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August Derleth’s
“Posthumous Collaborations”

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After Lovecraft’s death, August Derleth based a number of stories on fragments written by Lovecraft and published these as “posthumous collaborations” between Lovecraft and Derleth. Since then, these stories have been marketed as being by “H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth”, “H.P. Lovecraft with August Derleth”, or by H.P. Lovecraft alone. Some of the books that make this error include:
  • The Lurker at the Threshold (Arkham House, 1945; Beagle/Ballantine Books, 1971; Carroll & Graf, 1988)
  • The Survivor and Others (Arkham House, 1957; Ballantine, 1962)
  • The Shuttered Room and Other Tales of Terror (Beagle/Ballantine Books, 1971)
  • The Watchers Out of Time and Others (Arkham House, 1974)
  • The Watchers Out of Time (Carroll & Graf, 1991; Del Rey, 2008)
The following excerpt from S.T. Joshi’s H.P. Lovecraft: A Comprehensive Bibliography explains the matter further:
      These sixteen stories, listed as by “H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth,” were in fact written almost entirely by Derleth. In most cases, the stories were based on one or more ideas noted in Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book; for example, “The Fisherman of Falcon Point” was based on this entry: “Fisherman casts his net into the sea by moonlight—what he finds.” Plotting, description, dialogue, characterization, and other elements were entirely by Derleth. As such they cannot be classified as works by Lovecraft.
      In some instances Derleth incorporated actual prose passages by Lovecraft into his stories. The Lurker at the Threshold (a 50,000-word novel) contains about 1,200 words by Lovecraft, most of it taken from a fragment entitled “Of Evill Sorceries Done in New England” (see B-i-42), the balance from a fragment now titled “The Rose Window” (see B-ii-322). “The Survivor” was based on a comparatively lengthy plot sketch plus random notes for the story jotted down by Lovecraft in 1934. A descriptive passage of “The Lamp of Alhazred” was based on a portion of a letter by Lovecraft to Derleth, 18 November 1936. These extracts or paraphrases, however, have not been deemed significant enough to merit inclusion in this bibliography.
The 16 stories to which Joshi refers are listed below:
  • “The Ancestor”
  • “The Dark Brotherhood”
  • “The Fisherman of Falcon Point”
  • “The Gable Window”
  • “The Horror from the Middle Span”
  • “Innsmouth Clay”
  • “The Lamp of Alhazred”
  • The Lurker at the Threshold
  • “The Peabody Heritage”
  • “The Shadow in the Attic”
  • “The Shadow out of Space”
  • “The Shuttered Room”
  • “The Survivor”
  • “The Watchers out of Time”
  • “Wentworth’s Day”
  • “Witches’ Hollow”
Again, these works are entirely the work of August Derleth and cannot be considered among the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
 
 
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