Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rare Lovecraft Typescript w/Autograph

Lovecraft, H[oward] P[hillips]. "THE CRIME OF CRIMES (LUSITANIA, 1915)" [poem]. TYPED MANUSCRIPT SIGNED (TMsS), carbon copy. Typed on the rectos of two sheets of plain 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper. Boldly signed "H. P. Lovecraft" at the conclusion on page two. One correction in Lovecraft's hand on line eight. "Many of Lovecraft's early poems were on political subjects. Political events of the period 1914-17 offered abundant opportunities for Lovecraft's polemical pen, given his early attitudes on race, social class, and militarism... The sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915 -- resulting in the loss of 128 Americans in its death toll of more than 1200... led Lovecraft to write a thunderous polemic in verse, 'The Crime of Crimes: Lusitania, 1915"... [The poem] has the distinction of being Lovecraft's first separately published work. It appeared in a Welsh amateur journal, INTERESTING ITEMS, for July 1915, and apparently at about the same time was issued as a four-page pamphlet by the editor of INTERESTING ITEMS, Arthur Harris of Llandudno, Wales. This item is now one of the rarest of Lovecraft's publications; only three copies are known to exist. I do not know how Lovecraft came in touch with Harris; perhaps he sent him the first issue of the CONSERVATIVE. In any event, Lovecraft stayed sporadically in touch with Harris for the rest of his life." - Joshi, H. P. Lovecraft: A Life, pp. 131-32. Joshi I-B-iii-26. Several small nicks to edges, the usual creases where folded for mailing, but nearly fine. Provenance: The Barlow/Derleth Papers. (#114479) Price: $2,000.00
I still find it interesting that the Titanic did not elicit a poem - the pride of the British - but if it did, it was never mentioned. -CP

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