Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Baby Roger !!

When Lovecraft was a little boy, the school children of Providence collected money to bring in Baby Roger - an elephant. However, as the years went on, Baby Roger exhibited mental issues and thus was taken off exhibit.

There is no evidence that "Baby Lovecraft" ever met "Baby Roger" but one wonders how it could be avoided. Every providence parent wanted their child to see the elephant when it was cute and small. Lovecraft, though, admits in later life he was sensitive to smells and odors, and elephant "smells" would not have went over well. Lovecraft loved science, but the so-called physical sciences, NOT biology.

It is nice to think of Lovecraft with this elephant, but we will never know.

The seller states:
UNDivided back-postally unused
Some edge and corner wear-tow stains on back
Overall good condition
Leighton # 10076

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lovecraft in French (Oct 1956)

Lovecraft in 1956 - barely 20 years deceased, and HPL has crossed the Atlantic in a nice series of books.

...for auction is a copy of H.P. Lovecraft's "Par dela le mur du sommeil" (Beyond the Wall of Sleep") published in France in Oct. 1956. This is the fourth French Lovecraft collection published. It has five stories including, "The Rats in the Walls" and "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward". This is listed in Joshi as 'II-A-4-a' (pg.198) This is #16 from the publishing house "Editions Denoel". The other 15 titles are listed on the inside back wrapper flap. Condition is a solid 'VG'. The paper has browned, as usual, with these but the binding is still square and there is a little dust soiling to the white wrapper covers. This is a unread copy due to the fact the pages are not separated. A fault of the bindery. A novelty for the Lovecraft completest, not a reading copy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Interlude: Electronic Tools

I have been getting some rest, and working on a number of special Lovecraft projects. I have a lot of new things to post up.

In the menatime, I thought I would stop and discuss the value of electronic research tools for Lovecraft study. I specifically use Google searches and Ebay auctions. However, Abe Books and LW Currey auction houses usually offer images of rare items that are often readable.

Others find valuable. I haven't had the pleasure of using the full version yet - simply no time just yet - but I do know many revelations have been uncovered.

I also find that the New York Times archive has free pdf's sometimes. I found a 1911 letter by Samuel Loveman on the merits of George Sterling just this weekend. There are also available for a fee a number of letters from Adolphe de Castro. These are just a few examples. I hope other newspapers will soon be available.

Alban has found some great photos of Old Providence on a photo sight. Steve and I have been working on comparing young Howard's meteorolgical records against the US Meteorological Society's online archive. The possibilities are exciting.

So in summary, we are now in a brand new age of rapid research abilities. The traditional scholarship reference books of letters and biographies and reminisces are irreplaceable, but with them in hand, just pick a subject or topic and with a little effort and careful choices, nuances quickly become apparent to augment, correct, and expand the traditional sources.

We can only imagine what the next ten years will bring for online tools!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hope Street High School Principal (1898-1901)

This predates Lovecraft's experience with Hope Street High School by about 4 years, but is only a "near miss" and interesting to historians and antiquarians of Proviidence.

From the seller: Walter Ballou Jacobs (1861-1932), professor of education, was born in Providence on May 5, 1861. After graduation from Brown in 1882, he studied for a year at Union Theological School. He taught in the classical department of Providence High School from 1883 to 1898, when he was made principal of the new Hope Street High School, a post he held until 1901. While he was teaching in the public schools, he was also instructor in pedagogy at Brown from 1893 to 1895 and associate professor from 1895 to 1901. As early as 1895 he introduced the idea of practice teaching for graduate students in secondary schools under actual classroom conditions. When he left the city school system, he was named professor of the theory and practice of education. He undertook the reorganization of university extension courses in 1906, and with only four courses attracted 500 registrations. He was director of university extension from 1915 until 1931, by which time the registration had climbed to 3400 persons in nearly sixty courses. Jacobs had nearly 500 in his extension course on ?Psychology for Daily Life.? He was director of the School of Education from 1923 to 1927. He was obliged to retire when he reached the age of seventy. The year before he taught a course in ?Applied Social Psychology? in Boston. He died in Plattsburgh, New York on June 23, 1932.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hope Street circa 1900

This is a providence view of Hope Street circa 1900. I'm afraid I can't pin down precisely what address or part of Hope Street, but the handwritten text mentions "adr. 170 Hope Street". The postmark is said to be 1907, and the card date is said to be printed about 1905.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Starry Wisdom" #2 (1997)


