Heldmann, Richard Bernard 1857-1915 (Richard Marsh)
HELDMANN, Richard Bernard 1857-1915 (Richard Marsh)
PERSONAL: Born June 1, 1857 in Butler, OH; died August 9, 1915; married Matilda Dieterich, 1885.
CAREER: Novelist, c. 1895-1915; also worked as a journalist.
UNDER PSEUDONYM RICHARD MARSH
The Crime and the Criminal, Ward, Lock (New York, NY), 1897.
Tom Ossington's Ghost, 1898, 1931.
Marvels and Mysteries, Methuen (London, England), 1900.
Ada Vernham, Actress, L. C. Page & Co. (Boston, MA), 1900.
The Seen and the Unseen, Methuen (London, England), 1900.
Both Sides of the Veil, Methuen (London, England), 1901.
The Twickenham Peerage, 1902.
Between the Dark and the Dayight, 1902.
A Metamorphosis, Methuen (London, England), 1903.
The Death Whistle, 1903.
Garnered, Methuen (London, England), 1904.
A Duel, Methuen (London, England), 1904.
The Marquis of Putney, Methuen (London, England), 1905.
In the Service of Love, Methuen (London, England), 1906.
The Romance of a Maid of Honor, Long, 1907.
The Girl and the Miracle, Methuen (London, England), 1907.
Who Killed Lady Poynder? D. Appleton (New York, NY), 1907.
The Coward behind the Curtain, 1908.
The Surprising Husband, 1908.
A Royal Indiscretion, 1909.
A Spoiler of Men, Chatto (London, England), 1911.
Judith Lee, 1912.
Justice Suspended, Chatto (London, England).
The Great Temptation, T. F. Unwin (London, England), 1916.
Also author of other novels, including Justice Suspended.
SIDELIGHTS: Although he authored over two dozen adventure/romance novels and short-story collections, Richard Marsh—the pen name of Richard Bernard Heldmann—is perhaps best remembered as the author of the late-Victorian horror novel The Beetle, published in 1897. The Beetle tells the story of the efforts by the members of an Egyptian religious sect to use the powers of "a strange female figure that turns periodically into a large beetle," explained a contributor to the Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural. "It is similar in structure to [Bram] Stoker's Dracula," the contributor continued, "telling its story by the use of extracts from various characters' journals." The Beetle won for its author a significant amount of popularity, and the volume remained in print for almost seventy years.
In addition to The Beetle, Marsh composed a number of other horror works. His collections The Seen and the Unseen (1900), Marvels and Mysteries (1900), and Between the Dark and the Daylight (1902) contain stories that are, according to the Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural contributor, "worthy of the researcher's time." In addition, the author penned at least three more gothic horror novels: Tom Ossington's Ghost (1898), The Death Whistle (1903), and A Spoiler of Men (1911). Marsh died in 1915.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, Viking Penguin (New York, NY), 1986.*