in the Merrimack Valley
Foreword by Kenneth W. Faig, Jr.
For decades, David Goudsward has been a leading authority on obscure historical and topographical corners of his native New England. Now, he has written the definitive treatment of Lovecraft’s connections with the Merrimack Valley of coastal Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Goudsward traces Lovecraft’s initial visits in the 1920s to such towns as Newburyport, Haverhill, and Hampstead, where he met colleagues Edgar J. Davis, Myrta Alice Little, and Charles W. “Tryout” Smith. Later visits clearly inspired many topographical features in such tales as “The Shadow over Innsmouth” and “The Shadow out of Time.”
Goudsward has made a profound study of Lovecraft’s letters and other documents, tracing the Providence writer’s movements in the area and the impressions he drew from it. Lavishly illustrated, dozens of photographs of the locale and many vivid period snapshots show the towns and other landmarks as they were seen by Lovecraft himself. Goudsward also treats the possibility that Lovecraft visited Mystery Hill, a megalithic site that some scholars believe inspired “The Dunwich Horror.”
H. P. Lovecraft in the Merrimack Valley is an exhaustive treatment of a subject that has rarely been discussed before, but that is of crucial importance to H. P. Lovecraft’s life and imagination.
H.P. Lovecraft in the Merrimack Valley. By David Goudsward. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2013; ISBN 978-1-61498-057-5; paperback; 198 pages.
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