H. D. Everett

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Henrietta Dorothy Everett (January 1851–16 September 1923) who wrote under the nom de plume Theo Douglas[1] was a British novelist who was popular during her lifetime but who is now largely forgotten. Her identity was revealed in 1910[2] but little is known of her life.[3]

Biography[edit]

Born as Henrietta Dorothy Huskisson in Gillingham in Kent in 1851, she was the daughter of John Huskisson (1820-1889), a 1st Lieutenant in the Royal Marines and Julia (née Lovatt} (1826-1884);[4][5] in 1869 aged 18 she married solicitor Isaac Edward Everett (1845-1904).[6]

She began writing in 1896 at the age of forty-four and from then until 1920 she published 22 books under the name Theo Douglas with 17 different publishers. As Douglas, Everett wrote three historical novels. These were A Golden Trust (1905) set during the French Revolution, Cousin Hugh (1910) set during the Napoleonic Wars, and White Webs (1912), set in 18th century Sussex.[7] At least half of Everett's novels were based on fantasy and supernatural themes. For example, in Iras: A Mystery (1896) an Egyptologist unwraps an ancient Egyptian mummy which contains the beautiful Iras of the title, causing her to revive. The two fall in love and wed but over time as seven magical amulets are removed from Iras' necklace she gradually turns back into a mummy. It has been described as "A novel at the threshold of science fiction ... a strange blending of psychology and Egyptology, showing the completeness with which authors combined the supernatural and scientific during the 1890s."[8] In Nemo (1900) the soul of the story's heroine possesses and unwillingly animates an automaton. One or Two (1907) is a surreal tale of an obese woman who makes herself thin through Spiritualism. Malevola (1914) is a tale of vampires with a psychic twist in which the curious Madame Thérèse Despard is able to absorb the beauty and lifeforce of another during a massage.[9] Under her own name she published The Death Mask, and Other Ghosts in 1920 which was cited by H. P. Lovecraft in his Supernatural Horror in Literature (1927).[10][11][12][13][14] The English author and academic M. R. James praised the book in his essay 'Some remarks on Ghost Stories' (1929), describing it as "of a rather quieter tone on the whole, but with some excellently conceived stories."[2]

In the 1911 census, Mrs Henrietta Dorothy Everett is listed as a widow and novelist living on private means.[15] She died in Weston-on-Trent in Staffordshire in September 1923. In her will, she left £4,853 3s 6d to her son Isaac Arthur Huskisson Everett.[16]

Selected works[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • Iras: A Mystery, William Blackwood & Sons (Edinburgh), 1896
  • Nemo, Smith, Elder & Co. (London), 1900
  • A Golden Trust, Smith & Elder, (London) 1905
  • A White Witch, Hurstand Blackett Limited (London), 1908
  • Cousin Hugh, Metheun (London), 1910
  • White Webs, Secker (London), 1912
  • Malevola, Heath, Cranton & Ousley Ltd (London),[1914]

Short stories[edit]

  • More Uncanny Stories, C. Arthur Pearson Limited (London), 1918
  • The Death-Mask and Other Ghosts, Philip Allan & Co. 1920

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adrian Room, Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland & Company, Inc., (2000) - Google Books pg. 152 ASIN: B009EEK4Y0
  2. ^ a b Tanya Kirk (ed.), The Haunted Library, The British Library (2016) pg. 97 ISBN 978 0 7123 5604 6
  3. ^ S. T. Joshi, The Cold Embrace: Weird Stories by Women, Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York (2016) - Google Books pg. 268 ISBN 978-0486805054
  4. ^ Henrietta Dorothy Huskisson in the England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Ancestry.com (subscription required)
  5. ^ Henrietta D Huskisson in the 1851 England Census - Ancestry.com (subscription required)
  6. ^ Henrietta Dorothy Huskisson in the England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915 - Ancestry.com (subscription required)
  7. ^ McGarry,Daniel D., White, Sarah Harriman, Historical Fiction Guide: Annotated Chronological, Geographical, and Topical List of Five Thousand Selected Historical Novels. Scarecrow Press, New York, 1963 (pgs. 181, 205, 235, 512)
  8. ^ Clareson, The Emergence of American Science Fiction: 1880-1915, pp. 93-4
  9. ^ John Clute and John Grant, Theo Douglas in Encyclopedia of Fantasy, Orbit (1997) ISBN 1857233689
  10. ^ Robert Knowlton. Ashley, Who's Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction, pg. 76
  11. ^ Everett F. Bleiler (ed), The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, Kent State University Press (1983) pg. 547 ISBN 978-0873382885
  12. ^ Alice Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s: An Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources, Greenwood (1984) pg. 259
  13. ^ Clute and Grant, pg. 286
  14. ^ Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, Ferret Fantasy (1980) pg. 71 ASIN: B0006EFX70
  15. ^ Henrietta Dorothy Everet in the 1911 England Census - Ancestry.com (subscription required)
  16. ^ Henrietta Dorothy Everett in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 - Ancestry.com (subscription required)