By H.P. Lovecraft
Edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei
Dust Jacket Text
The second volume of Lovecraft’s letters covers his last year
of married life and residence in New York, his separation from his wife
and return to his native Providence, and the beginnings of his antiquarian
explorations. It includes as well detailed accounts of the origins and
development of his long critique, Supernatural Horror in
Literature, his fantastic novel, The Dream Quest of Unknown
Kadath, his macabre tales, The Horror at Red Hook, In the
Vault, The Call of Cthulhu, and others.
Among literary matters of special interest are his
ghost-writing for Houdinin, his solution of the puzzle concerning the
Voss-de-Castro-Bierce authorship of The Monk and The Hangman’s
Daughter, and his correspondence with such other noted fantasistes as
Frank Belknap Long, Clark Ashton Smith, Vincent Starrett, Donald Wandrei,
and August Derleth.
Not only are his daily life and events recorded, his views of
post-war America of the 1920s, but the full range of his mind and
imagination are illustrated in his concept of the cosmos, while his vivid
narratives of horror-dreams rank among the most remarkable in the
literature of nightmares.
Many gems are imbedded in these pages – essays in full or in
miniature, serious or leavened with satiric humor, on such diverse topics
as Salem, cats, liquor, smoking, superstition, sex, heraldry, genealogy,
machine civilization, modern art, intellectuals, the beauty of New
England, and countless more.
A mechanistic materialist in his philosophy, a rationalist, a
skeptic, a humanist and, above all, a truth-seeker always, Lovecraft
proved himself an original thinker and a bold philosopher. Few
letter-writers have rivalled him in depth, variety, insight, and the
inquiring challenge that combine accurate scholarship with unlimited
imagination, in prose that often scales the heights of poetic and
To Clark Ashton Smith, 27 November 1927
Selected Letters II (1925-1929). By H.P. Lovecraft, Edited by August Derleth and Donald
Wandrei. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House Publishers, Inc.; 1968; ISBN 0-87054-029-7; Hardcover.