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Collected Essays, Volume 2:
Literary Criticism

By H.P. Lovecraft
Edited by S.T. Joshi


Dust Jacket Text

This second volume of Lovecraft’s collected essays is devoted to his writings in the realm of literary criticism. Lovecraft did not consider himself a literary critic by trade, but his essays are unfailingly acute and cover a surprisingly wide range. Early in his career, Lovecraft was unduly influenced by classical authority; but one felicitous product of this classical immersion is the authoritative essay, “The Literature of Rome” (1918). Lovecraft condemns free verse and simple spelling, and also devotes some attention to such neglected amateur poets as Lilian Middleton and Winifred Virginia Jackson. By the 1920s Lovecraft had discovered that weird fiction was his chosen field, and he produced such scintillating essays as “Lord Dunsany and His Work” (1922) and “Supernatural Horror in Literature” (1927), along with an essay on his friend Frank Belknap Long and a review of Clark Ashton Smith’s Ebony and Crystal. Late in life Lovecraft codified his grasp of weird literature by writing such trenchant pieces as “Notes on Writing Weird Fiction” (1933) and “Some Notes on Interplanetary Fiction” (1934). One of his last writings, “Suggestions for a Reading Guide” (1936), is a comprehensive discussion of world literature. All texts are exhaustively annotated, with critical and bibliographical notes, by S.T. Joshi.

H.P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) has belatedly achieved universal recognition as the twentieth century’s premier author of supernatural fiction. Poet, essayist, philosopher, and man of letters, Lovecraft’s work has been translated into more than a dozen languages and is widely available in numerous annotated editions.

S.T. Joshi is a leading authority on Lovecraft and the author of an exhaustive biography, H. P. Lovecraft: A Life (1996). He has prepared many annotated editions of Lovecraft’s fiction, poetry, essays, and letters, along with such critical studies as H.P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West (1990) and A Subtler Magick: The Writings and Philosophy of H.P. Lovecraft (1996). He has also done critical and editorial work on Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood, Ambrose Bierce, and H.L. Mencken.


  • Introduction by S.T. Joshi

  • Metrical Regularity
  • The Allowable Rhyme
  • The Proposed Authors’ Union
  • The Vers Libre Epidemic
  • Poesy
  • The Despised Pastoral
  • The Literature of Rome
  • The Simple Spelling Mania
  • The Case for Classicism
  • Literary Composition
  • Editor’s Note to “A Scene for Macbeth” by Samuel Loveman
  • Winifred Virginia Jackson: A “Different” Poetess
  • The Poetry of Lilian Middleton
  • Lord Dunsany and His Work
  • Rudis Indigestaque Moles
  • Introduction [to The Poetical Works of Jonathan E. Hoag]
  • Ars Gratia Artis
  • In the Editor’s Study
  • [Random Notes]
  • [Review of Ebony and Crystal by Clark Ashton Smith]
  • The Professional Incubus
  • The Omnipresent Philistine
  • The Work of Frank Belknap Long, Jr.
  • Supernatural Horror in Literature
  • Preface [to White Fire by John Ravenor Bullen]
  • Notes on “Alias Peter Marchall”, by A. F. Lorenz
  • Foreword [to Thoughts and Pictures by Eugene B. Kuntz]
  • Notes on Verse Technique
  • Weird Story Plots
  • [Notes on Weird Fiction]
  • Notes on Writing Weird Fiction
  • Some Notes on Interplanetary Fiction
  • What Belongs in Verse
  • [Suggestions for a Reading Guide]

  • Appendix
    • The Poetry of John Ravenor Bullen
    • The Favourite Weird Stories of H.P. Lovecraft
    • Supernatural Horror in Literature

  • Index

Bibliographic Information

Collected Essays, Volume 2: Literary Criticism. By H.P. Lovecraft, Edited by S.T. Joshi. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2004; ISBN 0-9721644-4-8 (hardcover) 0-9721644-9-9 (paperback), 248 pages.

Purchasing This Book

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

  Return to Sources of Lovecraft’s Works This page last revised 15 January 2013.
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