Zealia Bishop

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Zealia Bishop
Zealia Bishop c.1953
Born 1897
Died 1968
Occupation writer
Nationality United States
Genre horror, Fantasy

Zealia Brown-Reed Bishop (1897–1968) was an American writer of short stories.

Her stories appeared in the magazine Weird Tales. However, they were extensively revised by H. P. Lovecraft to the point of being ghostwritten.

Her name is sometimes spelled 'Zelia'.

Arkham House published her volume The Curse of Yig (1953) which contains three horror stories by Bishop (all revised by H. P. Lovecraft) and 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 all 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, 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

In 2004, a hitherto unknown and unpublished cache of thirty-six letters from Lovecraft to Bishop was discovered in the garage of Sean McCall and his wife Jackie, who were living in Iowa. 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 stayed in the Coles' home and was eventually bequeathed to their daughter, Etha Charmaine Cole McCall Fowler (Zealia's great niece), and it ended up in her basement. After Mrs Fowler's death in 2014, her son, Sean McCall, cleaned out the basement and sent the battered blue trunk and most of its contents off to the dump. Fortunately he knew enough to save Lovecraft's letters, and set the aside in a Winnie the Pooh keepsake box with other documents for future sorting. The Pooh box returned with Sean to his home in Iowa where it remained in his garage, largely ignored, until some casual Thanksgiving dinner party conversation in 2014 brought an envelope full of letters into the light. The 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.[1] The letters have now been published, with additional illustrative material, by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society.


  1. 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.
  • Joshi, S.T. (1999). Sixty Years of Arkham House: A History and Bibliography. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. pp. 59–60. ISBN 0-87054-176-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Jaffery, Sheldon; Fred Cook (1985). The Collector's Index to Weird Tales. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press. ISBN 0-87972-284-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>