STARRY WISDOM V.1#2, SPR 1997 published by Chaosium Press, this has a cover of larvae of the outer gods by TERESE NIELSEN, Articles include "Masters of space and time" (The Great Race Of Yith) MYTHOS New Aeon, GLORANTHA NEWS, Card Strategies For Mythos Players.etc

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


(Wandrei's bookplate, above)

The seller states: Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1961. First edition. Fine, in grey cloth lettered in teal to the front cover, and in teal and red to spine; in a mildly age-toned illustrated dust jacket that shows a whisper of edgewear. Jacket painting by Arthur Shilstone. Collection of essays by the American poet, some of autobiographical interest, others on literary subjects, including a notable early study of Lovecraft, "His Own Most Fantastic Creation," and a companion piece, "A Parenthesis on Lovecraft as a Poet.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Phatagraph of 1936 (Night Gaunts)

The missing covers actually give us a rare peek inside the copy.

The (FEBRUARY/SPRING) 1936 (1936-II) issue of the fanzine THE PHANTAGRAPH, Volume 4 Number 3, edited by Donald A. WOLLHEIM (New York), featuring:
The Hyborian Age (part 1) ……………….Robert E. HOWARD (original publication of this essay)
Phantasy’s Trend……………….Louis C. SMITH
Night Gaunts (verse) ……………….H. P. LOVECRAFT
Sun - Spots……………….Donald A. WOLLHEIM
The Study of Witchcraft (1) ……………….H. KOENIG
The Garden and The Tomb (a prose pastel)……………….Clark Ashton SMITH
Is Science Fiction in a Rut? (part 2) ……………….C. W. LONSDELL
Also: PHANTASIES Book Reviews (by Emil PETAJA) and short items

A FAIR copy due to MISSING covers, but otherwise in nice readable condition, small chip to front top inner corner, light tanning, pages supple. Digest-sized. 15 pages.

NO RESERVE! Additional information available upon request.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Magazine of Horror #7 (1965)

The seller states: ACME Magazine of Horror #7 January Volume 2 No. 1 1965 Editor Robert A. W. Lowndes. Digest Contributors; H.P Lovecraft & August Derleth (The Shuttered Room, really a Derleth story), George Allan England (The Thing From Outside), Seabury Quinn (The Phantom Farmhouse), Edgar Allen Poe (The Oblong Box), JP Brennan (Black Thing at Midnight), EB Marriot-Watson (The Devil of the Marsh), Mary Wilkins-Freeman (The Shadows on the Wall), Ed M Clinton (A Way with Kids).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lovecraft Loved Chaplin

Here is a rare ad for a Chaplin movie of 1916. There is a high probability Lovecraft saw this movie as he enjoyed Chaplin. Note these is a Western and serial added to the bill. The month is not given but it seems to have been released October 2, 1916. For some reason it is today referred to as "The Pawnshop" and is available for viewing as it is public domain.

Newspaper ad for Charlie Chaplin "flicker" at the Nickel Theatre, Westminster Street, Providence, RI

By 1916, just two years after appearing in his first motion picture, Charles Chaplin had become the most famous entertainer in the world. Buoyed by his enormously successful comedies for Keystone and Essanay, he was offered the largest salary ever extended to a motion picture star—$670,000 for a single year’s work—to make twelve two-reel comedies for the Mutual Film Corporation. For Mutual, Chaplin produced what many film historians believe to be his best works.

In the sixth Mutual film, Charlie is a pawnbroker’s assistant in a pawnshop that evokes the London of Chaplin’s childhood. The film is rich in comic transposition, a key element to Chaplin’s genius. The apex of such work in the Mutuals is the celebrated scene in The Pawnshop in which Charlie examines an alarm clock brought in by a customer (Albert Austin). Playwright Harvey O’Higgins cited the sequence as an ideal illustration of “Charlie Chaplin’s Art” in the February 3, 1917 issue of The New Republic:

He is a clerk in a pawnshop, and a man brings in an alarm clock to pledge it. Charlie has to decide how much it is worth. He sees it first as a patient to be examined diagnostically. He taps it, percusses it, puts his ear to its chest, listens to its heartbeat with a stethoscope, and while he listens, fixes a thoughtful medical eye on space, looking inscrutably wise and professionally self-confident. He begins to operate on it—with a can-opener. And immediately the round tin clock becomes a round tin can whose contents are under suspicion. He cuts around the circular top of the can, bends back the flap of tin with a kitchen thumb then, gingerly approaching his nose to it, sniffs with the melancholy expression of the packing houses. The imagination is accurate. The acting is restrained and naturalistic. The result is a scream. And do not believe that such acting is a matter of crude and simple means. It is as subtle in its naturalness as the shades of intonation in a really tragic speech.

