Thursday, January 31, 2008


I was in Border's rummaging through the usual suspects when I saw: Elizabeth Bear's "Shoggoths in Bloom," in Asimov's, March 2008 issue.

I'll post a review as soon as I read it.

Adolphe de Castro & August Derleth Correspnd (1956)

{Aorry the image is poor, but it was the only one posted at ebay. Letter is $29.99 starting bid}

Monday, January 28, 2008

Giant Penguin Found: Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness Vindicated?

"On the barren shore, and on the lofty ice barrier in the background, myriads of grotesque penguins squawked and flapped their fins, while many fat seals were visible on the water, swimming or sprawling across large cakes of slowly drifting ice. "

"For it was only a penguin - albeit of a huge, unknown species larger than the greatest of the known king penguins, and monstrous in its combined albinism and virtual eyelessness. "

The late Eocene giant penguin Icadyptes salasi (right) and the middle Eocene Perudyptes devriesi (left) are shown to scale with a Humbolt Penguin, the only living member of the group found in Peru today.

Giant penguins, almost as tall as a human, once waddled in tropical Peru. Palaeontologists unearthed the fossil remains of two new species of penguin in southern Peru in 2005. They are the oldest complete penguin fossils ever discovered in South America.

At over one and half metres tall (57"), 36-million-year-old Icadyptes salasi is also the most complete large penguin fossil ever found. The species had a beak almost 18 cm long, which the researchers believe it used to spear fish. The second new species Perudyptes devriesi, stood around 60 cm tall, comparable in size to a modern King Penguin, and lived 42 million years ago during the middle Eocene period.

Penguin populations expanded northwards from Antarctica and New Zealand after the global climate cooled at the end of the Eocene period 33 million years ago. “We tend to think of penguins as being cold-adapted species,” said Julie Clarke, “even the small penguins in equatorial regions today”. However, the newly discovered penguins lived during the Eocene era, a period when the Earth's climate was at its warmest in the last 65 million years. “By indicating that penguins reached nearly the extremes of their present day range during a much warmer Earth, we show that major global cooling was not necessary for at least early penguins to invade equatorial regions,” she said.

Finding giant penguins in Peru also contradicts a theory that penguins have larger body sizes in the increasingly cool environments closer to the South Pole. “Our findings indicate that higher latitude was not correlated with larger body size in early penguins,” said Clarke. “Indeed, the evidence supports nearly as great a diversity in penguin body sizes and species diversity near the poles, as in low latitude Peru 42 million years ago.”

"[The new species] probably reached twice the body mass of the largest living penguin, the Emperor penguin, so would have weighed around 55 to 60 kg, and maybe stood as high as a person's shoulder,” commented Ewan Fordyce, a palaeobiologist from the University of Otago in New Zealand. “These new records allow Clarke's team to produce a new evolutionary history, of penguins,” said Fordyce, which he describes as “a fertile field for research”.

Previous blog article:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

This is what you may miss ... Google Group

The Google Group Discussion is picking up. Join soon. :)
Dave, make sure you alert me to just before it is due out. I'll want a copy. Will it be for sale on Horror Mall?
On 23 Dec 1925 HPL wrote this {to Aunt Lillian} Orton also spoke of C. {sic} Warner Munn - youthful weird author whom Cook has encouraged ... this young Atholite (age 23) is very well connected, being a cousin of the owner of Scientific American; but is not extensively cultivated or well-read himself. His erudition seems wholly confined to weird amtters, & he shews no disposition to broaden in literary taste.
HP Lovecraft: Letters From New York.
It seems unlikely that Munn knew Lovecraft prior to 1925.
Lovecraft {to Wandrei} in 26 June 1928 says, in part, I spent two weeks in absolute rusticity - with a friend who has taken a Vermont farmhouse for the summer ... Tonight Cook & I are going over to Munn's place to inspect his weird library. Are you not green with envy? Just at this moment I am sitting beside a country road half way up the hill toward Sentinel Elm. {Joshi & Schultz' note says: This locale may have inspired Sentinel Hill in Dunwich Horror.}
Mysteries of Time And Spirit: Letters of HP Lovecraft and Donald Wandrei.

----- Original Message ----
From: Dave Goudsward
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2008 11:10:14 PM

The description of the visit to Mystery Hill in Munn's letters is a
problem. In a nutshell, he recollects being told about Culdee Monks and
having to deal with a locked fence. These indicate a visit after after
Lovecraft's death. Culdee Monks were owner William Goodwin's theorized
site builders. He had bought the property in 1936 as proof of Viking
Settlements but changed his theory to one of Irish monks. But that
doesn't appear until late 1937, early 1938 at the earliest. The fence
was still being discussed in January 1937, so even with an early thaw,
there's no way that Lovecraft could encounter that fence in this mortal

Since Munn is adamant he visited with HPL, he must be blurring a
post-1937 visit with a pre-1937 visit. In that case, HPL could have
visited on any number of trips. HPL could have visited the site in 1921,
23, 28, 34 or 35, based on Selected Letters and the biographies.

Munn had been interviewed by Philip Shreffler previously (for Lovecraft
Companion), and the description he gave Shreffler of the visit does not
match the visit as Munn later wrote to Burleson. So we're either looking
at multiple visits or a really bad memory.

The gist of my theory is that Lovecraft, as he did in so many other
places, used details from the visit in the text of The Dunwich Horror.
The obvious detail is the skull-strewn altar stone atop the hill. The
sacrificial table is visually at the center of the site and the locals
had no shortage of claims of Indian skeletons found in the area. Making
the assumption that inquiries in town about the site would send the
Lovecraft's party to the property owner, they would be sent to the far
side of the hill to see Fred Duston.

The path that Armitage, Rice and Morgan took to Seth Bishop's house in
the story parallels the topography one would take if one was going from
Fred Duston's house through the woods to the old Seth Pattee house. The
Pattees formerly owned the property and the access path to the site is
across from their house. Fred Duston had bought the property in 1927, so
that makes 1928 my best guess, with plenty of time to write the Dunwich

My original research was published by Mystery Hill in monograph form as
Horror on the Hill (1990). Frankly, the research was incomplete, the
editing ham-fisted and the publisher unable to reproduce photos so he
hand-sketched versions of the shots. When copies show up on Ebay, I buy
them to get them out of circulation permanently. It's not only an
embarrassment to me as an author, it's edited down to the point where
salient notes were deleted making it poor scholarship.

I have a booklet do out later this year on Lovecraft in the Merrimack
Valley that will include the full text in all it's over-annotated glory.
It'll be out before Samhain. In the meanwhile, you can see the
sacrifical table at the very bottom of my website at

Munn, by the way, would use Mystery Hill and the Culdee monks in his own
novel, Merlin's Ring (1974).

chris perridas wrote:
> Outstanding Dave. If you ever want to publish any notes on the blog,
> you have a green light. Otherwise, we look forward to any insights
> you want to share.

> What years do you think he visited?

> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Dave Goudsward

> I was first drawn into Lovecraft's orbit back in 1986. I was working as
> the manager up at Mystery Hill in NH where I met Don and Molly Burleson.
> Don had published a piece in the Journal of the New England Antiquities
> Research Association that confirmed that Lovecraft had visited Mystery
> Hill with H. Warner Munn. I've spent the last 20 years looking at that
> visit. I'm convinced Lovecraft visited the site twice, the first one
> being *before* he wrote The Dunwich Horror, meaning Sentinel Hill's
> description of standing stones surrounding a sacrificial altar is based
> on Mystery Hill.

