Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gleanings: 1932 October 30

In a letter to Robert Barlow, HPL apparently sent a copy of "The Recluse". Only one issue had ever been printed, and by 1932 it had been declared worth $3.00 per copy by a bookseller, Meredith Janvier of Baltimore. A princely sum for a single issue in those days. Cook's finances went badly in 1930, according to HPL, and the back issues of the printing were apparently lost. Lovecraft said Cook's "posessions were moved from palce to place." That may mean he abandoned the issues, or they were seized.

O Fortunate Floridian, p. 41

Just so you can compare, L. W. Currey quotes extant issues of The Recluse at $1,250. They state this:

RECLUSE, THE. Edited by W. Paul Cook. Athol, Mass.: Issued by W. Paul Cook... at The Recluse Press, 1927 (volume 1, number 1). Large octavo, single issue, original pictorial gray wrappers printed in black. All published. The only issue of this legendary magazine. Includes the first printing of H. P. Lovecraft's long essay, "Supernatural Horror in Literature" (pp. 23-59), plus poems and short stories by Clark Ashton Smith, Donald Wandrei, H. Warner Munn, Frank Belknap Long and others. W. Paul Cook printed and published this "one-shot that represented the first undisputedly amateur magazine devoted to fantasy... Only 100 copies were printed. Cook described it as 'the realization of a dream, long cherished, of the publication of a magazine to please the producer only. Nothing will be paid for contributions and the magazine will, as have former efforts, be issued as an amateur and money cannot buy it.' He had been the individual who persuaded Lovecraft to write the essay, a pioneering survey of the field of weird fiction." - Warner, All Our Yesterdays, p. 16. Cook planned to publish a second issue of THE RECLUSE in 1930, but it was never published. Some of the material intended for publication therein was published later in THE GHOST. Pavlat and Evans, Fanzine Index (1965), p. 90. Clute and Grant (eds), The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997), p. 804. Joshi I-B-ii-232. Several closed tears to spine panel professionally repaired, several corners dog-eared, some soiling and staining to rear cover, a very good copy. This rare and very important amateur magazine is seldom found in better condition. (#108210) Price: $1,250.00

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