The sequence with the alarm clock in some ways prefigures Chaplin’s most celebrated use of comic transposition, the famous scene in The Gold Rush (1925) in which Charlie treats his old boiled boot in every detail as if it were a delicious Thanksgiving feast.

The pawnbroker was played by Henry Bergman in his first film for Chaplin. Bergman became an indispensable member of Chaplin’s team, appearing in every subsequent film up to Modern Times and remaining on the Chaplin Studios payroll until his death in 1946.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Horror in Providence

The "white plague", or consumption, was terrifying and officials began "scientifically" in the early 20th century. However, as in averly Hills Sanitorium of Louisville (of which Chrispy has visited and written of) Providence's stalwarts did odd things. Here is one in Lovecraft's era - he would have been about 17 at this time. Ice cold air was considered healthy and curative.

The first American open air school as that term is now understood was opened in January 1908 in the city of Providence RI The location was a room in an abandoned schoolhouse This room was remodeled by converting the ordinary four sided classroom into one of three sides leaving one entire side open to the air In this room the Providence authorities began in the dead of winter to teach a class of children variously termed anaemic and tuberculous The children wore outdoor wraps sat in warm sitting out bags and on cold days had warm soap stones at their feet They were well fed and their school studies were reduced in quantity They immediately began to improve both physically and mentally and made marked advances in their school work Six months after Providence began work an open air school for tuberculous children was started in one of the parks of Boston Mass
A cyclopedia of education, Volume 4 edited by Paul Monroe. p. 549.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Hello, Lovecraftians!

It was brought to my attention that I may have missed a posting day! Thank you for your keen eyes, and all is well with Chrispy.

I have to admit, the pace can be grueling to keep up with the ol' blog, and once in a while I do get distracted, or accidentally miss a day. I tend to work 30 days out on posts (I tend to set them for 12:01 AM EST), and sometimes I miss a day from bleary 1 AM int he morning eyes, or the post misfires into draft mode. Such the vagaries of doing a blog behind the scenes.

Posts are unpredictable. They can be simple cut and paste when someone sends me a ready-to-use email, but a lot of times it takes a minimum of an hour per post to format, crop pictures, write text, do html, and so forth. (No extra charge for my creative typos).

A Houdini post I have set for 2 September 2010 took me most of two hours to research, as the poster-image was misrepresented on numerous other blogs and web sites with the wrong dates - the wrong year. The Hope High School stuff I have probably put 100 hours into reading old texts stored on Da Google to see if anything pertains tangentially to Lovecraft and his historical context. I think I'm close to memorizing some of the antique city directories and city hall books. It's like time traveling. I walk out of gas-light and street-cars era and hop into my car to drive to work and think, "Wow, the 21st century really looks weird." But I'm not giving up the microwave and cell phone.

I now carry around in my briefcase odd bits. Right now I have a 1943 copy of a Lovecraft set of memoirs, an original Coates Driftwind, printouts of perpetual calendars, and four thick, college-ruled notebooks with every single day listed between 1894 and 1910. And I have the individual lines filled with every scrap of Lovecraft and Providence trivia and minutiae I can find. Now, how do I find time to type it into a manuscript!

In other matters, I have several mysteries that I am attempting to unravel of either Lovecraft or his legacy, his history and his historicity. Oh to have a smoking gun letter where Houdini offers Lovecraft a job as a spy! Or some scrap of Lovecraft from late summer of 1908!

I do have other interests! I finished Dr. E O Wilson's new (and first) book of fiction called Anthill. It's worthy. I have a huge stack of to-be-read horror fiction. I try to keep up with my "Weird Beasts" column at Dark Recesses. I'm an avid listener of Caost to Coast. Mrs Chris and I have burned through all the seasons on DVD of Ghost Hunters (Jason and Grant rock!), and most of UFO Hunter on DVD. Just got some new Southern Gospel CD's, and Dierks Bentley's new release is waiting in the car for me. Plus I discovered another addictive zynga game to experiment with - Frontierville. (I'm at level 820+ in Mafia Wars.) :)

Alas, the spam continues, so I have the comment section completely turned off. If you make a comment, please try to use some Indo-European language group I can read or translate via Google translator. Otherwise I really can't moderate it and have to delete it.

Keep those e-cards and e-mails coming in gang! I read 'em all, and answer as fast as I can.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Lovecraft Project !!

This just in ...

