By H.P. Lovecraft
Edited by August Derleth and James Turner
Dust Jacket Text
The monumental letters project is concluded with this fifth
volume encompassing the final years and death of Howard Phillips
Lovecraft. During this twilight era of his life, Lovecraft continued to
reside at 66 College Street in Providence, Rhode Island with his surviving
aunt, Mrs. Annie E. Phillips Gamwell. His physical health and financial
resources were now sadly diminished, but his creative work – the haunting
nouvelles of his cosmic Cthulhu Mythos – would remain as the darkly
enduring pledge to his posthumous renown.
During a period in which confidence in his literary abilities
had been undermined through the repeated editorial rejection of his
earlier fictional efforts, Lovecraft at the end was directing his
endeavors primarily upon the antient art of the epistolarian. Many
youthful admirers and aspiring authors had begun to write to the scholarly
recluse in Providence, and as his correspondence increased from five to
sometimes ten letters each day, he was impelled to expend ever more
creative energy simply attempting to accommodate this proliferating
epistolary program. Lovecraft’s incredible erudition and fabulous memory
made him a legendary letter writer as he corresponded regularly with such
old friends as August Derleth, James F. Morton, Elizabeth Toldridge, and
Robert Bloch; with his three peers among contributors to Weird
Tales, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, and C.L. Moore; and with
such new acquaintances as Henry Kuttner, Virgil Finlay, Fritz and Jonquil
Leiber, Kenneth Sterling, and many others.
The subjects represented in this final volume of letters range
from speculation on the structure of the cosmos to theories of social
reform; from a Florida sojourn with the Barlow family to autumnal outings
in rural New England; from the composition of The Shadow Out of
Time to an assessment of modern science fiction; and from the death of
Robert E. Howard to Lovecraft’s own terminal illness as detailed in a
final, never finished document. Cosmic myth-maker, antiquarian recluse,
philosophic materialist – here are the most memorable epistolary writings
by this extraordinary gentleman from Providence, who in the years since
his death has become a legend.
Selected Letters V (1934-1937). By H.P. Lovecraft, Edited by August Derleth and James
Turner. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House Publishers, Inc.; 1976; ISBN 0-87054-036-X; Hardcover.
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