--- Michelle Souliere

Hear, hear. There's just something about him.

Portland, ME

On 1/25/08, Jeff Barnes

It is interesting, Chris, because he haunts me, too.

I found myself fascinated by the man every since I came across his work (when I was in my late teens). I just felt a kind of connection to him -- can't really explain it.

Does anyone else feel this way?


Salem Map

Whoops, Methinks Chrispy posted the map upside down. :)

Salem and Lovecraft

Salem Posessed: A Study in Witchcraft Hysteria, Paul Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum, 1974. Details of cover and an interior illustration.

It seems natural that Lovecraft would gravitate to Salem in his writing and thoughts. When he was a small boy, Providence was a bustling metropolis, but still had that small town feel up on College Hill. Then - BOOM - the population surged 400% or more in his lifetime. Immigrants poured in, and Providence changed dramatically. {Elsewhere in the blog there are population statistics}.

So, too, Salem at the end of the 17th century. The provincial towns were devastated by King Philips' War, a conflict with Amerinds that is barely even mentioned in history books. It settled the real estate of New England un til this day, but at the time it was nip and tuck that the Native Americans might win. For the three generations or more after that, the English settlers were traumatized and paranoid. Enter, Salem in the midst of being overwhelmed by their own "immigrants" and the shadow of BIG Boston looming fast.

Nissenbaum is a scholar of the 1st degree. He was the first to expose that the New York Knickerbockers {heh, not the basketball team} with Washington Irving leading the pack invented American mythology for the first time, and Santa Claus and Christmas. It just didn't exist in the American form before him.

Of course, there's still the battle over who wrote "Night Before Christmas" but that has nothing to do with Lovecraft.

In any event, Lovecraft was probably the first non-scholar to fathom that Salem was less about witches and all about changing sociology. Then he parodied it to great effect for more than a decade in his fiction.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Robert E Howard's "The Valley of the Worm"

"The Valley of the Worm" (from WEIRD TALES, Feb. 1934)

{Sadly, I can find no notes on Lovecraft commenting on this exciting story. I'll keep looking, but if you, Dear Reader, find it first, feel free to post comments. I found this image on ebay, apparently part of a cache of REH stories ripped from decaying Pulp 'zines decades ago. The vintage image was too cool not to post.}

Interlude: 1100th Post

This is a bit belated, since we are well past 1100 posts now in our quest to track Lovecraft's Legacy. It's a day like today that it kind of catches up with ol' Chrispy. A great deal of new Lovecraftiana has hit the 2008 market place and auction houses. Lots of internet searching, Ebay sniffing, cut and paste, resize and crop, reorient, and so forth so that it all fits on blogger.

It's especially tiring after a long day at work, and with a looming load of Chris Perridas obligations - I have book reviews to write and submit, obligations to write more essays, my +Horror Library+ duties, and then there are my own stories ready to explode from my head if I don't put them on paper soon.

I'm just ecstatic right now at my Waverly Hills essay (part 1) coming out in Bailey Hunter's Dark Recesses. I have stuff in Down in the Cellar, Open Vein, and Blood Moon Rising and plans for lots more. Bailey has done such a terrific job, and deserves all the award nominations that she can get. Support her.

Still ... the ghost of H P Lovecraft haunts me. Why, I'm unsure. I knew not the man before 2002, and now this encyclopedic mania has permeated so much of my spare time. When will he stop, and when will it be enough?

It delights me that many of you have written me with kind words, insights, questions, and more. I wasn't expecting that. I only wanted to put down interesting tidbits for my own research, and now you tell me that you use the information. Well, as Teddy Roosevelt (An HPL fave) might have said: Bully!

In case you're interested, we - you, Gentle Reader, and I - are part of over 2000 regular readers who stop by and peruse the vast archives. I've posted so much, I have to search my own files becuase I forget what's there and what isn't. That shakes me up sometime, but there you go. One never knows what life brings.


Pen Afficianados: Alert! Letter of HP to CAS

{Note that this is on George Kirk stationary and discusses his ink pen. Some of you have told me you are ink pen fans. So here's more to add to the legend and lore of HPL's search for the best ink pen.}

Text by auction house:

"I couldn't compose on a typewriter to save my life - the very sight of the damn thing empties my mind of all connected ideas & images!"

H. P. Lovecraft. Autograph Letter Signed "E'ch-Pi-El" [HPL]. Two pages, 5.75" x 9", Providence, Rhode Island, March 21, 1932, to Clark Ashton Smith, plain paper, ink. Includes original mailing envelope in Lovecraft's hand, addressed to "Clark Ashton Smith, Esq., Box 385, Auburn, California." On the verso of the envelope, the author has included his return address, again in his own hand: "From HP Lovecraft 10 Barnes St. Providence R.I."

The text of the letter reads, in full:

"Necropolis of Leth-yoddim:
before the impact of the moon-rays
on the bronze door in the hillside.
Dear Klarkash-Ton:-

I'll start off with some bad news which you'll probably have received simultaneously from the same source...i.e., the sombre tho' not cataclysmically unexpected news that Swanson's poor Galaxy has died a-borning! This morning I received the more or less dismal announcement. He can't make typographical arrangements, & the subscriptions haven't come in as he expected- so that's that! However, if granted permission he will hold onto contributor's mss. for a little while - in the hope that he may be able to swing a mimeographed magazine or series of booklets. Getting down close to the amateur class! And some day, of course, he hopes to publish a real, printed magazine &c. &c. - Well, Brother Farnsworth will doubtless rejoice!

As for pens - right now I'm using a thing that came from Woolworth's. I'm dipping it in the ancient way, though it's supposed to be a fountain. Brobst & W. Paul Cook have bought similar pens at FWW's which really function! The point of this contraption - as a plain dip pen - is admirable so far. What's more, I see by a microscopic inscription that it's made in Providence! But I think I shall do most composing with a pencil. I couldn't compose on a typewriter to save my life - the very sight of the damn thing empties my mind of all connected ideas & images!

As soon as I can get the nerve to type the "Witch House" I'll start a copy in circulation. Later I hope I can get at some others - though various duties have so far denied me further creative leisure. Hope Clayton takes the S from S. Long holding is a favourable sign. He's had Belknap's latest tale for 8 weeks without rendering a report. Glad that Wonder Stories continues to be a good market. I hope to see the Invisible & Immortals in due course of time.

But the Double Shadow excites my greatest expectations. Uggrrll...I tremulously anticipate it. Hope to see the Plutonian Drug later on. Heaven only knows when I'll get at the development of my own time-juggling idea.

One thing I must do is fix up a new note book of daemoniac plots. I've lent my old one - used since 1919 - to various brother-fantaisistes from time to time, & it's just about worn to pieces. Beside which, I've made lots of loose notes during the book's many absences. I ought to get the whole bunch copied into a new & stoutly bound book.