I'm a new filmmaker trying to create a mythos film based on the story
of Romeo and Juliet. it's called the
"Transition of Juliet and Romeo" a play on "The Transition of Juan
Romero" and it's mostly influenced by "The Dunwich Horror" and
"Through the Gates of the Silver Key" (although the second draft is
shaping up to have a large influence from "The Shadow Out of Time" as

We've put the first draft script out there for mythos fans to enjoy
(and feedback on) at and the
subsequent drafts will be released there as the story progresses.

However we really need as many Lovecraft supporters to join us in
attempting to fund the production (in return everyone who contributes
gets at minimum a digital copy of the film after completion) even by
giving £1 ($2) our campaign is on Facebook at
or on IndieGoGo at

We hope you can consider spreading the word amongst your friends and
encouraging them to get involved in this exciting project. Our target
Date for reaching full funding is the 1st of September so we really
need to find 15,000 who like Lovecraft, weird writing, or even just
real horror that isn't all about slashers but actually makes you


Stuart Jamieson

The Gaspee

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, Of the citizen leaders, Capt. Whipple and Moses Brown were most severely hurt, and letters of their wives testify the bewilderment which their reticence and close guarding of their bandages produced. Psychologically every participant was aged, sobered, and shaken. It is fortunate that they were all strong men of action and simple, orthodox religionists, for with more subtle introspectiveness and mental complexity they would have fared ill indeed. President Manning was the most disturbed; but even he outgrew the darkest shadow, and smothered memories in prayers. Every man of those leaders had a stirring part to play in later years, and it is perhaps fortunate that this is so. Little more than a twelvemonth afterward Capt. Whipple led the mob who burnt the revenue ship Gaspee, and in this bold act we may trace one step in the blotting out of unwholesome images.


For many years after the Revolution four survivors of the Gaspee affair were conspicuous figures on all patriotic occasions in Providence invariably appearing in Fourth of July parades These four men were Turpin Smith Ephraim Bowen Benjamin Page John Mawney The banner which they carried faded and torn may still be seen in the collection of the Rhode Island Historical Society There also may be seen a silver goblet taken from the Gaspee by Abraham Whipple on the morning of June 10 1772 Perhaps we can close this account of the destruction of the Gaspee no more fittingly than by quoting in full a song descriptive of the deed written by some lively patriot of the time ...

p.13, 14

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kappa Alpha Tau Allusion

Site of "Cat Swamp"
This swamp, now drained, in the northerly part of the Moses Brown farm east of the Moses Brown School and extending further north was formerly much noted for the variety and beauty of its wild flowers.

Oh what must HPL have thought when he first heard of this? :)

Moses Brown School
This school recently known as the Friends School on Hope street and Lloyd avenue was opened in Portsmouth RI in 1784 as the New England Yearly Meeting Boarding School but about four years later was suspended for want of adequate income Moses Brown was one of its earliest friends and contributors and he prudently managed the fund till the school was re opened in Providence in 1819 on a lot of land containing forty three acres donated by him some of which has since been sold and used for house lots He continued to give generously towards the support of the school during the remainder of his life and in his will He died in 1836 almost 98 years of age His son Obadiah Brown was also a generous contributor till his death in 1822 and by his will he gave to the school $100,000

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Origin of "South Angell Street"

Lovecraft grew up on Angell Street, and most likely knew every nook and cranny of it. And its history.

Here in a 1909-1911 series of books we read:

Cold Spring Street
This street named for a spring south of it - now extinct - is now known as South Angell street.
Angell street was extended eastward from its junction with South Angell street less than fifty years ago.
{i.e. circa 1860's, a few decades before Whipple Phillips purchased his Angell Street land - thus he bought into the "old" tract of land. Another reason Lovecraft worshipped it.}

Rhode Island Education Circulars
Volume V
Department of Education, 1911
An alternatiove rendering of this is found in:
Rhode Island Education Circulars Historical Series
Volume IV
The Influence of Physical Features upon the History of Rhode Island

Monday, June 14, 2010

The "Lovecraft Legend" circa 1944

From whence doth the "legendary Lovecraft" arise? A mere seven years after Lovecraft's death, the world had changed. Scientifiction was beginning to dominate the amateur (FAPA) fiction imagination of teenagers and college kids. Lovecraft was beginning to be marginalized, as was horror in general, except for the prodding by folks like Derleth and Starrett, each with their own subtle business agendas. One assumes that Derleth fed Starrett some material, and Starrett on his own waxed eloquently (propagandized?) about the legendary aspects of Mr. Lovecraft spinning some truth and some suspicious exaggerations. Even today, these ideas of Lovecraft being invalid, pasty-faced, night-stalking, Poeesque, and self-posing-in-periwig are rampant over 65 years later. A recent auction on the Ebayeum showed that fans circulated these items in the golden era (early 1940's) of scientifiction.

