Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kappa Alpha Tau Report: Weird Law


Cats in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
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Would Lovecraft have chuckled or been upset over this one?

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Saudi Arabia's religious police have announced a ban on selling pet cats or exercising them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men use them as a means of making passes at women, an official has said.

Weird Tales Contest (Due Date 4 August 2008)

July 28, 2008 — WEIRD TALES ANNOUNCES SPAM-BASED WRITING CONTEST!(posted at www.WeirdTalesMagazine.com)* * *You’ve seen the latest wave of spam — you know, the faux outrageous news headlines: “Osama trains goats for tactical bombing.” “Laika the Russian space dog returns to Earth.” “Children admit to being little shits: Video.” Isn’t it a shame the headline is all we get? So here at Weird Tales we’re inviting YOU to turn this spam into… um… spam-ade!Write a flash-fiction story — under 500 words — based on a spam you’ve received. Send your story to:contest@weirdtales.netbefore 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 4, along with the headline that inspired it. The Weird Tales/ /editorial team will judge them, and three winners will be announced at the Weird Tales reception on Friday, Aug. 8 at the World Science Fiction Convention in Denver!The first-, second-, and third-place winners will all be published online at WeirdTalesMagazine.com the week of August 11. The first- and second-place winners will also receive three free issues of Weird Tales; and the first-place winner will also receive an autographed copy of Ekaterina Sedia’s incredible new novel The Alchemy of Stone.(**For those who've already thrown away all their own spam, writer Adam Israel has compiled a humongous collection of spam headlines here: http://battleaxe.net/%7Estone/spam.txt. Be forewarned that adult language abounds therein.)We encourage you to distribute this announcement far and wide. But note: entries from Nigeria will be examined very closely.* * *ABOUT WEIRD TALES: Originally founded in 1923, Weird Tales was the very first storytelling magazine devoted explicitly to the fiction of the dark and fantastic. It provided a literary home for such diverse wielders of the imagination as H.P. Lovecraft (creator of Cthulhu), Robert E. Howard (creator of Conan the Barbarian), Margaret Brundage (artistic godmother of goth fetishism), and Ray Bradbury (author of Fahrenheit 451 and The Illustrated Man). In 2008, Weird Tales and its dynamic new creative team are celebrating the magazine's 85th anniversary, introducing a fresh generation of writers, artists, and storytelling ideas, both in print and at WeirdTalesMagazine.com.

* * *Stephen H. Segal
Editorial & creative director
WEIRD TALES / www.WeirdTalesMagazine.com

1915 Clark Ashton Smith Poem


CLARK ASHTON SMITH ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT, Sonnet - 1915
//
The seller (epegana) states: This Clark Ashton Smith manuscript is from Samuel Loveman's collection dates from 1915. The sonnet was originally entitled "Duality" when published in Smith's early poetry book - "Sandalwood". This is an earlier version and differs greatly from the final version. As you can see in the scan, two lines are completely rewritten in the author's hand; holographic corrections are especially desirable in collecting manuscripts. CAS has also noted "For Samuel Loveman". The "Clark Ashton Smith" backhand signature is rare as he did not keep it for long. Smith was twenty-two at the time. // Nice example of a CAS manuscript.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Barlow's Set of Dragonfly 'zines (1935 & 1936)


From the seller: THE DRAGON-FLY COMPLETE! - October, 1935, May, 1936
Edited & published by C. W. (Tryout) Smith
//
Robert Hayward Barlow was one of the innermost members of HPL's circle of friends, and was the sole beneficiary of all of Lovecraft's books & papers after his death. There has been much speculation as to why HPL endowed this great gift upon the very young Robert Barlow (was he all of nineteen?). Perhaps Lovecraft saw the young version of himself in the brilliant but shy, awkward, bookish young man. Barlow had an active and excited hungry mind and even when he first met HPL at age seventeen he had a mature & keen intellect: publisher, collector, bibliophile, printer, bookbinder, fictioneer, poet, photographer, and later anthropologist (whew!). Barlow printed these only two issues of "The Dragon-Fly" in 1935 & 36. Oddly enough there is no Lovecraft material in either issue, although there are contributions by August Derleth and Clark Ashton Smith. // Issue #1 is in fine condition except that pages 15 & 18 have been printed over the top of each other; you can read them each by turning the issue upside down. It also includes Barlow's own errata sheet. // Issue #2 has some chipping at extended covers but the interior paper is fine. // String-ties are present. // Obtaining the complete pairing of these exceptional booklets is rare!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