I'll transmit your compliments to young Brobst - who always sends his regards to you. That reminds me - last week we were doing the geological section of a local museum, & came upon a black, gleaming specimen which certainly cannot be other than an eikon of Tsathoggua! It was a semi-shapeless congeries of nighted curves - squat & swollen, & with a curious suggestion of flabby viscosity despite the superficially petrific composition. Its outlines - semi-organic & darkly suggestive - left little room for doubt that it once stood in some curtained niche in immemorial Commorion. Not a temple - it was too small for that - but rather in the household shrine of some such arcane delver as Atthepharos, who dwelt in the street of the Alembics & vanished suddenly shortly before the desertion of the city. There is a timidly reticent sketch of something like it in one of [the] least decipherable fragments of the mouldy Pnakotic manuscripts.

I read Merritt's new serial the other day, & thought it passable in spots despite a woeful adherence to the popular magazine tradition. M. has a certain distinctive magic which would be tremendous if he would forget commercialism & really use it.

Best wishes - & greetings in the brotherhood of Y'aug-Kthah -


Here, Lovecraft is writing to Clark Ashton Smith, a prolific writer, sculptor, and painter of great renown, especially considered so by Lovecraft. Smith was published in numerous amateur publications and pulp magazines, at first mostly for his poetry. Lovecraft convinced Smith to start writing weird fiction, a decision Smith dove into with gusto, and continues to be remembered for today. The two writers shared a deep and abiding friendship that lasted from 1922 until Lovecraft's death in 1937. Apparently, Lovecraft was working on an appreciative piece on Smith at the time of his death, the manuscript of which was found on Lovecraft's desk after his passing.

Lovecraft and Smith were even collaborators of a sort. Smith wrote a good number of stories that can be definitively included in Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. In fact, a story mentioned by Lovecraft in this very letter, "The Double Shadow", is one of Smith's numerous entries in the vast Cthulhu universe. As a side note, Smith sculpted the figures that appear in the photographs on the dust jacket of Arkham House's first edition of Lovecraft's Beyond the Wall of Sleep. The two men, the two writers, artists, friends, are inextricably linked in the world of weird fiction for all time.

Lovecraft wrote this letter at a strange time in his life, when he was seeking out a second avenue for his work in a pulp magazine other than Weird Tales. He begins the epistle by writing of "Swanson's poor Galaxy," which was the short-lived (in fact, never-realized) pulp periodical Galaxy edited by Carl Swanson of Washburn, North Dakota. Swanson's idea for a magazine would include a mixture of both original stories and reprints from Weird Tales, but the idea never materialized. Lovecraft was forced to keep sending his stories to Farnsworth Wright, the editor of Weird Tales (who Lovecraft refers to as "Brother Farnsworth" in this letter), a professional relationship that remained almost solely responsible for Lovecraft's continued publication. In fact, in this very letter, Lovecraft mentions his fledgling story "Dreams in the Witch House," a story he sold to Wright's Weird Tales the year after this very letter was written.

The "sage of Providence" also writes here of Harry K. Brobst, a Providence friend and psychiatric nurse, and frequent visitor to Lovecraft at the Barnes St. address listed on the envelope that accompanies this letter. Interestingly, Brobst was one of the few attendants at Lovecraft's funeral services. Lovecraft also mentions W. Paul Cook, Frank Belknap Long, and "Merritt" in the course of this correspondence. The latter is none other than Abraham Merritt, legendary author of The Moon Pool, and many other tales of early science fiction. Lovecraft and Merritt were mutual admirers of the other's work.

The letter is in very fine condition, with the usual mailing folds. The envelope is torn at the stamp, but the flaw does not affect any of Lovecraft's writing on the envelope. A rare letter to one of Lovecraft's closest friends, collaborators, and raconteurs with a rare, original mailing envelope in Lovecraft's hand. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

August Derleth to Samuel Loveman On HPL

Text by Auftion House:

August Derleth: Four Typed Letters Signed to Samuel Loveman of the "Lovecraft Circle", including: Typed Letter Signed "August Derleth", with envelope, one page, 8.5" x 6.25", Sauk City, Wisconsin, February 20, 1948, Arkham House stationery. The text reads: "Dear Sam Loveman, Under separate cover I'm sending you a copy of The Arkham Sampler Number 1. In our second issue we are publishing A Memoir of Lovecraft by Rheinhart Kleiner. Despite the fact that we cannot as yet pay for material, I am wondering whether you could be prevailed upon to set down your own memories of HPL - our second issue carries letters from him referring to your friendship with him and with Hart Crane during the writing of The Bridge - for us to publish in some succeeding issue? Let me know, please. Best Wishes always, Cordially, August Derleth."


Typed Letter Signed "August Derleth", with envelope, one page, 8.5" x 6.25", Sauk City, Wisconsin, February 26, 1948, Arkham House stationery. The text reads: "Dear Sam Loveman, All thanks for the card. The reminiscence you mention sounds like just the thing, and I'd like to use it in the Sampler. Do take your time going over it, and expand it to any length you like, for copy for number 3 won't be going in until May or thereabouts. Best wishes always. Cordially, August Derleth."


Typed Letter Signed "August Derleth", with envelope, one page, 8.5" x 6.25", Sauk City, Wisconsin, April 17, 1948, Arkham House stationery. Derleth thanks Loveman in this letter for "your memoir of HPL, which seems to me very good, and which I'll use in the next issue of The Arkham Sampler (out in July).

[And:] Typed Letter Signed "August Derleth", with envelope, one page, 8.5" x 6.25", Sauk City, Wisconsin, April 23, 1971, Arkham House stationery. In this letter, Derleth recommends that the New York Public Library may be able to purchase Loveman's collections of Clark Ashton Smith letters. Also, Derleth asks Loveman of the whereabouts of "HPL's letters to you" and wonders "[w]hatever became of them?" According to H. P. Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi, Loveman, a Jew himself, burned many of his letters from Lovecraft when he learned of Lovecraft's anti-semitism. Minor toning to the 1948 letters, and each with two vertical mailing folds. The 1971 letter has one crease at the upper right corner and one horizontal mailing fold, else all are in fine condition or better. A small but great collection of correspondence between two giants in the world of Lovecraftiana. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

HPL Letter to Walter Coates circa 1926

"It was out of Ireland - where Jews are almost as happily scarce as snakes - that James Joyce's 'Ulysses' came."