From a 1944 Fanzine named "Walt's Wramblings". (Walt Daugherty, Los Angeles, d. 2007).
About H. P..Lovecraft

The following is a culling from Vincent Starrett's column, ‘Books Alive’, which appears in the book section of the Chicago Tribune.
He died in Providence, R. I, on March 15, 1937, one of the strangest figures in American literature. If there ware any mystery about the facts In the life of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, which there is not, a plausible solution night relate him in some queer way to Edgar Allan Poe, whose pupil ho was, altho {Starrett's not Walt's sic}he was born 40 years after Poe’s death. It is simpler to say that temperamentally, he was endowed to carry on the Poe tradition and did so, with single minded devotion and artistic integrity for a quarter of a century; then he died, aged 47, and became a legend and a cult. He may end --- who knows? --- as a solar myth.

Lovecraft, a semi-invalid, a recluse, and an antiquarian, was until his death America’s premier fantasist in the field of the macabre. Thousands of readers of’ "Weird Tales" ad similar occult fiction magazines know his work and believe it to be a work of genius. No book by him was published in his lifetime, but since his death two have appeared, edited and produced by his friends, August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, under the imprint of Arkham House -- a private publishing venture, inaugurated, in the first instance, solely to publish the complete writings of H. P. Lovecraft. A trilogy was planned, the second volume of which has just appeared – "Beyond the Wall of Sleep." An earlier volume of tales, 'The Outsider and Others," is still available, I believe, and a third volume of Lovecraft’s lettors to his friends is now preparing. When the task is completed, the three handsome books will mark as notable a tribute to friendship as the history of our letters can offer. Arkham House is situated at Sauk City, Wis., under the broad Balzacian brow of August Derleth.

His Most Fantastic Creation

In his introductions, Derleth speaks of Lovecraft as "the late great master of horror stories," and nobody is likely to dispute the characterization. Readers who revel in Poe and Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen, and Algernon Blackwood are pretty certain to like the charnel fairy tales of Howard Lovecraft. But to me Lovecraft himself is even more interesting than his stories; he was his own most fantastic creation -- a Roderick Usher or C. August Dupin born a century too late. Like his heroes in Poe’s gigantic nightmare, he fancied himself as a cadaverous, mysterious figure of the night—a pallid, scholarly necrologist --and cultivated a natural resemblance until it was almost the real thing, although he was first and last a "literary cove". Like Dupin he created the illusion of darkness, when appeared, by drawing down his shades and turning on the electric lights, and he ended up looking rather like the sepulchral hero of "The Fall of the House of Usher".
But if Lovecraft was a self-conscious poseur, a macabre precieuse, he was genuine too, his poses never had any relation to commercial success, which he didn’t achieve, and there is no question about the sincerity of his artistry. In his field he was important. He pretended to be modest and deprecatory about his work ,and perhaps he was; but I have no doubt ho ram a considerable egotist in reverse. He wrote himself - as Poe did - into many of his tales describing himself carefully and accurately in the haggard, romantic portraits he drew of his central figures.

A Mechanistic Marterialist

His major premise is best described in his own words: "All my stories … are based on the fund{amental lore or legend that this world was inhabited at one time by other races who, in practising black magic, lost their foothold and were expelled, yet live on outside ever ready to take possession of this earth again." Did he believe that? I don't know - he claimed to be a mechanistic materialist - and probably the …

[The remainder of this text was found on Google Books to this ending point. More is as yet unobtainable to me. – CP] }
In 1942 Starrett began a weekly column, "Books Alive," He retired from The Chicago Tribune in 1967 after 25 years. // Walter Daugherty was a stalwart in Los Angeles circa 1944, and perhaps his most notorius legend was a "firefight" with a contemporary Larry T Shaw with their "apazines" speaking in terms, " To Hell with You, Larry T. Shaw" and " Rats Will Eat You, Walter J. Daugherty"; a not unusual circumstance of that era – much less today's internet forums! He was an associate with Ackerman from the 1950's in his Monster Magazine. He died circa June 2007 at age 90.

An Early Mention of Lovecraft (1924)

Here is a 1924 citation, in print, mention of HPL.