THE TRYOUT- November, December, 1921




THE TRYOUT- November, December, 1921
edited by Tryout (Charles W. ) SmithPublished by Tryout (Charles W. ) SmithThis issue(s) of "The Tryout" bears the cover date "Dec 1921". However, it is actually two issues, both November and December... and I don't know why? H. P. Lovecraft is present in three of his pseudonymic guises - "L. Theobald, Jun.", "Ward Phillips", and "Jeremy Bishop" with the poems "To Mr. Galpin, Upon his 20th Birthday", "Sir Thomas Tryout - Died Nov. 15, 1921" (the cat that hung around 'The Tryout' press - T. McVicker) and "Medusa". Three presentations by Howard Phillips Lovecraft in the same issue! Nice copy with original string-tie present; folded for mailing.

Clark Ashton Smith about 1955


CLARK ASHTON SMITH ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH
circa 1950's

Epegana, the seller states: This original photograph of Clark Ashton Smith was taken by Smith's friend & publisher Roy A. Squires I believe during a visit to Smith in 1955. // The photo measures 5" x 7" and is in perfect condition. Nice image of Smith getting ready to ride in Squires' Austin Healey.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Galpin Letter to Squires After Derleth's Death



ALFRED GALPIN TO ROY A. SQUIRES

Letter dated 7 July, 1971 - signed

Interesting letter of over 600 words from one of H. P. Lovecraft's oldest friends (they began corresponding in 1918 - "Galpin is the most brilliant, accurate, steel-cold intellect I have ever encountered" - HPL) to publisher, bookseller & bibliographer, Roy A. Squires discussing the disposing of Galpin's Lovecraft collection. This letter is of interest to Arkham House collectors in that Galpin notes..."by now you must have heard of the sudden death of Augie Derleth last Sunday, from a heart attack...I have no idea what is going on or what is planned about the future of Arkham House...his loss comes as a shock to me and that he was a fine person and warm friend...I doubt Wandrei can carry on effectively but we shall see..."

Other topics of discussion include another HPL friend Samuel Loveman's health and the selling of his collection to Gerry de la Ree.

Very informative & entertaining reading.
Signed in fountain pen "Alfred Galpin" - a great HPL associate!
Folded for mailing, else fine; includes original mailing envelope.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dunwich Horror, Lee Coye & August Derleth


AUGUST DERLETH TO LEE BROWN COYE
The seller (epegana) states: Letter dated 29 March, 1963 / Short but terrific little letter from publisher August Dereleth to artist Lee Brown Coye. Derleth acknowledges getting the drawing for the dust-jacket illustration for "The Dunwich Horror" published in 1963 by Arkham House "I send you $50 herewith for it....it should prove most effective".
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29 March 1963
Dear Lee
The jacket drawing for THE DUNWICH HORROR & OTHERS has just come in - - just as I'm preparing to send back proofs for the correction & printing - so it's squarely on time. I send you $50.00 herewith for it. It should prove most effective, and I rather think our readers will like it very much.
On jacket copy I will say that it is a portrait of Wilbur Whateley, and give you a line or two re previous books illustrated, etc. I usually append that to the bottom of the front flap, as you may have noticed.
Best always, and many thanks,
AD

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Few Comments About Lovecraft and Werewolves

"Just before his death Lovecraft spoke to me of an ambitious project reserved
for some period of greater leisure, a sort of dynastic chronicle in fictional
form, dealing with the hereditary mysteries and destinies of generations of an
ancient New England family, tainted and cursed down the diminishing generations
with some grewsome variant of lycanthropy. It was to be his magnum
opus, embodying the results of his profound researches in the occult
legends of that grim and secret country which he knew so well, but apparently
the outline was just beginning to crystallize in his mind, and I doubt if
he left even a rough draft of his plan."

Edkins, Ernest A. "Idiosyncracies of H. P. L." In LOVECRAFT REMEMBERED. Ed. Peter Cannon. (Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1998). Pages 94-95.

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Biss, Gerald. THE DOOR OF THE UNREAL. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1920First U.S. edition. Werewolf novel, first published in Britain by Eveleigh Nash in 1919, praised by H. P. Lovecraft in his Supernatural Horror in Literature (1945).



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The Door of the Unreal was inspired by Dracula. It features the same plot structure, a group of brave men trying to save a beautiful woman from the clutches of evil monsters.

