The Short Stories of Henry S Whitehead, Volume 3
By Henry S. Whitehead
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Henry St. Clair Whitehead was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on the 5th of March 1882. He Whitehead grew up with a diverse array of interests including sports, literature and religion. Educated at Harvard he graduated in 1904 alongside Franklin D. Roosevelt and quickly took on the dual tasks of editor at a newspaper in Port Chester, New York, and as commissioner for the Amateur Athletics Association. By 1910 Whitehead had written his first ever short story entitled Williamson. In 1912 Whitehead resigned from his post at the AAU in favour of entering the ministry. He was at various pastorates until he became Archdeacon of the Virgin Islands from 1921 to 1929, during which time he first encountered many of the details and principles of Voodoo practices and its associated cultural colour which would shape much of his horror writing. By 1924 his short story writing career began in earnest with the publication of The Intarsia Box. Through his friendship with H. P. Lovecraft, his writing reached pulp magazines such as Adventure, Black Mask, Strange Tales and Weird Tales. He would eventually come to be described as a member of the "serious Weird Tales school." His works bespeak a writer whose intimate and intricate knowledge of the customs and traditions of the West Indian people about whom he wrote served as a constant mirror for his own Christian faith, in which he reflected and considered the doctrines and teachings of Christianity and imagined their effect on other cultures and faiths. His death curtailed his steady ascension as a writer whose work was highly regarded by those authors now considered stalwarts of the genre, and is a great loss to the American literary canon and the horror genre.