Anthology of magazine verse, Volume 1923 By William Stanley Braithwaite, p. 264

Lovecraft Howard P Winifred Virginia Jackson A Different Poetess The United Amateur March

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boston Store Interior

The Phillips and Lovecrafts frequented the Boston Store upon its opening. It was very high end, and you can see a rarwe image of the "rest rooms" in this image.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Carnage Hall #4 (1993)


3 · Editorial · David Griffin · ed Carnage Hall #3 ’92
9 · Timebomb Square · The Readers · lt
14 · Bloodletting · Kim Antieau · ss
19 · My Own Big Fat Important Opinion · Vaul Tsomas · ar
23 · Death Benumbs Her · Jean Williams · mr
27 · Dance; Aw, Nuts! · David Griffin · ar
32 · All the Kings Horses · Joanne... · pm
36 · Interview: S.T. Joshi · David Griffin · iv [S. T. Joshi]
46 · Book Review: Broken Silence · David Griffin · br
52 · Art Review: And a Smile on the Face of the Spider · Lee Sutherland · ar
55 · Media Review: Necro Wafers · Melli Morrison · ar

A Tour of HPL-land !

Great pix, great notes, go there !

Click! Here!

Rustic Providence

Lovecraft in his youth, used to love the rustic areas surrounding Providence. As a child, he imagined haunted woods filled with Greek legendaries. You can sort of see why in this sepia image circa 1900.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Goodenough, Cook, Lovecraft Postcard of 21 August 1927

These items are in Ivan's collection from an auction some time back. It's not clear if these have been seen by other Lovecraftians, or not. The coupling of the postcard and Arkham image gives a nearly a three dimensional aura to us over 80 years later.

The seller said:
2 original postcards signed H.P. Lovecraft and initialed C.H.P.
These were found in a box of Postcards from Vermont.

Ivan told me, "I managed to purchase this postcard (postmarked 21 August 1927) autographed by W.P. Cook, Arthur H. Goodenough and H.P. Lovecraft. A real gem ... I found a photo of those 3 men taken on 21 August 1927 (The Arkham Sampler, Volume II, number 4, Special Photograph Issue-II: Howard Phillips Lovecraft and his friends & relatives, The Strange Company 1985). ... imagine, a photo taken practically on the same day this card was written, signed by those 3 men."

It's wonderful Ivan is sharing these images with us !


Above, is of interest to "Fossil" and amateur journalism lovers. I asked Dave Goudsward his impressions:

Ivan is quite correct about Kipling. He only lived in Vermont from 1892-1896 and Naulakha was in Dummerston.

"The Fossil" was a publication of National Amateur Press Association, a subset of the older group of amateurs as a historical resource for the amateur press movement. Tilden was a long time member and past president of the Fossils and had been a force to be reckoned with during the formative years of the NAPA.

Lovecraft did visit Arthur Goodenough and Vrest Orton in Vermont in 1927. I would assume Goodenough is the Laureate - other postcards from HPL tend to have the signature of the person he was visiting. Cook of course, would have been the one who drove.

Tilden worked for Labor Department, so he may have been having NAPA submissions sent to him at work.

The seller states the text reads:

The full text (at least what I make of it) reads:
'Memorable amateur meeting! This is the Vermont Laureate's first sight of an amateur in person since Cook blazed the trail. Also my first sight of Vermont-exquisite country! Am stopping with Cook in Athol. Regards-HPLovecraft. Arthur H Goodenough. W.P. Cook.'

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lovecraft in the Scientific American (16 July 1906)

Ivan has been so kind (and patient) as I was able to get this posted.

The text from the auction:

August 25, 1906
H.P. Lovecraft's
First Published Letter!

Hello! Up for auction is a copy of the August 25th, 1906 issue of Scientific American, featuring the FIRST PUBLISHED LETTER by the one and only H.P. Lovecraft!

In the letter, a young Lovecraft describes a way in which astronomers might discover planets outside the known solar system -- which, at the time, ended with Neptune. Interestingly, the methods described by the author would be used two years later to discover Pluto. And that same year, Pluto would play an important role in Lovecraft's great short story "A Whisperer in the Darkness."

Lovecraft famously said that the greatest fear is the fear of the unknown. But what I find particularly interesting about this letter is that it shatters the idea that Lovecraft governed his life by this credo. Indeed, a narrator in one of his stories might use the methods described in the letter and then run screaming from his telescope when the search uncovered some nameless horror lurking just behind Neptune. But Lovecraft himself embraced the search for knowledge and welcomed opportunities to expand human understanding of the cosmos. This letter demonstrates that there was more to the man than merely his popular reputation.