H. P. Lovecraft wrote of it in "The Superntural Horror in Literature" : "Dracula evoked many similar novels of supernatural horror, among which the best are perhaps The Beetle, by Richard Marsh, Brood of the Witch-Queen, by "Sax Rohmer" (Arthur Sarsfield Ward), and The Door of the Unreal, by Gerald Biss.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Robert E Howard's Werewolf Story



Robert E. Howard's first cover story was for "Wolfshead", a werewolf yarn published when he was only twenty. "Wolfshead" is set in an estate on the coast of Africa. Destruction ensues as a werewolf stalks the halls of the mansion.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Frank Belknap Long's Werewolf Story




NIGHT OF THE WOLF by Frank Belknap Long (Popular Library 1972)

From an online review: Night of the Wolf has a purply style. A guy glimpses a werewolf in a cave in Bulgaria, and now it's come to haunt him. It's looking for something it thinks he stole. And in the meantime, it kills everyone around him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Werewolf in The Shunned House

In Shunned House (circa 1924), one passage stands out on werewolves.

“I wondered how many of those who had known the legends realized that additional link with the terrible which my wider reading had given me; that ominous item in the annals of morbid horror which tells of the creature Jacques Roulet, of Caude [1], who in 1598 was condemned to death as a daemoniac {sic}, but afterward saved from the stake {burning} by the Paris parliament and shut in a madhouse. He had been found covered in with blood and shreds of flesh in a wood, shortly after the killing and rending of a boy by a pair of wolves. One wolf was seen to lope away unhurt.”

It is strange that Lovecraft had no issue that an apparent werewolf was the ancestor of a vampire. However, he was no doubt going for legends and atmosphere, and not a technical genealogy of monsters.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Werewolf of Ponkert


Cover done by Andrew Brosnatch.

In a letter to Edwin Baird (Lovecraft's "Miscellaneous Writings") from Lovecraft dated "early November 1923" which is probably the one one published in the March 1924 Weird Tales and contains the comment, "Take a werewolf story, for instance -- who ever wrote a story from the point of view of the wolf, and sympathising strongly with the devil to whom he has sold himself?"

This was impetus for Munn to attempt such a perspective.
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Lovecraft to Barlow on 28 August 1931: I have never written a story called "The Wolf". Can you be thinking of H. Walter Munn's "Werewolf of Ponkert" series?

Barlow (O Fortunate Floridian, p. 405) sys that Lovecraft told him this anecdote. "H. Warner Munn has such a belief in the supernatural as to have caused him to become Catholic after his marriage; and almost repudiate his earlier work as morbid and not nice.

Robert Howard to Lovecraft: 24 May 1932: "...and his 'Tales of the Werewolf Clan' had the real historic sweep. He is evidently a deeply read student of history."

TotWC was shorthand for a series of stories appearing in Weird Tales: "The Werewolf of Ponkert" (July 1925), "The Return of the Master" (July 1927), "The Werewolf's Daughter" (October, November and December 1928), "The Master Strikes" (November 1930), "The Master Fights" (December 1930), "The Master Has a Narrow Escape" (January 1931).]


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This edition is a first and Limited by Grandon (1958) Hardcover. Providence, Rhode Island. This copy is signed by H. Warner Munn on the front fly. Limited edition of 300. Early Donald M. Grant publication, the 5th (and last) title from Grandon.
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This is the Centaur (1971) edition with a pretty neat dust jacket art. Part of the “Time-Lost” series. The initials appear to be Steve Fabian's on the art.

The first edition was published in 1925, this edition also contains a second story, “The Werewolf’s Daughter” which was originally published in Weird Tales as a three-part serial in 1928.

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The Werewolf of Ponkert was reprinted in January 1953 Weird Tales (cover art Kelly Freas) Once There Was a Little Girl. Everil Worrell; I Can't Wear White, Suzanne Pickett; & The Gloves, Garnett Radcliffe

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rare Strange Tales (Cool Air) Surfaces







STRANGE TALES (#2) (1946) UTOPIAN PUBLISHERS / LONDON ETC.
The seller states: Smaller digest size. Two staple spine. British publication. No numer or date is given although research reveals the above. Evidently this is an even more RARE American overprint as 25 c can be seen of the 9 d. This book is in fantastic shape with no real wear. Slightly turned up front cover at right edge but no fold or color break and I only mention because there is nothing else to say about it. colors are quite bold! The only defect is the light water stain which can be seen in the images. Only the cover and first page (back and front) are affected. Barely visible on front cover. Pages are light cream in color and in fantastic, flexible shape. Fanzines are usually extremely fragile, this one is not at all. No folds, no creasing no tears. GREAT authors too! LOVECRAFT, ASHTON SMITH, BLOCH AND MORE..With some nice illustrations. 68 pages which include both covers. ($49.99 to start)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cthulhu as Elvis "the King"


Jeff found this Elvis Cthulhu Plush online. As he said, are Elvis or HPL rolling in their graves? Notice that the microphone is an eyeball.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fantasy Magazine September 1934 Second Anniversary Issue w/ Julius Schwa

In a 25 September 1934 letter to Barlow, HPL said, "... I suppose you know there will be a tale by Merritt - "The Drone" - in Leedle Shoolie's {Julius Schwartz} September Fantasy."

