Zealia Bishop

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Zealia Bishop
Zealia Bishop c.1953
Zealia Bishop c.1953
Died1968 (aged 70–71)
NationalityUnited States
Genrehorror, Fantasy
SpouseD.W. Bishop

Zealia Brown-Reed Bishop (1897–1968) was an American writer of short stories. Her name is sometimes spelled 'Zelia'. Although she mostly wrote romantic fiction, she is remembered for three short horror stories she wrote in collaboration with H. P. Lovecraft.


Among her works are three horror stories she wrote in collaboration with H. P. Lovecraft ("The Curse of Yig", "Medusa's Coil", and The Mound). Her stories appeared in the magazine Weird Tales. However, they were extensively revised by Lovecraft to the point of being ghostwritten.[citation needed]

Arkham House published her volume The Curse of Yig (1953) which contains the three horror stories by Bishop and Lovecraft, as well as two profiles by Bishop, one about H. P. Lovecraft and the other about August Derleth. That on Lovecraft has been reprinted in Peter Cannon's collection of essays on Lovecraft, Lovecraft Remembered. The three Lovecraft-Bishop revision stories also appear in The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions.

Bishop's preference was for romantic fiction, of which she wrote and published far more than she did of the weird. She lived in Kansas City with her husband D.W. Bishop,[1] took an active role in the National Federation of Press Women, the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Missouri Women's Press Club. She authored a historical series about Clay County, Missouri.

Letters from Lovecraft[edit]

In 2014, a hitherto unknown and unpublished cache of thirty-six letters from Lovecraft to Bishop was discovered. The letters had once been kept in a trunk with her manuscripts at the home of Jeanette Starkweather Cole, with whom Zealia had moved in after the death of her husband D.W. Bishop in 1956 (Clay County, Missouri), The trunk was initially bequeathed to their daughter, Etha Charmaine Cole McCall Fowler (Zealia's great niece). Her son, Sean McCall, found the letters following Mrs Fowler's death in 2014. A large manila envelope holding the letters was from Lovecraft's friend and collaborator, August Derleth, posted in August 1937. The envelope may have been used to return manuscripts of letters which Zealia had sent him following Lovecraft's death.[2] The letters have now been published, with additional illustrative material, by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society.


  1. ^ "Mrs. D. W. Bishop is Speaker". The Kansas City Times. 3 Feb 1954. p. 56. Retrieved 14 February 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ H.P. Lovecraft: The Spirit of Revision: Lovecraft's Letters to Zealia Brown Reed Bishop Edited and Annotated by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman, with an introduction by S. T. Joshi. Glendale, CA: The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society,2015.

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