Tuesday, March 22, 2016

C.M. Eddy, Jr. and The Cancer of Superstition manuscript

There has been a great deal of press about Potter & Potter's upcoming "Houdiniana" auction and their offering of the lost manuscript for The Cancer of Superstition, a book Houdini was collaborating on with H.P. Lovecratft at the time of his death. Now Lovecraft experts have come forward to clarify the important involvement of Lovecraft's own collaborator Clifford Martin Eddy, Jr. (C.M. Eddy, Jr.), who is most likely the author of the manuscript pages.

The blog Wormwoodiana has an excellent post by Douglas A. Anderson laying out the details of Eddy's work on the project, which Lovecraft buffs appear to have known about well before us Houdinites. Anderson also speculates that The Cancer of Superstition might have only been intended to be short book of about ten thousand words, so the manuscript in the auction might actually be complete.

This is important information and largely new to me, so click below and have a read at Wormwoodiana.

Potter & Potter's "Houdiniana" auction takes place Saturday, April 9th at 10:00 AM in Potter & Potter's Chicago Gallery. The Cancer of Superstition manuscript is Lot 84. You can view all the lots and bid online at Liveauctioneers.com.

Thanks to Douglas Mackintosh for this link.



  1. C.M.Eddy and Houdini were friends. He is the one who revealed that Houdini enlisted Lovecraft as a member of his "Secret Service." See The Houdini File: http://www.houdinifile.com/2015/06/houdini-lovecraft.html

  2. What does this mean for the folks at Potter?

    1. Nothing. It's still a project Houdini was doing with Lovecraft.

  3. That is an excellent post by Douglas A. Anderson. So is the manuscript in the auction [i.e., lost Eddy typescript which includes some subsumed revisions by Lovecraft] and the “article” referred to in the Dark Brotherhood [on page 261] one in the same: “… his widow did not elect to go on with the book he [Houdini] had visualized. Eddy nevertheless pushed forward, and Lovecraft made slight interlinear corrections and additions, but the project, insofar as it had gone - through three chapters- basically lacked body and authority, and it was presently abandoned, though not before the three chapters were recast into an article - of which the above [‘The Genesis of Superstition’] is the initial part [and the other two parts of the article being ‘The Expansion of Superstition’ and ‘The Fallacy of Superstition’], for which no publisher was ever found.”

  4. Sure it means something for the people at the auction house (Potter). They list Lovecraft as the ghost writer. Their catalog listing is incorrect and wrong.

    1. They should consider amending the auction description to include Eddy's involvement.


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