As such, this 100-year-old piece of Lovecraftiana is a must-have for serious collectors, and is sure to be a jewel in anyone's collection.

This copy of Scientific American is in excellent condition. The pages are still supple, shiny and bright, with very little discoloration. There are no tears or missing pages. The spine has some wear, as illustrated in the photos. Some of the string originally used to hold together the binding is exposed, but the glue edge -- which provided the binding's real strength -- is uncompromised and maintains its structural integrity. In all, this is one of the nicest copies I've seen in a long time. Remember, it's over 100 years old! It's amazing it survived at all... But to be in this condition, one can only imagine that care taken by the previous owner.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hope Street Reservoir (c.1907)

First I've seen of this. It is very near and across from Hope Street High School. I believe that Lovecraft would have seen it nearly every single day of his High School life.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Lovecraft and Bicycles

Did Lovecraft's birtday present of 20 August 1900 cost $100? Probably not.

One suspects this is an early "engined bicycle" of some sort. The first "Peerless" appeared in 1903 (Louis Moore), so this was probably - as implied - a second hand vehicle. Now, $100 is not exactly pocket change to most of us in 2010, but in 1905 it was EXPENSIVE! An interesting touchstone for the history of young Lovecraft.

(One suspects Herreshoff knew Mr. and Mrs. Wilhelm Nauk, HPL's violin teacher)

(Steam "bicycles" appeared about 1899, and bicycle companies moved to engined bicycles a few years later according to a reference book).

The following comes for the auction sale:

The Westminster School of Languages and Music
Julian L Herreshoff, Director
Butler Exchange Room No. 523 Fifth Floor Providence RI Sep 13 1895

Received of Miss F D Gladdnig for one Peerless bicycle, one hundred dollars ($100 0/00) payment in full. Julian L Herreshoff
2 cents stamp on the back.

Measures 5 by 8 inches. Previously folded and with some tears. See photos for condition (Please note that the "watermark" does not appear in the actual photo)

From a web search:
Julian Lewis Herreshoff, ninth child and seventh son of Charles Frederick and Julia Ann (Lewis) Herreshoff, was born July 29, 1854, at Point Pleasant Farm, Bristol, R. I. He was educated at the local schools of Bristol. His talents and abilities, while very marked, are in a different line from those of the rest of his family, and are concerned with the fine rather than the liberal arts. In the year 1886 he went to Germany, and for two years studied at the University of Berlin, where he became proficient in languages and music. Returning to this country he established the Westminster School of Languages and Music, in Providence, which he himself organized and had developed.

Monday, June 07, 2010

11 July 1907 - - Clams !

Lovecraft and Clams? Ia!!

Providence's Old Home Week was celebrated 28 July to 5 August 1907- not quite a month before Lovecraft's 17th birthday. From an historical perspective, he was very close to disappearing from our sight for a number of years at this point.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

1948 Winfield Scott Lecture on Lovecraft

(class of 1931)

"H P. Lovecraft, who used to live in the house in back of the John Hay and the
Phi Delt House, has emerged as a literary figure of importance in recent years. Al-
though he died in 1937, the Lovecraft legend has outstripped the weird stories
that he wrote. One of those most re- sponsible for the revival of interest in this
provocative genius is Winfield Townley Scott, poet and literary editor of the
Providence Journal. He was a recent speaker at the Providence Art Club on "The Excavation of H. P. Lovecraft."

Brown Alumni Monthly, p.28

Published monthly (except in August and September) by Brown University, Providence, 12, RI

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Florence Slack

FYI, Clarence Horace Philbrick was a classmate of Lovecraft's.
Clarence H. PHILBRICK was born on 11 May 1891 in Providence and probably this blurb I found:

"Clarence H. Philbrick and Ellis L. Yatman '11 were among those re-elected in
November to the Board of the Home for Aged Men and -Aged Couples in Providence."

Friday, June 04, 2010

Biltmore Hotel 1923

When the coach crossed the Pawcatuck and entered Rhode Island amidst the faery goldenness of a late spring afternoon his heart beat with quickened force, and the entry to Providence along Reservoir and Elmwood Avenues was a breathless and wonderful thing despite the depths of forbidden lore to which he had delved. At the high square where Broad, Weybosset, and Empire Streets join, he saw before and below him in the fire of sunset the pleasant, remembered houses and domes and steeples of the old town; and his head swam curiously as the vehicle rolled down to the terminal behind the Biltmore, bringing into view the great dome and soft, roof-pierced greenery of the ancient hill across the river, and the tall colonial spire of the First Baptist Church limned pink in the magic evening against the fresh springtime verdure of its precipitous background. Old Providence! It was this place and the mysterious forces of its long, continuous history which had brought him into being, and which had drawn him back toward marvels and secrets whose boundaries no prophet might fix.