Lovecraft was an avid follower of this magazine. Some rare interior shots included below.





FANTASY MAGAZINE Sci Fi Fanzine 1934 Julius Schwartz

The seller states: Fantasy Magazine – The Digest Of Imaginative Literature September, 1934 Second Anniversary Issue. Magazine features such notable names as Julius Schwartz (Editor), Mortimer Weisinger (Associate Editor), and Forrest J. Ackerman (Scientifilm Editor) who not only produce the digest, but also contribute stories!....Incredible, even has the subsciption insert!!! How many of these do you think still exist? Magazine is complete and is in VG condition (no interior damage).....just has handling wear….nice supple page quality.....pages are not loose even though it looks like some pages are hanging out.... item is just very delicate. ($299.00)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Crochet Cthulhu


Thanks, Jeff! He discovered this on a neat USA Today blog (click here).

Instructions and the book it came from Creepy Cute Crochet tells how to do this and other weird beasties with thread and yarn.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Update on a 2006 post: Lord Dunsany and the Irish

It's a great pleasure that so many people now read and use my blog for research and pleasure reading. I'm far from being a scholar on the subject of Lovecraft, but in 2006 I posted a note that included a reference by Mr. Kenneth Faig who in turn quoted a 1948 anecdote. My intention was to paint Lovecraft capable of dabbling in espionage. (I think he was). In passing, I mentioned that Dunsany was broad brushed as an IRA sympathizer. This was called in question by a reader. (Thank goodness for readers!) So, since I read all my comments, but no one else does, I want to make sure it's read. I'll add my entire entry. And all comments. (I still struggle with typos. Heh.)

And back in 2006, with maybe a few dozen people a week reading (Over 1000 unique readers a month now read), the blog was more (primarily) for my purposes of maybe writing a few Lovecraft essays (yet to happen) and I was a lot quicker to jot quick notes and do shorthand comments. In no way was I trying to say I knew first hand anything about Dunsany ( I still don't).

If anyone else wants to weigh in on the subject - any of the subjects - groovy. Lay it on.

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"New Clue: Could HPL Have Ever Been a Spy?"

http://chrisperridas.blogspot.com/2006/12/new-clue-could-hpl-have-ever-been-spy.html

The answer apparently is yes. However, not between 1923 and 1926 with Houdini (we are still searching for THAT smoking gun) but in 1917 !!

Faig (1) reports in his 1999 essay that a 1948 memoir by Michael White (d. 1960) entitled "Fond Memories that Linger On" (The Fossil, January 1948) states Lovecraft collaborated with a paid British agent to exacerbate an Irish enclave of activists. Lovecraft presented the United Amateur Press Association at a Boston literary club in 1917 to which White was in attendance. White states that he knew of Demarest Loyd, a dandy-dressed English sympathizer was paid to out Irish (IRA) sympathizers. He enlisted Lovecraft's help - or they at least stumbled into one another's arms.

As usual, HPL was inconsistent in his vehemence, though. He adored Lord Dunsany, and probably did not know he was an IRA sympathizer. He attacked (2), though a series of published letters, John T. Dunn - a freind - and some of HPL's vitriolic spume spilled into the pages of The Conservative. White, himself, was a sympathizer. White was a close friend to Edith Miniter after HPL introduced the two of them. (Miniter once fancied by Lovecraft - see blog entry). Miniter's mother was keen on writing verse in Irish fashion.

This tantalizing bit of "historicical" gossip shows that Lovecraft was quite capable of espionage leanings. He was never shy about berating those he keenly felt were wrong-headed and dangerous to his personal belief systems.

Loyd had a Kentucky connection, having been stationed at Camp Zachary taylor in Oct 1918. He was born in Chicago in 1883 making him older than HPL - always a plus, since Lovecraft gravitated to older men. Both of his degrees were from Harvard making him a Boston mainstay. Lovecraft's Uncle lived in Boston. Loyd's British airs probably (?) reminded him of HPL's father.

