, edited by Peter Ruber and Joseph Wrzos for Ash-Tree Press appeared in (2003).

Demons of the Night, another collection of his stories, was published by Black Dog Books, of Normal, Illinois. Edited by Gene Christie, it contains his early stories. It has two of the "Major Sturdevant and his Washington Nights' Entertainment series", subtitled "Stories of the Secret Service", and two more featuring Professor Forrester, another amateur detector of crimes. It also contains one of the most complete bibliographies of Quinn yet published.

A Facsimile of the 1948 Arkham House edition of "Roads" was published June 1, 2005 by Red Jacket Press.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Quinn, Seabury" by Brian Stableford in David Pringle, St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost & Gothic Writers. London : St. James Press, 1998, ISBN 1558622063 (pp. 466-7).
  2. ^ Rodger Turner, Webmaster. "The SF Site Featured Review: The Compleat Adventures of Jules de Grandin / This I Remember". Retrieved 2014-08-10.
  3. ^ Mary Elizabeth Counselman, "In Loving Tribute: I Remember Seabury".Etchings and Odysseys No. 2, pp.17-18. 1983.

External links

Adventure Tales

Adventure Tales is an irregularly published magazine reprinting classic stories from pulp magazines of the early 20th century. It is edited by science fiction writer John Gregory Betancourt and published by Wildside Press. In 2011 it was published biannually. Each issue has a theme or a featured author related to pulp magazines. Its headquarters is in Rockville, Maryland.

Issue #1 (2006) featured prolific pulp writer Hugh B. Cave.

Contents: "Skulls," by H. Bedford Jones; "Under the Flame Trees," by H. de Vere Stacpoole; "Rats Ashore," by Charles C. Young; "The Evil Eye," by Vincent Starrett; "Watson!" by Captain A. E. Dingle; "Island Feud," by Hugh B. Cave; "The Man Who Couldn't Die," by Hugh B. Cave;

Issue #2 (2006) featured pulp writer Nelson Bond.

Includes work by Dorothy Quick, Achmed Abdullah, John D. Swain, Christopher B. Booth, Harold Lamb, Nelson Bond, and Arthur O. Friel.

Issue #3 (2006) featured pulp writer Murray Leinster.

Other contents includes: "Land Sharks and Others," by H. Bedford-Jones; "Light on a Subject," by Raymond S. Spears; "Channa's Tabu," by Harold Lamb; "Forbidden Fruit," by John D. Swain; "Kill That Headline," by Robert Leslie Bellem; "The Floating Island," by Philip M. Fisher; Africa," by George Allan England. A special book-paper edition included extra content: "Nerve" and "The Street of Magnificent Dreams," by Murray Leinster; "The Moon-Calves," by Raymond S. Spears; and "Pirates' Gold," by H. Bedford-Jones.

Issue #4 (2007) featured pulp writers associated with Weird Tales magazine.

Contents: "The Monkey God," by Seabury Quinn; "Double-Shuffle," by Edwin Baird; "Every Man a King," by E. Hoffmann Price; "Blind Man's Bluff," by Edwin Baird; "The Mad Detective," by John D. Swain; "Son of the White wolf," by Robert E. Howard; "Adventure," by Clark Ashton Smith (verse); "Astrophobos," by H.P. Lovecraft (verse); "Always Comes Evening," by Robert E. Howard (verse)

Issue #5 (2008) featured pulp writer Achmed Abdullah.

Contents: "Their Own Dear Land," by Achmed Abdullah; "The Pearls of Paruki," by J. Allan Dunn; "The Midmatch Tragedy," by Vincent Starrett; "The Remittance Woman," by Achmed Abdullah.

Issue #6 (2010) featured pulp writer H. Bedford-Jones.

