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H.P. Lovecraft:
Letters with Donald and Howard Wandrei
and to Emil Petaja

By H.P. Lovecraft
Edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz

Back Cover Text

It is safe to say that Donald Wandrei (1908–1987) was one of Lovecraft’s leading correspondents. In 1924 Wandrei came in touch with his literary idol, Clark Ashton Smith, and two years later Smith referred him to Lovecraft. There began a rich, expansive communication in which both sides of the correspondence are preserved largely intact, allowing for an unprecedented glimpse into the life and beliefs of the two authors. Wandrei began as a fiery, cosmic poet in the tradition of Smith, but later took to writing weird fiction. He persuaded Farnsworth Wright of Weird Tales to accept Lovecraft’s seminal tale “The Call of Cthulhu,” just as Lovecraft urged Wright to take Wandrei’s “The Red Brain.” Lovecraft introduced Wandrei to his fellow Midwesterner August Derleth, and after Lovecraft’s death they founded Arkham House to publish the work of Lovecraft and other writers of weird fiction.

Lovecraft came to believe that Donald Wandrei’s brother Howard was a weird artist of the first order, and this volume features the letters and postcards they exchanged in the 1930s. Another late colleague, Emil Petaja, was of Finnish ancestry, and Lovecraft’s letters to him are full of discussions into the fantasy fandom of that era along with his later beliefs on politics, society, and religion.

As with other volumes of the Letters of H. P. Lovecraft series, this book prints all surviving letters unabridged and with exhaustive annotations by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz. In addition, a rare interview of Donald Wandrei is included, along with poems, essays, and stories by Petaja.


  • Introduction (13 pages)
  • Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Donald Wandrei (342 pages)
  • Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Howard Wandrei (19 pages)
  • Letters to Emil Petaja (99 pages)
  • Appendix (22 pages)
    • Donald Wandrei Interviewed
    • Other Known Letters to Howard Wandrei
    • Emil Petaja
      • Elemental
      • Dream within a Dream Within
      • Lost Dream
      • Partings . . .
      • The Warrior
      • Asphodel
      • Marmok
      • The Witch’s Berceuse
      • Famous Fantasy Fiction
      • The Mist
      • [Fragmentary Story]
  • Glossary of Frequently Mentioned Names (5 pages)
  • Bibliography (25 pages)
  • Index (15 pages)

Bibliographic Information

H.P. Lovecraft: Letters with Donald and Howard Wandrei and to Emil Petaja. By H. P. Lovecraft, Edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2019; ISBN 978-1-61498-257-9; paperback, 558 pages.

Purchasing This Book

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

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