1. Kenneth W Faig, Jr, The Unknown Lovecraft I: Political Operative, Crypt of Cthulhu 103, Vol. 19, No.,1, 1999
2. S T Joshi, "H P Lovecraft: Letters to John T Dunn", Books at Brown, Vol. 38&39, 1991-1992, published 1995, Providence, RI.
posted by Chris Perridas at 6:21 PM on Dec 30, 2006


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gavinicuss said...
spelling error:
exacorbate
should be:
exacerbate

Thu Jan 04, 12:00:00 AM

_____

Chris Perridas said...
No excuses ! Thanks for caring. And reading.

I tend to work on blog entries rapidly and have very little time. However, you folks do deserve better editing, so here's my new year's resolution !! Fewer typos, better editing.

:)

Thu Jan 04, 07:08:00 AM

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Magister said...
Dunsany was most definitely NOT an IRA sympathiser, even though he liked the Irish.

Thu Jul 17, 02:43:00 PM

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Chris Perridas said...
First, Magister, I appreciate that you read the blog. I often write quickly, and want to be very careful in any event. This was a while back, and so I grabbed my copy of Crypt of Cthulhu 103 and made sure I didn't make an error.

I can't vouch for the first hand documentation, since it's annecdotal and not collaborative, but Mr. Faig did quote Fossil January 1948 by Michael White. It says, "Howard {Lovecraft} made one exception: he was an outspoken admirer of Lord Dunsany, and probably never knew at the time, and probably never knew, that the Dublin playwright was a trusted rebel of the Irishy. Dunsany "castle" is outside Dublin."

How this alleged collusion came about, or if it's true is beyond my ability to fathom or discern. Perhpas it is a smear, or maybe true.

I'm going to coalate this info and try to add a new post in case anyone else wants to contribute information.

In the meantime, your note and this note will amend the original blog post - until more information comes out.

The only controversial point I was attempting was that Lovecraft was no stranger to controversy and no stranger to flirting with espionage. Even that point is circumstantial as can be seen, but in cases of circumstance, multiple cases of flitting about the flame, may make one a moth.

Again, thanks for reading and especially for commenting. Greatly appreciated.

-Chrispy.

Thu Jul 17, 11:40:00 PM

Lovecraftian Book (Dark Wisdom, Gary Myers) Reviewed at Horror World

http://horrorworld.org/reviews.htm

DARK WISDOM by Gary Myers from Mythos Books, LLC
Review by Steve Middaugh

It's been a long time coming from a writer that gave us one book from Arkham House back in the 1970s, only to disappear from radar for a very long time until 2007. The writer in question is Gary Myers, and the first book is The House Of the Worm, printed in 1975.

Now we have the second collection, Dark Wisdom, from Gary Myers along with his own hauntingly atmospheric illustrations done specifically for this book. The two books couldn't be more different. The House Of the Worm is more of tales of the ancient fabled past familiar to the works of Lord Dunsany and Clark Ashton Smith. Whereas Dark Wisdom is Cthulhu Mythos set mostly in contemporary times.

Myers' writings are crisp, clear, and straight to the point. The prose hardly needs any additional adjectives to create atmosphere. It's already there throughout twelve stories. The characters are three dimensional; the cosmic horror is very palpable when peeking through certain intervals as the plots progressed to its conclusion. What he lacked in originality, he made up for in dry wit and humor.

"The Web" opens with two computer teenaged geeks who come upon a website that promises to conjure forth strange gods in their very own bedroom.

"Fast Food". Who wouldn't be suspicious of the fast food joint with a moniker like "Belial's Burger", with fat people lining up for more of that tasty burgers? This one's fun. Really.

"Understudy" is a clever send-up of a studio shooting a film of something similar to the Creature from the Black Lagoon. One of the special effects guys can't help but wonder who's really playing the Fish Man.

"The Big Picture" is a strange tale of a man obsessed with stereogrammitic pictures where, if you stare at it in a certain way, you'd get a picture. His obsession causes him to lose his job and wife and everything. At a certain point, he starts to wonder just what was he looking at?

"Horror Show" was shown at an out-of-the-way place where Lisa started having second thoughts as the show progressed on stage towards the bizarre and the sadomasochistic.

I thought this book was well edited by Robert Price, who wrote a short intro to the twelve stories. Gary Myers does an admirable job and I recommend giving this book a look.

Mythos Books, LLC

More reviews .. click here: http://horrorworld.org/reviews.htm

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Interlude


- 2008, Chrispy.

