Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rare Lovecraft Volume of The Shadow Over Innsmouth

The seller states: LOVECRAFT, H[oward] P[hillips] (1890-1937). The Shadow Over Innsmouth.Everett, Pennsylvania: Visionary Publishing Co., 1936. 8vo. Illustrated by Frank A. Utpatel. First and last leaves are used as front and rear pastedown endpapers. Scarce printed errata slip laid in. Original black cloth, lettered in silver on front cover and spine (the present copy with lettering on the front cover in upper and lower case letters, one of two known bindings with no priority established). In the rare publisher's dust jacket, white paper with silver lettering on the front panel and spine matching that from the cloth binding, with no illustration. Condition: A few small areas of cloth slightly soiled, else a fine, bright copy in a like dust jacket. h.p. lovecraft's first published book and the only published during his lifetime, preceded only by the pamphlet The Sunned House (1928). According to publisher William H. Crawford, of the approximately 400 copies printed, perhaps 200 copies were bound with the remainder destroyed at a later date. Adding to the scarcity of the present copy, Crawford notes that the dust jacket and errata slip were prepared after publication, and copies are often found with one or both lacking. "No writer since Poe has had more influence on the field of macabre fiction than Howard Phillips Lovecraft. His tales of Cthulhu-malevolent beings from another dimension bent on invading our world and destroying mankind-have inspired dozens of writers (among them August Derleth, Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner and J. Ramsey Campbell) to perpetuate the mythos with tales of their own. However, Lovecraft also wrote other types of horror and supernatural stories, some of the best of which are Poesque in design and effect." (Pronzini, Malzberg & Greenberg, Great Tales of Horror & The Supernatural, page 177). A key title to any collection of fantasy, horror and supernatural fiction.

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