Letters to Elizabeth Toldridge
& Anne Tillery Renshaw
Edited by David E. Schultz and S.T. Joshi
H.P. Lovecraft did not have a great many female correspondents, but among the most notable was Elizabeth Toldridge, a poet living in Washington, D.C., who began corresponding with Lovecraft in the late 1920s. Over their decade-long exchange of letters, Lovecraft discussed at length the aesthetic basis of poetry and the methods by which poetic expression could be made relevant in an age of science. He came to recognize that his earlier attempts at writing eighteenth-century-style verse were aesthetic failures, and he attempted to put his new poetic theories into practice with Fungi from Yuggoth (1929–30) and other poems. Lovecraft also extensively discussed the current political and economic situation, recognizing that the onset of the Great Depression necessitated a political shift—one that ultimately led him to moderate socialism.
Anne Tillery Renshaw was a colleague of long standing, having known Lovecraft during his amateur journalism period in the 1910s. Late in life she commissioned Lovecraft to work on her treatise on English usage, Well-Bred Speech (1936). This edition publishes for the first time several chapters that Lovecraft wrote for that book that were dropped before publication.
Exhaustively annotated by leading Lovecraft scholars David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi, this volume illuminates one of the great literary personalities of his time—and in his own words. The letters are presented in unabridged form and with detailed notes and commentary.
H.P. Lovecraft: Letters to Elizabeth Toldridge & Anne Tillery Renshaw.. By H.P. Lovecraft, Edited by David E. Schultz and S.T. Joshi. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2014; ISBN 978-1-61498-059-9; paperback, 474 pages.
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