A Day in the Life of Lovecraft: 16 July 1927


It was I who fled frantically out of Innsmouth in the early morning hours of July 16, 1927, and whose frightened appeals for government inquiry and action brought on the whole reported episode. I was willing enough to stay mute while the affair was fresh and uncertain; but now that it is an old story, with public interest and curiosity gone, I have an odd craving to whisper about those few frightful hours in that ill-rumored and evilly-shadowed seaport of death and blasphemous abnormality. The mere telling helps me to restore confidence in my own faculties; to reassure myself that I was not the first to succumb to a contagious nightmare hallucination. It helps me, too, in making up my mind regarding a certain terrible step which lies ahead of me. - The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Some feel that Innsmouth had roots in Essex County. This is an image of the rare book: The Wheelman's Handbook of Essex County which allegedly contains brief sketches of cities and towns previous to it's printing date of 1884. The woodcut image is very eerie, isn't it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Major World Event in Lovecraft's "Hidden Period"


For several years of his life we know little about Lovecraft. Yet between his writing of the Alchemist (1908) and The Tomb June 1917). Lovecraft was an avid (maybe even a rabid) reader of the news, yet few newsworthy episodes seemed to impact him and his writing. More likely, a small bit of flotsam would cross his path and it would set off a compulsive impulse to create a horror story.

All things British fascinated him, albeit in a philosophical view. The death of Victoria was a significant world event ... the ascent of Edward VII on 22 January 1901 (Lovecraft being 10) and then the ascent of George V (b 1865, d1936) on 6 May 1910. This may have intrigued the 19 year old Lovecraft as this marked the formation of the House of Windsor with deep Germanic roots. This shattered the Hanoverian era (1714 to 1901) containing two of the longest reigning monarchs - George III (b1738, k1760, d1820) and Victoria (b1819, q1837, d1901). Conversely, it might have swelled HPL's pride in Aryanism.
As late as January 1916, Lovecraft wrote the poem "An American to Mother England". From British bodies, minds, and souls I come, // And from them draw the vision of their home.
Lovecraft (at least) once remarked that he was loyal to George III, a reference as if he were a loyalist during the Revolutionary War.

On this date, 15 July 1910, the coronation of George V would be announced and would follow on the next year 22 June 1911. This postcard commemorated that date.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Robert E Howard (1933) Letter - with some other anecdotes

Robert E Howard, Letter to Lovecraft July ?, 1933

Dear Mr. Lovecraft:
I am sending on to you the enclosed manuscript, according to instructions. I read it the same day I received it, and I hardly know how to express my admiration for the splendid work you and Mr. Price have accomplished. I was most intrigued by the personalities of "Etienne de Marigny" and "Ward Phillips"! And hope these fine characters will be used again.
My sensations while reading this story are rather difficult to describe. The effect of reality was remarkable. Some of the speculations were over my head, at the first reading--not from any lack of clarity, but simply because of their cosmic depth.
The Dhole-haunted planet of Yaddith conjures up tantalizing vistas of surmise, and I hope you will use it in future stories. I hope, too, that you'll decide to get poor Randolph Carter out of his frightful predicament. I remember "The Silver Key"--yet remember is hardly the word to use. I have constantly referred to that story in my meditations ever since I read it, years ago--have probably thought of it more than any other story that ever appeared in Weird Tales. There was something about it that struck deep. I read it aloud to Tevis Clyde Smith, and he agreed with me as to its cosmic depth.
I should be answering herewith your recent--and as always, interesting letter; but I'm swamped with work just now. However, I hope to answer it in full soon. Our points of disagreement are not so radical as I had previously thought.
Thanks for the picture folder, and please present my best wishes to Mr. Long. I here enclose a few snaps taken at old Fort McKavett, which lies in Menard County, 155 miles southwest of here, three miles from the head of the San Saba River, mentioned in tale and fable, and in connection with the Lost Bowie Mine, mentioned in a previous letter. McKavett is fascinating--a village of ruins and semiruins, people living in the old unruined barracks and soldier's quarters, among the remnants of other buildings which have not stood the test of time. I was in too big a hurry to get much of its history, or many pictures, but I hope to return there some day for more data. The fort was established in 1871 by the Federal government which was foolish enough to station negro troops there; their arrogance led to a fierce and bloody war between the fort and the inhabitants of the country--a wild, hilly, rocky, thickly timbered expanse--in which the natives had the best of it, and in 1883 the fort was definitely abandoned. Don't bother to return these snaps; I have duplicates of them.
Cordially,
Robert E. Howard

***

I found some brief anecdotes from an article in Frontier Times Magazine of Vol 15 # 9 June 1938 on the Fort.

