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He became its trainer, but was killed in Chicago after an incident in which he attacked the gorilla and the latter fought back. Arthur Jermyn inherited the family possessions, and moved into Jermyn House with his mother. Arthur Jermyn is described as having a very unusual appearance, and supposedly the strangest in the line descended from Sir Wade Jermyn.
Arthur became a scholar, eventually visiting the Belgian Congo on a research expedition, where he heard tales of a stone city of white apes and the stuffed body of a white ape goddess, which had since gone missing. Returning to a trading post, Arthur talks to a Belgian agent who offers to both obtain and ship the goddess's body to him.
Arthur accepts his offer, and returns to England. After a period of several months, the body arrives at Jermyn House. Arthur begins his examination of the mummy, only to run screaming from the room, and later commit suicide by dousing himself in oil and setting himself alight.
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Lovecraft then describes the contents of the stuffed goddess's coffin—the ape goddess has a golden locket around her neck with the Jermyn arms on it, and bears a striking resemblance to Arthur Jermyn. It is clear that Wade Jermyn's supposedly Portuguese wife was really the ape goddess, and all of his descendants were the product of their union. Arthur's remains are neither collected or buried, on account of this.
The mummy is removed and burnt by the Royal Anthropological Institute. Both of Lovecraft's parents died in a mental hospital, and some writers have seen a concern with having inherited a propensity for physical and mental degeneration reflected in the plot of his stories, especially his novella, The Shadow Over Innsmouth , which shares some themes with Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family. Somebody had been harassing me into reading some work of the iconoclastic moderns — these young chaps who pry behind exteriors and unveil nasty hidden motives and secret stigmata — and I had nearly fallen asleep over the tame backstairs gossip of Anderson 's Winesburg, Ohio.
The sainted Sherwood, as you know, laid bare the dark area which many whited village lives concealed, and it occurred to me that I, in my weirder medium, could probably devise some secret behind a man's ancestry which would make the worst of Anderson's disclosures sound like the annual report of a Sabbath school.
Hence Arthur Jermyn. While Lovecraft claimed that he intended to describe the most horrible family shadow, E. Bleiler declares that "actually, the story is a metaphor for his extreme bigotry and social snobbery; the motifs of expiating ancestral evil and committing suicide on discovering 'racial pollution' occur in other of his works.
Plaque Surgeon Arthur Jermyn Landon
The story was first published in the journal The Wolverine in March and June of If we knew what we really are, we might run mad and immolate ourselves like Arthur Jermyn, Baronet, whose very existence some deny. The Jermyns were a reputable and comely family until the 18th century, when Sir Wade started exploring the Congo and telling wild tales about a lost jungle city, once the seat of a prehistoric white civilization but now overrun by apes or worse, their hybrid offspring with the last white humans.
She accompanied Wade on his last African expedition and never returned. One night, off the Congo coast, he disappeared.
Thomas Arthur Jermyn
His son Robert returned the Jermyns to respectability. He married well, but two of his children were so deformed they were never seen in public. In , an explorer visited Robert with notes he thought the ethnologist would appreciate. Whatever they contained, Robert first strangled his visitor, then murdered all three of his children. Two years later, confined like Wade, Robert died. Alfred became baronet, but his tastes never lived up to the title.
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He eventually abandoned his music hall singer wife and his son Arthur to join an American circus. There he grew fascinated with an oddly pale gorilla and trained it to box with him. During a rehearsal, the ape landed a punch that enraged Alfred. He attacked the beast with an inhuman shriek, tearing at its throat with his teeth.
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and his Family
Normally tame, the gorilla fought back and left Alfred a mangled corpse. She bore his son, then went away with him. Years later, the god and princess returned. On her death, the god mummified her as an object of worship for the hybrids. Some said the god himself died before her shrine. Others said their son, though unconscious of his heritage, finally returned to the lost city.
A Belgian agent told him he could obtain the stuffed goddess and would send it to Arthur in England. In , Arthur received the box containing this storied totem. He opened it alone in the chamber housing the earlier fruits of Jermyn exploration.
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Servants heard him scream, then watched him run from the chamber as if pursued by Nemesis. Later that night, Arthur drenched his clothes in oil, went out on the moor, and sparked himself into a human torch. It was a mummified white ape of unknown species, shockingly nearer mankind than any other primate. Worse, it wore a gold locket bearing the Jermyn arms. Members of the Royal Anthropological Institute burned the mummy and threw the locket into a well.
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