Contents: "The Fugitive Statue," by Vincent Starrett; "Miracle," by John D. Swain; "Mustered Out," by H. Beford-Jones; "The Devil's Heirloom," by Anthony M. Rud; "The Tapir," by Arthur O. Friel; "Thubway Tham's Dog," by Johnston McCulley; "The Badman's Brand," by H. Bedford-Jones; "Lancelot Biggs Cooks a Pirate," by Nelson S. Bond; "Surprise in Sulphur Springs," by Bedford-Jones; "Payable to Bearer," by Talbot Mundy; plus a facsimile reprint of the first issue of AMRA, the fantasy fanzine.

Arkham's Masters of Horror

Arkham's Masters of Horror is an anthology of fantasy and horror stories edited by Peter Ruber. It was released by Arkham House in an edition of approximately 4,000 copies in 2000. The book includes an introductory essay by Ruber before each story and about its author.

Ruber drew criticism from the horror/fantasy community for the hostility with which he introduced some authors within the volume - for instance, his accusation that H.P. Lovecraft "had a schizoid personality" and could be labelled "a genuine crackpot."

The book was translated into Spanish in 2010 as Maestros del horror de Arkham House (Valdemar).[1]

Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award

Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award honors underread science fiction and fantasy authors with the intention of drawing renewed attention to the winners. The award was initiated in 2001 by the Cordwainer Smith Foundation.

Farnsworth Wright

Farnsworth Wright (July 29, 1888 – June 12, 1940) was the editor of the pulp magazine Weird Tales during the magazine's heyday, editing 179 issues from November 1924-March 1940. Jack Williamson called Wright "the first great fantasy editor".


Grotesquerie is a literary form that became a popular genre in the early 20th century. It can be grouped with science fiction and horror. Authors such as Ambrose Bierce, Fritz Leiber, H. Russell Wakefield, Seabury Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, Margaret St. Clair, Stanton A. Coblentz, Lee Brown Coye and Katherine Anne Porter have written books within this genre.

The term has also been used to describe macabre artwork and movies, and it is used in architecture.

H. Warner Munn

Harold Warner Munn (November 5, 1903 – January 10, 1981) was an American writer of fantasy, horror and poetry, best remembered for his early stories in Weird Tales. He was an early friend and associate of authors H. P. Lovecraft and Seabury Quinn. He has been described by fellow author Jessica Amanda Salmonson, who interviewed him during 1978, as "the ultimate gentleman" and "a gentle, calm, warm, and good friend." He was known for his intricate plotting and the careful research that he did for his stories, a habit he traced back to two mistakes made when he wrote his early story "The City of Spiders."

A resurgence of interest in his work occurred during the 1970s due to its appearance in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series and the successor fantasy series published with the imprint of Del Rey Books.

In addition to writing, Munn collected books and classic pulp magazines, including Air Wonder Stories, Amazing Stories, Astounding and other science fiction titles, along with Argosy, Argosy All Story, Cavalier, Weird Tales (to the end of the Wright publication series), and others. Also in his library were self-manufactured books consisting of serialized stories extracted from magazines, notably works by George Allan England such as "Darkness and Dawn". About three fourths of his collection was ruined by exposure to weather during a relocation and had to be destroyed.

During his last years Munn lived in Tacoma, Washington in a house he had built himself. He did his writing either in his living room or in the attic room that constituted his library. During this time he was working on an additional volume of the Merlin series to be called The Sword of Merlin, which he did not live to finish. He was befriended at this time by the young writer W.H. Pugmire, who was influenced by Munn's work.

Jules de Grandin

Jules de Grandin is a fictional occult detective created by Seabury Quinn for Weird Tales. Assisted by Dr. Trowbridge (serving the same narrative purpose as Dr. Watson), de Grandin fought ghosts, werewolves, and satanists in over ninety stories, and one novel, between 1925 and 1951. Jules de Grandin and Dr. Trowbridge lived in Harrisonville, New Jersey. De Grandin was a French physician and expert on the occult and a former member of the French Sûreté who resembled a more physically dynamic blond, blue-eyed Hercule Poirot. Often, the supernatural entities in the mysteries are revealed not to be supernatural at all but the actions of insane, evil and depraved human beings.