Fort McKavett Was A Frontier Post
Fort McKavett, frontier outpost in Menard county near the Schleicher county line, established in 1852, abandoned by order of General Twiggs in 1860, was reoccupied by troops on April 1, 1868, continuing the drama that marked the early developments in the building of a West Texas empire.


I also found this RANGE CANNING Co. 1898 mutton label and this "W. B. Tobin's" c. 1890 chili-con-carne label on line. Apparently, another claim to fame!






Sunday, July 13, 2008

Barlow & Lovecraft Corrected Typescript


The auctioneer states the following: (Lovecraft, Howard Phillips) Barlow, Robert H[ayward]. "SUMMONS, THE" [short story]. TYPED MANUSCRIPT with extensive autograph corrections by both Barlow and Lovecraft, on seven leaves, three of which are holograph. Incomplete text comprising folios 7-8, 11-15. "The Summons," written circa 1934, was published in THE CALIFORNIAN (Fall 1935, volume 3, number 2) and reprinted in EYES OF THE GOD: THE WEIRD FICTION AND POETRY OF R. H. BARLOW (2002). It obviously derivative of Lovecraft and the WEIRD TALES school, but more impressionistic, its vagueness softening whatever impact its imagery might have had. Barlow's large sprawling hand contrasts vividly with Lovecraft's compact and rapid script (which, contrary to his own disparaging remarks, is neither minute nor indecipherable). Most of the edits are in Lovecraft's hand, including the wholesale rewriting of several sentences and paragraphs. Very good. Provenance: Barlow / Derleth Papers. (#114493) $1500.00

A Day in the Life of Lovecraft: 13 July 1928



To Donald Wandrei ... Have found Annapolis a second Marblehead! I gasp with reverence in the presence of surviving antiquity! Shakily thine: Pappos Nekrophilos.

This was written on a postcard stating "The Chase Mansion, Annapolis, Md." I found an image that corresonds to that which Lovecraft held. :) I've also included a vintage image of Annapolis circa 1920's. Is this ocean scene what made Lovecraft to dream?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Crypt of Cthulhu # 34


The seller states: 68 page softcover horror fanzine is titled "Crypt of Cthulhu #34" and is dated Michaelmas 1985. Fanzine is published by Cryptic Publications, Bloomfield, NJ, and is copyright 1985. This issue has 6 different horror stories which are "The Recurring Doom" by S.T. Joshi, "The Last Supper" by Donald R. Burleson, "An Echo of Pipes" by Jason C. Eckhardt, "In The Dead of The Night" by Marc A. Michaud, "Blood Atonement" By Robert M. Price and "The Madness Out of Space" by Peter H. Cannon. Cover artwork is by Jason C. Eckhardt.

A Day in the Life of Lovecraft: 12 July 1928



To Donald Wandrei ... Have just been to the grave of Edgar Allan Poe, in Westminster Presbyterian Churchyard. It is at once a melancholy & inspiring spot - I feel like writing verse about it. This afternoon I am going to Annapolis, & tonight I reach Washington. Am nearly broke ...


The post card he wrote upon was "Mansion House, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, Maryland". Here are two other images of the place on other vintage postcards. Notice that it was once a zoological garden with brahmin cattle and camels. I'd hazard a guess that the more pristine image is what greeted HPL in 1928.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Day in the Life of Lovecraft: 11 July 1928


To Donald Wandrei ... Am doing Philadelphia, & will melmoth it onward to Baltimore this afternoon. You can't tell me that antiquarian travel isn't better than authorship!
The image is a vinteage 1928 Philadelpia tour map.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rare Arkham House Promotionals for Long's memoir of HPL


Terrific original art illustrating HPL. This is said to be a promotional flyer for Arkham House's H.P.L. Dreamer on the Nightside, a biographical memoir by Frank Belknap Long.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sonia in 1939 At Race Relations Meeting



The seller (epegana) states:

MRS. H. P. LOVECRAFT - SONIA HAFT GREENE LOVECRAFT DAVIS - 1939

Sonia Haft Greene married H. P. Lovecraft in 1924 (probably the only rash & impulsive thing HPL ever did!) and lived together only ten months finally divorcing in 1928. Sonia moved to California in 1933, married Nathaniel Davis in 1936 and at last found a happy marriage until Dr. Davis' death in 1945. Davis was a fascinating character in his own right; born in Brazil, was at sea as a boy, schooled in USA and received his Doctorate of Philosophy degree from Yale, founded with Luther Burbank the peace group "The Planetaryan, joined the Royal College of Physicians in London, explored the arctic and the "blanks on the map of Australia", and was a worse poet than HPL! Sonia herself was a woman who thrived for causes and she was a passionate promoter of Race Relations. This photograph 8" x 10" was taken at a meeting in 1939; Sonia is pictured in the front row next to her husband the white haired gentleman with the moustache - Dr. Davis.