H. P. Lovecraft. Autograph Letter Signed "HPL". Two pages, 5.5" x 9", n.p. [Providence, Rhode Island], n.d. ["Tuesday", perhaps 1926], to Walter J. Coates, plain paper, ink.
The text of the letter reads, in full:
"My dear Coates: -
I wasn't especially defending Emily Dickinson, but was merely pointing out the multiplicity of the causes - & the soundness of a few of them - which impel occasional revaluations of literature from age to age. The present case is not unique, as you may easily see by following the reputation of any varied assortment of authors through a space of several centuries. It is a mistake, too, to single out Victorian opinion as a basis of comparison. In many ways the middle 19th century formed a naïve & curious Dark Age of taste in all the arts - I hardly need point out its architectural barbarities. If we want to formulate a norm for the Anglo-Saxon main stream, we must consider the average massed opinion all the way down from Chaucer's time. The Elizabethan age represented a far truer flowering of our racial impulses than did the Victorian.
However - as I said on my card, your main thesis seems to me perfectly sound & well taken. Undeniably - all apart from the effects of natural change and altered philosophic-scientific-psychological perspective - the world of American taste & opinion is distinctly & lamentably Jew-ridden as a result of the control of publicity media by New York Semitic groups. Some of this influence certainly seeps into Anglo-Saxon critical & creative writing to an unfortunate extent; so that we have a real problem of literary & aesthetic fumigation on our hands. The causes are many - but I think the worst factor is a sheer callous indifference which holds the native mind down to mere commercialism & size & speed worship, allowing the restless & ambitious alien to claim the centre of the intellectual stage by default. In a commercialised civilization, publicity & fame are determined by economic causes alone - & there is where the special talents of Messrs. Cohen & Levi count. Before we can put them in their place, we must de-commercialise the culture - & that, alas, is a full-sized man's job! Some progress could be made, though, if all the universities could get together & insist on strictly Aryan standards of taste. They could do much, in a quiet & subtle way, by cutting down the Semite percentage in faculty & student body alike. It is really amusing how we simple Western Europeans have allowed Orientals to trample over our brains for 1500 years & more - ever since we let them saddle us with the sickly Jew slave-religion of Christus instead of our own virile, healthy, Aryan polytheistic paganism. In this matter of religion, though, we are coming back - for the Jew-Christian tradition will be extinct in the Western world in two or three more generations, save for the nominal Catholic ritualism of the eternal rabble. We are getting back to the same Aryan philosophy & paganism which are naturally ours by right of blood & instinct.
However - that isn't what we were discussing. As for literature - you'll find that the causes for contemporary change are many & complex, & that Semitisation is only one contributing influence. Let Great Britain, still largely un-Semitised, be your index of comparison. Scientific thought in England is pretty straight Anglo-Saxon stuff - Bertrand Russell, Aldous & Julian Huxley, H. G. Wells, Sir J. Jeans, Eddington, &c. &c. - but we find the forces of change emphatically at work. It was out of Ireland - where Jews are almost as happily scarce as snakes - that James Joyce's "Ulysses" came. The causes of our cultural changes, be they renaissances or decadences, are buried deep in complex historical & psychological phenomena. Our present convulsion - which is probably a renaissance in some phases & a decadence in others - is far too big an affair to be traced to any single origin. Roughly speaking, the thing is due to the effect of sudden new doses of knowledge, & of sensationally rapid changes in ways of living, travelling, earning money, & making things. Personally, I think we're losing more than we're gaining; for of all the current changes only the matter of added knowledge & intellectual liberation seems really good to me.
Weiss & Harris write very interestingly - especially Harris, who is refreshingly intelligent despite a narrow aesthetic horizon. He'll expand with the years, I think.
Rather cool autumn hereabouts, so that I haven't been outdoors as much as last fall. I don't envy you up in the Arctic regions! Best wishes - & I eagerly await your second article on literary transvaluations.
Yr obt servt
P.S. Is the magazine you want The American Poetry Magazine, edited by Clara Catherine Prince, 358 Western Ave., Wauwautosa [sic], Wisconsin? The man who prints that is a friend of a friend of mine, & is thinking of founding a pedagogical publishing house. If he does, I shall probably be his chief reviser."
Walter J. Coates was a fellow amateur journalist and small-time publisher introduced to Lovecraft, most likely, through W. Paul Cook (later to publish Lovecraft's The Shunned House). Coates' and Lovecraft's friendship developed over a mutual love for New England and poetry. Coates published a great amount of Lovecraft's writing in his regional magazine Driftwind, beginning with HPL's essay "The Materialist Today" in October 1926. Later, Coates would print a good amount of Lovecraft's poetry in the same periodical.
The most striking content in this particular letter from Lovecraft to Coates is the former's bald articulation of an obvious anti-Semitism. In the midst of a letter discussing Emily Dickinson and socio-literary issues, and amongst discourse on writers such as Russell, Huxley, Wells, and Harris (most likely his friend Woodburn Harris, to whom he had probably been introduced by Coates) Lovecraft launches into a diatribe on a culture he sees as "Jew-ridden as a result of the control of publicity media by New York Semitic groups." Lovecraft's view of Jewish people is a most curious aspect of his personality. In many letters to friends and associates, Lovecraft espoused a similar opinion of Jewish people as he articulates here. Yet, he had numerous Jewish friends, and in his one marriage, betrothed himself to a Jewish woman, Sonia Greene. Debate rages over the depth and degree to which Lovecraft actually felt his own anti-Semitism, but there can be no doubt that "the gentleman of Providence" held a viewpoint that is quite unpopular and out of vogue in current times.
Frank Belknap Long attempted to contextualize or rationalize Lovecraft's apparent racism in a letter to L. Sprague de Camp which appears in the latter's Lovecraft: A Biography. Whether or not one believes Long is his or her choice, for certainly enough evidence can be found from Lovecraft's own pen to support a charge of anti-Semitism. Still, Long attempts to come to the aid of an old friend: "This may be hard for you to believe. But during the entire NY period, in all the meetings and conversations I had with him, he never once displayed any actual hostility toward 'non-Nordics' - to use the term to which he was most addicted - in my presence, either in the subway or anywhere else...If one of them had been in distress he would have been the first to rush to his or her aid. Emotionally he was kindliness personified. It was all rhetorical - the kind of verbal overkill that so many of the hippie underground-press writers engaged in in the sixties. It was a sickness in him, if you wish - the verbalization part - but it wasn't characteristic of him in a deep, basic way."
This letter is in remarkable shape, with usual mailing folds, one small crease at the bottom right corner, and a barely noticeable fingernail nick along the right edge. The page has toned slightly, but is overall in very fine condition.
(S. T. Joshi, H. P. Lovecraft: A Life 427) From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

Very Rare HPL Letter to Samuel Loveman

Text from aution house:

"Providence in the autumn is a mystick & glamorous place - & side trips to ancient Newport & the Boston region are perennially pleasing supplements."

H. P. Lovecraft. Autograph Letter Signed "Theobaldus Love". Two pages, 8.5" x 11", n.p. [Providence, Rhode Island], n.d. [perhaps 1928], to Samuel Loveman "Endymion", plain paper, ink.

The text of the letter reads:

"Woden's Day

Aonian Endymion: -

Damn your postman! Shall Novanglian thrift capitulate to the standardized demands of metropolitan bureaucracy? What complaint has the rascal to make if addresses be clear & legible? Does he want headline-type the size of a barn-door? Why, sir, I make the addresses on all my cards just as plain & as large as the printed address-slips stuck on newspapers & magazines.....but this curst impertinent dog has to cavil because my particular specimens don't come off a printing-press! Pox on such presumption! 'Zounds, Sir, I shall write to the papers about it! Upstart publick servants - we'll see, by God, Sir, we'll see! However, if it comes to a question of your own visual comfort, that's another matter. Why, Sir, I'll have the next one embossed in Braille!

And now permit me to felicitate you upon the wisest move you have made since your rash step of 1927! Back to the old stand - where Grandpa advised you to stay in the first place! Make it permanent this time, Sir! The Dauber & Pine firm is clearly an institution of great and increasing importance, & they are now sensible of how great an asset they have in your presence as expert & cataloguer. Grow up with them - & you will find that for an aesthete, such a salaried post offers a future much more tolerable than could any independent commercial venture. I envy you - & sincerely wish I had the bibliophilic erudition to land one of those similar posts whose numerousness you remark....especially if any of them permitted a Providence locale. I don't know just what extent of specialisation they demand - one could easily learn the stock terms & charactertick fashions of cataloguing, but no doubt these positions require a genuine knowledge of books & bibliophily from the merchant's & collector's standpoint.