Peter Ruber

Peter Ruber (September 29, 1940 – March 6, 2014) was a United States author, editor and publisher. He had been an advertising executive, book publisher and, for the past two decades, a consultant and free-lance journalist for many leading business information technology magazines. He lived on Long Island, New York with his wife, three sons, three grandchildren and a mountain of books and literary papers.

As publishing executive, he came to know and publish many books by Arkham House founder August Derleth between 1962–1971, some under his Candlelight Press imprint, and researched his former colleague's life and time for nearly forty years.

Ruber became the editor for Arkham House in 1997, after Jim Turner left to found Golden Gryphon Press. Ruber drew criticism for the hostile opinions of various authors he expressed in his story introductions within his anthology Arkham's Masters of Horror (2000). Rumours of his ill-health circulated for some time; he suffered a stroke in 2004 and his editorial duties at Arkham House lapsed due to this.

Ruber authored The Last Bookman: A Journey into the Life and Times of Vincent Starrett: Journalist, Bookman, Bibliophile (NY: Candlelight Press, 1968; reprint Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, 1995) and editor of over 25 books. He did much research for a biography on August Derleth (as yet unpublished) and Seabury Quinn. He also began editing for Battered Silicon Dispatch Box all of Vincent Starrett's works, with 22 of a projected 25 volumes already in print.

In 2000 Ruber edited a collection of previously unpublished stories by H. Russell Wakefield for Ash-Tree Press. For the same publisher in 2003 he edited Night Creatures by Seabury Quinn.

Ruber suffered a stroke in 2004 and his editorial duties at Arkham House lapsed due to this.

Ruber died on March 6, 2014.

Roads (novel)

Roads is a short novel by author Seabury Quinn. It was published by Arkham House in 1948 in an edition of 2,137 copies. It was Arkham House's first illustrated book and the author's first hardcover.

The story, in an unrevised edition, originally appeared in the January 1938 issue of Weird Tales magazine.Roads is a Christmas story that traces the origins of Santa Claus from the beginning of the Christian era.

The story is split into three parts:

"The Road to Bethlehem"

"The Road to Calvary"

"The Long, Long Road"Roads was reissued in 2005 by Red Jacket Press, as a fully authorized facsimile reproduction of the original Arkham House edition.

Seabury (name)

Seabury is both a surname and a given name. Notable people with the name include:


Ruth Isabel Seabury (1892–1955), American missionary, writer and educator

Samuel Seabury (1729–1796), American Episcopal bishop

Samuel Seabury (1801–1872), rector of the Church of the Annunciation in New York City

Samuel Seabury (judge) (1873–1958), judge of the New York Court of AppealsGiven name:

Seabury Ford (1801–1855), Governor of Ohio

Seabury C. Mastick (1871–1969), New York politician

Seabury Quinn (1889–1969), American pulp fiction author

Strange Stories

Strange Stories was a pulp magazine which ran for thirteen issues from 1939 to 1941. It was edited by Mort Weisinger, who was not credited. Contributors included Robert Bloch, Eric Frank Russell, C. L. Moore, August Derleth, and Henry Kuttner. Strange Stories was a competitor to the established leader in weird fiction, Weird Tales. With the launch, also in 1939, of the well-received Unknown, Strange Stories was unable to compete. It ceased publication in 1941 when Weisinger left to edit Superman comic books.

The Phantom-Fighter

The Phantom-Fighter is a collection of supernatural detective short stories by author Seabury Quinn. It was released in 1966 by Mycroft & Moran in an edition of 2,022 copies. The stories are about Quinn's detective Jules de Grandin and were originally published in the magazine Weird Tales. Quinn was still alive in 1966, and he revised and modernized the stories in this collection.