The verso of the photograph is in Sonia's own hand - signed "Mrs. N. A. Davis (Sonia H)". Sonia died alone at a convalescent home in Southern California having never reconciled with her daughter.


{The rest of the signatures say: Bishop Hill, Dr. N.A. Davis, Mrs. N.A. Davis (Sonia H.), Race Relations Meeting 1939. - CP}

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Day in the Life of HPL: 7 July 1928


To Donald Wandrei: ... Visited a week in North Wilbraham, & am now working north through Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, & Greenfield for the Mohawk Trail & Albany.
The postcard is a (canceled in 1921) image of the rail road station in North Wilbraham.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Hellboy & H P Lovecraft

Just saw this interesting pericope.

Lovecraft Lives!For horror fans, Hellboy presents something very special: it is the first film that shows monsters similar to those described by H.P. Lovecraft in the Cthulu Mythos tales. “The Lovecraft style was Guillermo’s thought in the beginning,” explains Edward Irastorza, vfx producer on Hellboy. “He always sent people in that direction. Early on, Guillermo had discussions about Lovecraft with me and Blair Clark [of Tippett Studios] and we followed through with it.”

(Hellboy creator Mike Mignola’s vision harkens back to H.P. Lovecraft’s work.)

del Toro explains that his Lovecraftian vision came from the comic itself. “There is an aspect that I enjoy in the work of [Hellboy creator] Mike Mignola, and that is that his vision of hell is a cosmic one, which he shares with H.P. Lovecraft. In the movie a character says, there is a dark place where evil slumbers and waits to return. And that is basically the premise of the entire Lovecraft mythos — that there are entities out there that want to return and repossess earth — cyclopean entities, to use a Lovecraftian term.”



Saturday, July 05, 2008

Lovecraft Autograph

{This one is just an envelpe, but anything with HPL's signature is interesting. It helps compare handwriting, and strengthens his timeline of who he wrote to, and when.}

The seller's notes:
His signature as part of the return address on a postal cover postmarked at Providence, Rhode Island, Jul 27, 1928. Certificate of Authenticity from Pages of History provides a lifetime guarantee of authenticity. We are full time autograph and document dealers registered with the UACC (#036), and members of the Manuscript Society.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Chrispy's New King in Yellow Story Live!

It's free, it's at +Horror Library+ written in an antiquarian style - and it begins:

We shall be notes in that great symphony,
We shall not die today,
The Golden Play itself shall be our Immortality.

- After Oscar Wilde’s Panthea.

I. At the Hospital Waiting for the Specter of Death

"Elizabeth!"

Finally, after nearly an hour of offering up prayers, my beloved’s eyes blink.

"I praise the Golden Savior that you are with me again. If you hear my voice, blink again."

Oh, blessed day, her eyelids twitch. She hears! The coma has ended. For two nights and a day my faithful fast and prayers has made this moment come. Thanks to the words written by blessed Mark: I cried out for my beloved, and said with tears, Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.

Unable to speak, her eyes stare embedded in a ceresin-colored face. It reminds me of the pallid mask scene in The King in Yellow. That beauteous work has nurtured our love from playground puppy love to the depths of passion. To others, the unenlightened fools, it means chaotic, confused death. The world feels that the play is "purest poison". This, we proved by our life, is utter nonsense.

More.

Fourth of July 1908



Though young (17 year old) Howard probably didn't celebrate the holiday - unless he sang hymns to England - we'll look back 100 years and see what others were sending. :)


This card is claimed to be an early divided back card with an artistic depiction of an exultant Lady Liberty literally wrapped in the flag, with long, flowing hair and a firecracker in one hand and a flare gun in the other. The caption reads "Miss Liberty, At Dawn's First Peep. Awakes The Echoes From Their Sleep." It's image copyrighted by Charles A. Bates in 1908. It was one of a series of four showing Miss Liberty at different times of the day. This card was published by the Photo-Color-Graph Co. of New York, 200/1. It was sent to Zumbro Falls, MN in 1909. {A bit late - CP}

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