I trust you are duly refresh'd & reinvigorated by your Antaeus-like contact with Cleveland soil. If you have any vocational openings in the ensuing weeks, don't forget that eastward routes are equally open to traffick! Providence in the autumn is a mystick & glamorous place - & side trips to ancient Newport & the Boston region are perennially pleasing supplements.

Quebec........(o gawd, give me a vocabulary!) Que....Que....yes, I must see Old England before I totter irrevocably into the sunset. But how could I ever come back, once I saw ancient London, & the rural lanes of Kent, & the thatched-roof'd villages of Lincolnshire, & the sombre stretches of Dartmoor leading down to those Devonian shores whence full half my ancestral lines sprang! I would have to take along some Providence views & crank up a case of homesickness to break away from Britannia once I sat foot upon the beloved, never-beheld sod -

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

This other Eden, demi-paradise....

This precious stone set in the silver sea....

This blessed plot, this Earth, this realm, this ENGLAND!

Glad to hear that RK's return to the fold is proving stable. Tell him to make another Providence trip, & I'll try to hook up some crumb-cake to match the easily obtainable coffee of the region! And little ol' Arturo! What a damn shame you missed him! I'd like to see the old boy myself, & certainly hope he'll look me up if his itinerant outfit traverses this part of the world. Hope his prosperity is permanent - he deserves some ease and freedom from anxiety after the long gruelling years of the past. But what a beastly shame his Old Cap Collier's weren't waiting for him!

Heard from the Alfredus-child last week. He's back in Chicago from his summer at the old Appleton homestead, & has secured a better & more expensive flat. The new address (note for reference) is 1406 ½ Elmwood Ave., Evanston, Ill. Next summer he hopes to go to Europe, spending much time at Antibes (the ancient Antipolis) on the Riviera. He reports the death of the old-time Wisconsin amateur Alfred L. Hutchinson of Weyaneuga. Do you recall this somewhat crude and eccentric old fellow? Speaking of amateurs - Paul J. Campbell is alas a Chicagoan now. Still in the oil-drilling business, & wants me to make a fortune by putting 200 bucks into some new project. What a pity I haven't the spare cash. I would so enjoy sudden affluence!

And so it goes. Once again, congratulations on the return to Swear 'Em & Weep! And get around to these parts when you can. Yes for politer postmen & larger postcards,

Theobaldus Love"

In this letter, Lovecraft implores Loveman to remain as a book dealer and cataloger with the firm of Dauber & Pine in New York City, and bemoans his own lack of skill for such a job. Samuel Loveman was a poet, friend and correspondent of Lovecraft's, and a great New York bookman who began as a cataloger at Dauber & Pine, an antiquarian bookshop on New York City's legendary Book Row. Loveman later owned and operated the Bodley Bookshop in New York City for over 30 years.

Lovecraft, ever the Anglophile, also concentrates a good portion of this letter on his yearning for "Old England," going so far as to quote five lines from William Shakespeare's famous appraisal of that "sceptred isle" from King Richard II.

Notably, Lovecraft also writes in this letter of "RK," which can only be his correspondent Rheinhart Kleiner, and of "Alfredus-child," most certainly he and Loveman's good friend Alfred Galpin. To close, Lovecraft signs his name "Theobaldus Love." He often signed some form of "Theobaldus" in letters to his closest friends, as well as referring to himself as "Grandpa," as he also does in the body of this letter.

The manuscript is in fine condition, with usual mailing folds, matching 1.5" closed tears at the top and bottom edges, and one small chip from the bottom edge less than .25" in diameter. A unique chance to obtain a Lovecraft to Loveman letter, as the former destroyed most of his correspondence upon learning of the latter's rampant anti-Semitism.

"Things that are permissible and even add to the flavor of his [Lovecraft's] fiction freeze into an attitude in his letters. And yet, even while one is prone to condemn their verbal vomit, one must admit that sound editing and the process of still sounder omission should free and add to the Lovecraft legend, and deliver him to posterity as he actually was - a charming companion, a wonderful human being, and a loyal friend." (Samuel Loveman, "Lovecraft as a Conversationalist") From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

Lovecraft's Legacy: 1970's Letter Cache of James Merritt to Samuel Loveman &c

[H. P. Lovecraft] James D. Merritt. Archive of Letters to Lovecraft Friend Samuel Loveman Regarding Merritt's Proposed Lovecraft Biography. The archive presented here is composed of the following manuscript material, all from James D. Merritt to Samuel Loveman dated between 1971 and 1976:
Typed Letter Signed "James D. Merritt", with envelope, one page, December 18, 1971, plain paper. Letter of introduction from Merritt to Loveman, in which Merritt states that "I'm writing a biography of H. P. Lovecraft and I would be very, very grateful if you would let me talk with you about him.
Typed Letter Signed "Jim", with envelope, two pages, May 24, 1972, plain paper. Social letter. Merritt won the "Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award" at Brooklyn College, where he taught English.
Typed Letter Signed "Jim Merritt", with envelope, one page, January 13, 1972, plain paper. Birthday greetings to Loveman.
Typed Letter Signed "Jim Merritt", with envelope, one page, n.d. [envelope postmarked November 13, 1972], plain paper. Social letter involving a problem at Merritt's house.
Typed Letter Signed "Jim Merritt", with envelope, one page, February 4, [1976], plain paper. Merritt writes that his "HPL book got derailed because of Decamp's. I've completed nine of twelve chapters and am simply going to hold it for a bit longer. Decamp's sold fairly well but was not much liked and I am positive that mine will have a market and a place if I let the air clear a little bit."
Autograph Letter Signed "Jim Merritt", with envelope, two pages, n.d. [envelope postmarked January 17, 1976], plain paper, ink. Social note about Merritt's vacation to the South. Includes a self-addressed postcard from Merritt.
Typed Letter Signed "Jim", with envelope, one page, n.d. [envelope postmarked February 17, 1976], plain paper. Merritt writes that "the book is going along and will turn out very nicely I think."
A unique archive of letters from the author of a proposed Lovecraft biography that never saw publication to one of Lovecraft's "Circle." Merritt was an English professor at Brooklyn College. All letters in fine or better condition. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

Letters from Sonia Surface

Texts are by auction house.

"'The Horror of Red Hook', alone, indicates his violent hatred not only for Jews but for all foreigners."

[H. P. Lovecraft] Vast Archive of Letters from Lovecraft's Ex-Wife, Sonia to Samuel Loveman of "The Lovecraft Circle."
The archive presented here is composed of the following manuscript material, all from Sonia Lovecraft Davis, nee Greene, to Samuel Loveman (unless otherwise noted) dated between 1947 and 1968:

Autograph Letter Signed "S", with envelope, two pages, September 14, 1947, Hotel Chicagoan stationery, ink.

Typed Letter Signed "Sonia", two pages, October 26, 1947, plain paper.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", eight pages, November 1, 1947, plain paper, ink.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, two pages, March 3, 1948, plain paper, ink.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, four pages, June 18, 1949, plain paper, pencil.

