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A Weird Writer in Our Midst:
Early Criticism of H. P. Lovecraft

Edited by S.T. Joshi


Back Cover Text

It is well known that H. P. Lovecraft was virtually ignored by the mainstream literary community in his time, being known only in the tiny worlds of amateur journalism and fantasy fandom. And yet, it is surprising how much comment on Lovecraft appeared in various venues, both obscure and prominent, in his own time and just shortly after his early death in 1937. This volume gathers, for the first time, a wide array of early criticism of Lovecraft, including poignant obituaries by such friends as Walter J. Coates and Hyman Bradofsky; early attempts to analyze Lovecraft’s work by such writers as Rheinhart Kleiner and Frank Belknap Long; voluminous discussions of Lovecraft’s tales in the letter columns of Weird Tales and Astounding Stories; an abundant selection of criticism from the fan world of the 1930s and 1940s, including articles by August Derleth, P. Schuyler Miller, and Francis T. Laney; and reviews of the first Arkham House books of Lovecraft’s work by Will Cuppy, T. O. Mabbott, Vincent Starrett, William Rose Benét, and many others. Compiled by S.T. Joshi, a leading authority on Lovecraft’s life and work, this volume sheds unique light on the faint wisps of recognition that Lovecraft received during and just after his lifetime—recognition that would become universal and worldwide with the passing of decades.


Introduction by S.T. Joshi
I. Recollections of Lovecraft
  • Howard P. Lovecraft [1890–1937] by Walter J. Coates
  • Amateur Affairs by Hyman Bradofsky
  • [Letter to the Editor] by Robert Bloch
  • Interlude with Lovecraft by Stuart M. Boland
  • Howard Phillips Lovecraft by Muriel E. Eddy
  • I Met Lovecraft by Paul Livingston Keil
  • The Man Who Came at Midnight by Ruth M. Eddy
II. Criticism in Lovecraft’s Lifetime
  • A Note on Howard P. Lovecraft’s Verse by Rheinhart Kleiner
  • Howard P. Lovecraft’s Fiction by W. Paul Cook
  • The Vivisector by Zoilus [Alfred Galpin]
  • Preface to The Shunned House by Frank Belknap Long, Jr.
  • A Weird Writer Is in Our Midst by Vrest Orton
  • The Sideshow by B. K. Hart
  • What Makes a Story Click? by J. Randle Luten
III. Comments from Readers
  • Weird Tales
  • Astounding Stories
IV. Criticism from the Fan World
  • H. P. Lovecraft, Outsider by August Derleth
  • A Master of the Macabre by August Derleth
  • Disbelievers Ever by R. W. Sherman
  • The Last of H. P. Lovecraft by J. B. Michel
  • What of H. P. Lovecraft? or, A Commentary upon J. B. Michel by Autolycus
  • H. P. Lovecraft: Strange Weaver by J. Chapman Miske
  • Lovecraft and Benefit Street by Dorothy Walter
  • [Letters to the Editor] by Thomas Ollive Mabbott
  • A Plea for Lovecraft by W. Paul Cook
  • Let’s All Jump on H.P.L. by P. Schuyler Miller
  • Howard Phillips Lovecraft by Michael Harrison
  • The Lovecraft Cult by Arthur F. Hillman
  • Lovecraft Is 86 by Francis T. Laney
  • Rusty Chains by John Brunner
  • Some Notes on HPL by Sam Moskowitz, Fritz Leiber, Edward Wood, and John Brunner
V. Notices from the Literary Community
  • Mystery and Adventure by Will Cuppy
  • Horror Story Author Published by Fellow Writers
  • [Review of The Outsider and Others] by T. O. Mabbott
  • Such Pulp as Dreams Are Made On by Robert Allerton Parker
  • Macabre, Lyrical and Weird by Peter De Vries
  • Mystery and Adventure by Will Cuppy
  • Nightmare in Cthulu by William Poster
  • Books Alive by Vincent Starrett
  • Bookman’s Holiday by Charles Collins
  • Mystery and Adventure by Will Cuppy
  • Poesque Doodles by Marjorie Farber
  • Books Alive by Vincent Starrett
  • The Phoenix Nest by William Rose Benét
  • [Review of Supernatural Horror in Literature] by Fred Lewis Pattee
  • Pilgrims through Space and Time by J. O. Bailey
  • Imagination Runs Wild by Richard B. Gehman
  • Books Alive by Vincent Starrett
  • A Bookman’s Notebook by Joseph Henry Jackson
  • Sabbat-Night Reading by E. O. D. Keown
  • Of Good and Evil by [Anthony Powell]
  • The Genius Who Lived Backwards by Vincent H. Gaddis
Appendix: Some Vignettes

Bibliographic Information

A Weird Writer in Our Midst: Early Criticism of H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by S.T. Joshi. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2010; ISBN 978-0-9844802-1-0; softcover; 264 pages.

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased in softcover from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or directly from the publisher, Hippocampus Press.

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