- The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (early 1927)
{He says "caoch", but of course he means "motor-coach" not a "horse and buggy coach" as he slyly might imply)

(Two different writers describe virtually the same scene - Lovecraft with an heir of horrific fantasy and an anonymous ad copy writer for the modern man)

from a book dated 1923
Lovecraft was about 33 - just getting ready to head off to NY for a while.

This was an impressive structure, and would have been the talk of Providence for a time.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Lovecraft's Neighbor (1903) Knowles

Only tangential to Lovecraft, but he would have seen this family and known of them. He would have been 13 or so.

"Curiosities", The Streand Magazine, p. 357, 1903

ANOTHER EXPERIMENT IN DYNAMICS IN the Curiosities in The Strand for June it was stated that if a half unrolled spool of thread is placed on a table and the thread pulled horizontally from the under side of it the spool contrary to general expectation will roll towards the hand In connection with this it is interesting to note that if the cylinder is larger in diameter at the point around which the thread is wound than it is at the points on which it rolls it will roll away from the hand when the thread is pulled This experiment can be tried by passing a pencil through a spool and resting the ends of it on two books as in the illustration Also if the thread be drawn from the under side of a it spool resting on a flat surface the spool will not move in either direction I was led to these conclusions which I afterwards verified by trying in the case of the half unrolled spool mentioned in the June Strand to calculate the ratio between the rate of the spool and that of the hand as the hand pulled the thread This makes a very interesting little problem Mr J Courtland Knowles 2 Angel Street Providence RI US A

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

1925 Theater Program

From a recent Ebay auction ... Mostly of interest for the times when Lovecraft would have been about 35 years old. The ads are interesting.

DATE: 1925 The Week of March 8th

ITEM: A Souvenir Theater Program from The Modern Theater for the Show, "Spooks" A Melodrama in Three Acts by Robert J. Sherman Staring The Modern Players. This 16 page Program is full of Great vintage ads and information on the shows actors.

COMPANY: The Modern Theater of Providence, R.I.

SIZE: 8 by 6 inches

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Lovecraft in Zest Magazine (1956)

The seller's notes indicate that this is a 1956 men's magazine with a rewritten "Rats in the Walls" which was subsequently (circa 1990) reprinted in Call of Cthulhu.

...for auction is a copy of "Zest Magazine", vol. 1 #1 published in Jan. 1956. It has, oddly enough, H.P. Lovecraft's famous story, "The Rats in the Walls". The magazine is listed in the Joshi biblio. supplement 1980-1984 (pg.7) and notes that the story is "abridged and in part, re-written". "Zest" touted itself a 'mens' magazine and for 1956, it was. How the Lovecraft story came to be in is unknown to me. The editor and publisher was James Stuart Gordon. The only other author of note is Michael Avallone, with a short novel. It is interesting to see that, on the cover, the Lovecraft story has no author but that Avallone is credited with his story. A nice picture of a young Jane Mansfield also graces this issue. Along with the "Zest" is a copy of "Crypt of Cthulhu" #72 which was the 'Rats in the Walls' issue. It has a wonderful cover illustration of HPL surrounded by onlooking rats, by Gahan Wilson. The "Crypt" has the usual great stuff from Robert Price and Joshi. No more needs to be said about this except that this issue reprints, in facsimile, the "Zest" "Rats in the Walls" story. The condition of the "Zest" is 'VG'. The staples are still tight, magazine square and the paper is a little browned. There is a small cover corner crease in the lower right. A nice copy. The "Crypt" is 'As New'. Back in the 1980's when this issue of "Zest" was re-discovered by us 'Lovecraftians, it became a Grail quest to find one. With the advent of online auctions and a world wide audience, obtaining one became a little easier. "Zest" #1 is not rare, but it is very scarce and in demand by more than Lovecraft completists. Michael Avallone and Jane Mansfield collectors want it as well as magazine collectors who only buy #1's!

A Donald Wandrei Story (Argosy 1935)

A typical pulp story image with Wandrei's story.

[Lovecraft to Wandrei 10 Nov 1935] "Commiserations on the Argosy's title-monkeying - though perhaps the counter balancing advantage of having landed such a market makes congratulations really in order. Finacially, I believe the house of Muncey is especially advantageos to deal with, is it not?"


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