Typed Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, one page, August 9, 1949, plain paper.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, three pages, April 24, 1950, plain paper, ink.

Typed Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, two pages, August 16, 1950, plain paper.

Typed Letter Signed "Sonia", one page, August 18, 1950, plain paper.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, two pages, October 29, 1950, plain bifolia paper, ink.

Typed Letter Signed "SHD", one page, July 26, 1951, plain paper.

Typed Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, two pages, August 21, 1951, plain paper.

Typed Letter Signed "S", with envelope, two pages, August 29, 1951, plain paper. Includes a handwritten postscript, also signed "S".

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope one page, September 1, 1951, plain bifolia paper, ink. Accompanied by a one-page Typed Letter Signed from Spanish historian and novelist Adolph de Castro to Sonia.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, one page, October 31, 1951, plain paper, ink.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, two pages, September 25, 1954, plain paper, ink.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, four pages, June 24, 1966, plain paper, ink.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, three pages, July 19, 1968, plain paper, ink.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, two pages, July 30, 1968, plain paper, ink.

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, one page, August 10, 1968, plain paper, ink. Accompanied by a change of address card from Sonia to Loveman.

Typed Letter Signed "Sonia", one page, undated, plain paper. Second page of a two page letter (no first page).

Also included in this marvelous collection is the following:

Autograph Letter Signed "Sonia", with envelope, one page, undated [envelope postmarked October 27, 1966], to Alyce Loveman, plain paper, ink.

Sonia Lovecraft, later Sonia Davis, and Samuel Loveman met when the former was married to H. P. Lovecraft, and the couple lived in New York City. Sonia was a self-sufficient, middle class working woman, somewhat difficult in the early days of the last century. She is perhaps best known for being president of the Amateur Press Association, which is how she came to know Lovecraft, and later Samuel Loveman. Loveman, a poet and bookdealer, was a member of the unofficial "Lovecraft Circle," a small band of writers and amateur journalists who corresponded with the now famous Providence recluse until his untimely death from intestinal cancer in 1937.

This collection of letters from Sonia to Loveman stands as testament to a lifelong friendship brought to life by the tragic death of a mutual friend. From Sonia's letters, it is evident the two shared a cordial friendship, with Sonia constantly encouraging Loveman to cheer up or eat better. She writes in the August 21, 1951 TLS "Would that I knew how to teach you not to worry..." And she constantly berates Loveman, good-naturedly, to respond to her letters. They also often discussed Lovecraft himself, with the majority of Sonia's letters mentioning him in one respect or another. Specifically, Sonia details for Loveman her late ex-husband's anti-Semitism. In the June 18, 1949 ALS dated, Sonia writes: "My expose of Howard's anti-semitism was very mild in comparison to its real force. I did not tell everything. Tho' Derleth insists that in his later yrs. H. P. changed his mind considerably in his attitude toward the Jewish people. Personally, I don't believe he did." Further, in the August 16, 1950 TLS presented here, Sonia writes that "I would not be at all surprised to find that HP had taught all or most of his gentile and Christian correspondents, also, to hate Jews and giving these correspondents reasons for wiping them out, a la Hitler." In this letter, and in her next two of August 18, 1950 and October 29, 1950, Sonia asks Loveman for a copy of a 1926 Lovecraft letter in which Lovecraft states emphatically his hatred for the Jews. In the subsequent letters, there is no mention that she ever received the letter from Loveman, who certainly resented learning of his late friend's dislike for the Jewish people. In fact, when Loveman, a Jew, realized the extent of Lovecraft's anti-semitism and racism from Sonia, he burned most of his letters from Lovecraft (as Sonia also did).

Most of the letters in this archive are in fine or better condition, with usual mailing folds. The September 25, 1954 letter has been toned on the surface from newspaper clippings that were kept with the letter, else it is also in fine condition. This is a truly unique collection of letters from the wife of H. P. Lovecraft to one of his closest friends, Samuel Loveman.

"Sonia Haft Greene was a Russian Jew seven years older than Lovecraft, but he was captivated by her devotion to amateur letters and what on the surface appeared to be a similar view of the world. Their courtship cut short a budding romance (of which we know very little) between Lovecraft and the amateur poet Winifred Virginia Jackson, but it took three years for Lovecraft and Sonia to decide on marriage. When they did so Lovecraft told his aunts by letter after the ceremony had taken place at St. Paul's Cathedral in New York; perhaps he feared that Sonia's racial heritage, and the fact that she ran a successful millinery shop on Fifth Avenue, would not have met with the approval of two elderly ladies of old New England stock.

Was Lovecraft's marriage doomed to failure? It is easy to say such a thing after the fact, but there is no reason to believe it. Who knows what might have happened had a series of disasters not hit the couple almost immediately upon their marriage? - the collapse of Sonia's shop; the inability of Lovecraft to find a job in New York; Sonia's ill health, which forced her to leave the household and seek recuperation in various rest homes; and, perhaps most important, Lovecraft's growing horror of New York - its oppressive size, the hordes of "aliens" at every corner, its emphasis on speed, money, and commercialism. The many friends Lovecraft had in the city - Samuel Loveman, Rheinhart Kleiner, Arthur Leeds, and especially the young poet and fantaisiste Frank Belknap Long, Jr. - were not enough to ward off depression and even incipient madness. On 1 January 1925, after only ten months of cohabitation with Sonia, Lovecraft moved into a single room in a squalid area of Brooklyn, as his wife left to seek employment in the Midwest; she thereafter returned only intermittently to New York. " (S.T. Joshi: An Epicure in the Terrible: A Centennial Anthology of Essays in Honor of H.P. Lovecraft, 1991)

"Although Lovecraft had many friends in New York-Frank Belknap Long, Rheinhart Kleiner, Samuel Loveman-he became increasingly depressed by his isolation and the masses of "foreigners" in the city. His fiction turned from the nostalgic ("The Shunned House" (1924) is set in Providence) to the bleak and misanthropic ("The Horror at Red Hook" and "He" (both 1924) lay bare his feelings for New York). Finally, in early 1926, plans were made for Lovecraft to return to the Providence he missed so keenly. But where did Sonia fit into these plans? No one seemed to know, least of all Lovecraft. Although he continued to profess his affection for her, he acquiesced when his aunts barred her from coming to Providence to start a business; their nephew could not be tainted by the stigma of a tradeswoman wife. The marriage was essentially over, and a divorce in 1929 was inevitable." (S.T. Joshi: Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Life of a Gentleman of Providence) From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

Just surfaced autograph letter

"It all comes out on page 112 of the tale now drawing toward its close, and which I shall call either 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward' or 'The Madness out of Time.'"