The Thrill Book

The Thrill Book was a U.S. pulp magazine published by Street & Smith in 1919. It was intended to carry "different" stories: this meant stories that were unusual or unclassifiable, which in practice often meant that the stories were fantasy or science fiction. The first eight issues, edited by Harold Hersey, were a mixture of adventure and weird stories. Contributors included Greye La Spina, Charles Fulton Oursler, J. H. Coryell, and Seabury Quinn. Hersey was replaced by Ronald Oliphant with the July 1 issue, probably because Street & Smith were unhappy with his performance.

Oliphant printed more science fiction and fantasy than Hersey had done, though this included two stories by Murray Leinster which Hersey had purchased before being replaced. The most famous story from The Thrill Book is The Heads of Cerberus, a very early example of a novel about alternate time tracks, by Francis Stevens. Oliphant was given a larger budget than Hersey, and was able to acquire material by popular writers such as H. Bedford-Jones, but he was only able to produce eight more issues before the end came. The last issue was dated October 15, 1919; it was probably cancelled because of poor sales, although a printers' strike at that time may have been a factor.

Although The Thrill Book has been described as the first American pulp to specialize in fantasy and science fiction, this description is not supported by recent historians of the field, who regard it instead as a stepping stone on the path that ultimately led to Weird Tales and Amazing Stories, the first true specialized magazines in the fields of weird fiction and science fiction respectively.

Weird Tales (anthology series)

Weird Tales was a series of paperback anthologies, a revival of the classic fantasy and horror magazine of the same title, published by Zebra Books from 1980 to 1983 under the editorship of Lin Carter. It was issued more or less annually, though the first two volumes were issued simultaneously and there was a year’s gap between the third and fourth. It was preceded and succeeded by versions of the title in standard magazine form.

Each volume featured thirteen or fourteen novelettes, short stories and poems, including both new works by various fantasy authors and reprints from authors associated with the original Weird Tales, together with an editorial and introductory notes to the individual pieces by the editor. Authors whose works were featured included Robert Aickman, James Anderson, Robert H. Barlow, Robert Bloch, Hannes Bok, Ray Bradbury, Joseph Payne Brennan, Diane and John Brizzolara, Ramsey Campbell, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, August Derleth, Nictzin Dyalhis, Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, Robert E. Howard, Carl Jacobi, David H. Keller, Marc Laidlaw, Tanith Lee, Frank Belknap Long, Jr., H. P. Lovecraft, Robert A. W. Lowndes, Brian Lumley, Gary Myers, R. Faraday Nelson, Frank Owen, Gerald W. Page, Seabury Quinn, Anthony M. Rud, Charles Sheffield, Clark Ashton Smith, Stuart H. Stock, Steve Rasnic Tem, Evangeline Walton, Donald Wandrei, and Manly Wade Wellman, as well as Carter himself.

Carter habitually padded out the volumes he edited with a few his own works, whether written singly or in collaboration (the latter generally "posthumous collaborations" with Clark Ashton Smith in which he wrote stories on the basis of unused titles or story ideas from Smith’s notebooks).

Weird Tales 1

Weird Tales #1 is an anthology edited by Lin Carter, the first in his paperback revival of the classic fantasy and horror magazine Weird Tales. It is also numbered vol. 48, no. 1 (Spring 1981) in continuation of the numbering of the original magazine. The anthology was first published in paperback by American publisher Zebra Books in December 1980, and reprinted in 1983.

The book collects fourteen novelettes, short stories and poems by various fantasy authors, including both new works by various fantasy authors and reprints from authors associated with the original Weird Tales, together with an editorial and introductory notes to the individual pieces by the editor. The pieces include a "posthumous collaboration" (the story by Smith and Carter).

Who Knocks?

Who Knocks? is an anthology of fantasy and horror stories edited by American writer August Derleth and illustrated by Lee Brown Coye. It was first published by Rinehart & Company in 1946. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Everybody’s Magazine, The Century, Weird Tales, Unknown, Temple Bar, Hutchinson’s Magazine, The English Review, Smith's Magazine and Harper's.

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