H. P. Lovecraft. Autograph Letter with Great Content. First four pages of a longer letter, 5.75" x 9", n.p. [Providence, Rhode Island], Wednesday, [February 1927], to Frank Belknap Long, Marlborough-Blenheim Atlantic City, N.J. stationery, ink.
The text of the letter reads, in part:

"Young Man: -

[Symbol] [Symbol]

You don't know what these twin formulae mean? Ah, you are fortunate! Dr. Willett would give every hair of his well-trimmed white beard if he could only say the same-but God! He knows! He has seen! It all comes out on page 112 of the tale now drawing toward its close, and which I shall call either "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" or "The Madness out of Time." Like Midas of old, curs'd by the turning into a young novel of every story I begin. You will in all likelihood see neither this nor "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" till you come hither in your new shiny Essex, for the typing of MSS [manuscripts] of this length is utterly beyond the powers of a feeble old gentleman who loses interest in a tale the moment he completes it. As for South Main St. - your dollar is safe & drawing interest, & Grandpa will get to work just as soon as the weather becomes venal enough to bring energy & activity to sluggish old bones. Writer is a ridiculous institution, & I'm almost inclin'd to feel kindly toward your Mediterranean world..."

This is a fascinating letter for a number of reasons. First of all, at the opening of the letter, Lovecraft writes several lines in his Cthulhu language, invented by the author and used in many of his Cthulhu Mythos stories. "Yog Sothoth" is, in fact, an Outer God and one of "The Old Ones" in many Lovecraft stories, and first appeared in Lovecraft's story "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward", which the author mentions in the beginning of this very letter. Lovecraft also mentions "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" here, as well as his friends Donald Wandrei and Clark Ashton Smith, the latter of whom Lovecraft refers to as "Klarkash-Ton."

Lovecraft also writes of Providence in this letter, always an interesting prospect from the man who once proclaimed in a letter that "I am Providence." Here, Lovecraft writes that "well, Providence has not yet begun to take a census of the rats! (Of course, our figures do include the heterogeneous Labres west of the river, but we never think of Providence except as the compact old village of rooted stock on the hill & beyond, whose straight Yankee population may be 25,000 or so. I consider Providence a village, because the only part I inhabit is truly a separate social organism descending directly from the colonial town whose picture you may have seen on the walls.) As for the inspiration of New England - well, the landscape alone is enough for any man with even half an aesthetical sense!" He talks of New York, Virginia, Carolina, Georgia, Philadelphia, and Washington. None of these cities compare in Lovecraft's mind to his own little Providence, of course, though he does describe Philadelphia as "a place in which I could almost live." High praise, indeed, from a recluse who never desired to venture far from his own doorstep for very long. At the end of his discussion of other American cities, Lovecraft's racism surfaces again when he writes: "The three last strongholds of white civilisation in the Western Hemisphere are New England, Philadelphia, & the South! God save the King!"

The majority of the third and fourth pages of this letter show Lovecraft turning his critical eyes toward modern literature and modern poetry. He discusses or mentions "poor Tom Hardy," Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Ezra Pound, H. R. Haggard, and H. G. Wells. Lovecraft eventually comes around to addressing some of the work of the letter's recipient, Frank Belknap Long: "Speaking of poetry - your 'Homer at Five & Two' is altogether delightful, & ought to be amply welcome in any standard magazine."

The recipient of this letter, just like its writer, is a legend in the field of weird fiction. Frank Belknap Long was a prolific writer of all sorts, but is most remembered for his genre career, writing horror, fantasy, and science fiction alongside Lovecraft and for decades after "the gentleman of Providence" passed away. Long even wrote several stories in Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos universe, and was published on numerous occasions by Arkham House. And he was a frequent and long-standing correspondent of Lovecraft's.

The opening paragraph of this letter was excerpted as number 258 in Arkham House's Selected Letters II (p. 99), part of the legendary five-volume collection of Lovecraft's letters edited and published by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. The letter is in fine condition. Both pages have usual mailing folds and two diagonal creases. Each page also has a 2.5" to 4" circular spot of toning to the top half of the page. A fantastic letter loaded with great content, written from one legendary weird fiction writer to another. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rare Weird Tales 1931 Glimpse Inside

A portion of Frank Belkanp Long's story "THE HORROR FROM THE HILLS" (part 2, conclusion) from the March 1931 WEIRD TALES magazine is shown here. It's stated to be in excellent condition for a starting bid of $9.99. These old magazines were friable even when they were new, so it's no wonder there are fragments of these laying around. There are still an unusual number of whole copies left, which means they were lovingly cared for by several generations of collectors. This one is 77 years old. Whew.

In O' Fortunate Floridian, Lovecraft says of this story [29 January 1934 HPL to RH Barlow] ...The H from H {Horror From the Hills} thing, of course, must be that lousy Senf thing - that pretty nelephant {sic}. So, obviously Lovecraft was not keen on the illustration or the illustrator. Later, on 6 July 1934, he kids Barlow: "Am on a 3-day trip witht he High-Priest of Chaugnar ...". Long was peddling Weird Tales ilustrations of his stories for a period of a few months for between 50 cents and 75 cents, including the one shown here.
Usually you can click on the image and it expands out into a new window, full size.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More on Brundage's Art & HPL's Opinion of Her Weird Tales Covers.

{Hey, Dear Readers. You really should join the Google Group. A lot of conversation goes on there that I have to transpose back here sometimes. I just can't do post all, though. The antiquarian thread at Horror Mall is pretty cool, too.}


Jeff found the information and posted it at Google Groups. Then, my pal, Jimster, found more information in his Etchings and Oddyseys # 2 (see below).



No problem, Chris! I'm happy I can contribute to the conversation.

I found the reference I was looking for, concerning Lovecraft and the Weird Tales covers. In his book, H.P. LOVECRAFT: A LIFE, S.T. Joshi quotes from a letter that Lovecraft wrote to Willis Conover on September 1, 1936:

About WT covers -- they really are too trivial to get angry about. If they weren't totally irrelevant and unrepresentative nudes, they'd probably be something equally awkward and trivial, even though less irrelevant....I have no objection to the nude in art -- in fact the human figure is as worth a type of subject-matter as any other object of beauty in the visible world. But I don't see what the hell Mrs. Brundage's undressed ladies have to do with weird fiction.
After this quote, Joshi writes:

A quotation like this should help to dispel the silly rumour that Lovecraft habitually tore off the covers of Weird Tales because he was either outraged or embarrassed by the nude covers; although the real proof of the falsity of this rumour comes from a consultation of his own complete file of the magazine, sitting perfectly intact at the John Hay Library of Brown University.

And if you want to read the Margaret Brundage interview I mentioned, go to this website:


Chris ... You really do learn new things every day!

... From Etchings & Odysseys / 2:

E&O: What models did you use for these nudes - your imagination?Brundage: Mostly my imagination, yep. Once in a while, I would get - have a friend pose for me. But...mostly it was out of my head. And, for the male figures, I would pick my husband to pose for a while. But to hire models, no, I'm afraid I didn't. But I did give them the impression that I did hire models. But I never came right out and said "I hired a model." But if they thought I had a live model, it would cause me less trouble with anatomical problems.

Now, I knew anatomy - I don't know whether I know it that well now - but I taught it for a couple of years, so that I really knew my anatomy. Like all inexperienced people with art, they would find a flaw that isn't really a flaw - you know what I mean? - something about the picture that bothered them. And they'll pick out something - and probably the thing they pick out is perfect, but something else is really wrong. And they make you correct the one thing. And it worsens the picture really. The artist could have told them what was wrong, well, this happens all the time in comercial art. The person buying will find something wrong with it nine times out of ten. But that's not really what's wrong.

In the interview, she also makes mention of her son (no other children). One very interesting (and classy) lady, even if HPL had his doubts about her talent. She appartently went to school in the same class as Walt Disney!


Kappa Alpha Tau report.

Lovecraft loved cats. I think he'd like this story.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - The last time cat-owner Kelly Levy saw her tiger-striped feline was before she took her husband to the airport. The 24-year-old came back to her house late Friday to find the bottom step, where Gracie Mae would usually be waiting, empty.

Levy tore the house apart looking for the 10-month-old tabby who had been spayed just days before. She and her dad took out bathroom tiles and part of a cabinet to check a crawl space and papered the neighborhood with "lost cat" signs. Then she got a phone call.

"Hi, you're not going to believe this, but I am calling from Fort Worth, Texas, and I accidentally picked up your husband's luggage. And when I opened the luggage, a cat jumped out," Levy recalled the caller saying, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Rob Carter, of Fort Worth, told The Dallas Morning News for its online edition Tuesday that he made it home with the suitcase.

"I went to unpack and saw some of the clothes and saw it wasn't my suitcase," Carter said. "I was going to close it, and a kitten jumped out and ran under the bed. I screamed like a little girl."
Carter said that he eventually was able to get the cat to come out from under the bed. "In the morning, I got close enough to see its collar and the phone number on it," he said. "So I called the number and got a hold of the crying wife of the traveler."

Gracie Mae had crawled into Seth Levy's black suitcase undetected, been put through an X-ray machine, loaded onto an airplane, thrown onto a baggage claim conveyor belt and picked up by a stranger. Carter delivered Gracie Mae to Seth Levy and the tabby made the 1,300-mile trip home on an $80 plane ticket Sunday night.

Carter said that he considered keeping the cat before he knew she had a home. "If I couldn't have found a good home, I would have kept it," he said. "We were going to name it Suitcase."

Re: Margaret Brundage

Jeff, that's just the kind of myth-busting we need.  I very much apppreciate your comments, keep 'em coming! 
I have a lot of things, but I suppose the world can barely contain the things written about HPL and his peripheral contacts.  That's why I need you {readers} to help me uncover these things.  :)

----- Original Message ----
From: Jeff Barnes
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 11:48:31 PM
Subject: Margaret Brundage

This is not actually true; it's just popular myth.  I
read an interview with Margaret Brundage in which she
said that she usually worked from her own imagination
and only rarely would hire a model.  As for using her
daughters, this is from Wikipedia:

L. Sprague de Camp is often quoted as claiming she
used her daughters as models; but Brundage had no
daughters. In the letters page for Savage Tales
magazine, No.5 (July, 1974), Robert Weinberg, an
authority on pulp magazines, wrote "much as I hate to
discredit a good story, WT cover artist Margaret
Brundage did not have a daughter who posed for her. As
Mrs. Brundage lives in Chicago and I have interviewed
her, this is straight from the artist's mouth."

I also remember reading, somewhere, that it's not true
that HPL used to tear off the covers of his copies of
Weird Tales.  I think I might have read that in S.T'
Joshi's biography of Lovecraft but I will have to
check to be sure.


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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1955 Adolphe de Castro Letter (Cyril Clemens)


1952 Adolphe de Castro Letter (C G Patterson)


1923 Adolphe de Castro Letter (J S Thornton)


1957 Adolphe de Castro Letter (Arthur B Hewson)


1956 Adolphe de Castro Letter (Norman Cousins)


1952 Adolphe de Castro Letter (Charles Angoff)


Etchings and Odysseys


Lovecraftian and Lovecraft Circle items frequently appeared in this 'zine. Here are some images and various notes.

Jimster57 syas: The 2nd pic is from the back cover of #2,and features Margaret Brundage, who did some pretty risque covers for Weird Tales, back in the day. I read that HPL was so mortified by 'em, thathe tore off the covers to his own copies! ... "Margaret Brundage used her daughters as models. Her fondness for the female form embarrassed H.P. Lovecraft, who used to remove the covers and dispose of them."from Living in Fear by Les Daniels ...

And on ebay: ETCHINGS & ODYSSEYS (#1) FIRST ISSUE! 1973 ONLY 250 NUMBERED COPIES!!!One of the best of the fanzines devoted to ""The Weird" and its practitioners - Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft and others. Editor Eric Carlson with assistance from John Koblas crammed this first issue with a wonderful assortment of fictions, poems, and articles, bulking it up to 160 PAGES! Pieces include fictions by Robert E. Howard - 'Casonetto's Last Song', Joseph Payne Brennan - 'Extermination', and 'First Love', poetry by Robert E. Howard - 'The Voices Waken Memory', 'Babel' and 'Rune', articles by E. Hoffmann Price - two letters on Weird fiction, Ramsey Campbell - "A Somewhat Drawn Lovecraft", Carl Jacobi - Five-page interview with the late author, Richard L. Tierney - Lovecraft related - 'When the Stars are Right', Darrell Schweitzer - 'Filming "The Outsider"', Ted Pons - 'Robert E. Howard: The Other Heroes'.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Driftwind July 1932

Up for sale-- Driftwind Magazine, Volume 7, Number 1, July 1932. Magazine measures 4.75 x 7.75 inches, 40pp. Condition is clean and sound, with very minor wear to the edges of the covers.
This is a bi-monthly poetry magazine that was edited, hand set, and published by Walter John Coates in North Montpelier, Vermont. Includes submissions by Coates, among others (see photo for magazine contents).
This is a very interesting vintage underground magazine, known to be a "Poetry Magazine of Opinion". This particular issue was dedicated to Peace.

Driftwind December 1936

Up for sale-- Driftwind Magazine, Volume 11, Number 5, December 1936. Magazine measures 4.75 x 7.5 inches, 38pp. Condition is clean and sound, with very minor wear to the edges of the covers.
This is a monthly poetry magazine that was edited, hand set, and published by Walter John Coates in North Montpelier, Vermont. Includes submissions by Howard P Lovecraft, among others (see photo for magazine contents).
This is a very interesting vintage underground magazine, known to be a "Poetry Magazine of Opinion". I find it neat the way that this magazine tended to be bound into wraps made of wallpaper.

Driftwind November 1932

Up for sale-- Driftwind Magazine, Volume 7, Number 3, November 1932. Magazine measures 4.75 x 7.75 inches, 36pp. Condition is clean and sound, with very minor wear to the edges of the covers.
This is a bi-monthly poetry magazine that was edited, hand set, and published by Walter John Coates in North Montpelier, Vermont. Includes submissions by Howard P Lovecraft, among others (see photo for magazine contents).
This is a very interesting vintage underground magazine, known to be a "Poetry Magazine of Opinion". I find it neat the way that the later issues of this magazine tended to be bound into wraps made of wallpaper.

Driftwind October 1934

Up for sale-- Driftwind Magazine, Volume 9, Number 4, October 1934. Magazine measures 4.75 x 7.75 inches, 35pp. Condition is clean and sound, with minor wear to the edges of the covers.
This is a monthly poetry magazine that was edited, hand set, and published by Walter John Coates in North Montpelier, Vermont. Includes submissions by Howard P Lovecraft, among others (see photo for magazine contents).
This is a very interesting vintage underground magazine, known to be a "Poetry Magazine of Opinion". I find it neat the way that this magazine tended to be bound into wraps made of wallpaper.


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