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Lovecraft and a World in Transition:
Collected Essays on H.P. Lovecraft

By S.T. Joshi

Dust Jacket Text

For the past thirty-five years, S.T. Joshi has been one of the leading authorities on H.P. Lovecraft. As Lovecraft’s editor and biographer, Joshi has revolutionized our understanding of the dreamer from Providence. This enormous volume, which contains all the critical essays that Joshi has written since 1979, is a treasure-house of scholarship that exhibits Joshi’s all-encompassing knowledge of Lovecraft the man, writer, and thinker.

Joshi has focused on a holistic understanding of Lovecraft, integrating his life and thought into the study of his work. Lovecraft, the atheist and materialist, infused his worldview into each tale, essay, and poem. Joshi has studied the interrelations between Lovecraft’s life and work in such papers as “Autobiography in Lovecraft” and “Lovecraft and the Munsey Magazines.” Joshi’s analysis of Lovecraft’s philosophical thought comes forth in such major essays as “Lovecraft’s Alien Civilisations: A Political Interpretation” and “H.P. Lovecraft: The Fiction of Materialism.”

Joshi has also devoted much attention to neglected aspects of Lovecraft’s work, and this book contains illuminating discussions of Lovecraft’s poetry, essays, and letters. Joshi’s landmark study “Textual Problems in Lovecraft” laid the groundwork for his corrected editions of Lovecraft’s tales. A final section of the book studies Lovecraft’s legacy and influence, including a lengthy essay on the Cthulhu Mythos and, as a capstone, a transcript of Joshi’s keynote address at the NecronomiCon convention of 2013.

This mammoth volume features nearly four decades of scholarship on one of the towering writers of the twentieth century, written by one of his most insightful interpreters.


  1. Biographical Studies
    • Lovecraft and Weird Tales
    • Further Notes on Lovecraft and Music
    • Lovecraft’s Library
    • Lovecraft’s Revisions: How Much of Them Did He Write?
    • Lovecraft and His Wife
    • Lovecraft and the Films of His Day
    • The Rationale of Lovecraft’s Pseudonyms
    • Lovecraft and the Munsey Magazines
    • Barbarism vs. Civilization: Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft in Their Correspondence
  2. Philosophical Studies
    • The Political and Economic Thought of H.P. Lovecraft
    • “Reality” and Knowledge: Some Notes on Lovecraft’s Aesthetics
    • In Defense of Dagon and Lovecraft’s Philosophy
    • Lovecraft’s Alien Civilisations: A Political Interpretation
    • Lovecraft and a World in Transition
    • Lovecraft and the “Big Issue”
    • H.P. Lovecraft: The Fiction of Materialism
    • Lovecraft and Religion
    • Time, Space, and Natural Law: Science and Pseudo-Science in Lovecraft
  3. Thematic and Textual Studies
    • Autobiography in Lovecraft
    • Lovecraft’s Other Planets
    • Textual Problems in Lovecraft
    • The Structure of Lovecraft’s Longer Narratives
    • The Dream World and the Real World in Lovecraft
    • Topical References in Lovecraft
    • Humor and Satire in Lovecraft
    • A Guide to the Lovecraft Fiction Manuscripts at the John Hay Library
  4. Studies of Individual Works
    • Who Wrote “The Mound”?
    • On “The Book”
    • On “Polaris”
    • On “The Tree on the Hill”
    • Lovecraft and the Regnum Congo
    • The Sources for “From Beyond”
    • On “The Descendant”
    • What Happens in “Arthur Jermyn”
    • “The Tree” and Ancient History
    • Lovecraft and Dunsany’s Chronicles of Rodriguez
    • Some Sources for “The Mound” and At the Mountains of Madness
    • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
    • Excised Passages from “The Thing on the Doorstep”
  5. On Lovecraft’s Essays, Poetry, and Letters
    • “History of the Necronomicon
    • “Supernatural Horror in Literature”
    • Two Spurious Lovecraft Poems
    • A Look at Lovecraft’s Letters
    • Lovecraft’s Fantastic Poetry
    • Lovecraft, Regner Lodbrog, and Olaus Wormius
    • Lovecraft’s Essays
  6. On Lovecraft’s Legacy and Influence
    • The Development of Lovecraft Studies: 1971–1982
    • R.H. Barlow and the Recognition of H.P. Lovecraft
    • A Literary Tutelage: Robert Bloch and H.P. Lovecraft
    • Passing the Torch: H.P. Lovecraft and Fritz Leiber
    • Lovecraft at Last
    • The Cthulhu Mythos
    • The Recognition of H.P. Lovecraft, 1937–2013

Bibliographic Information

Lovecraft and a World in Transition. By S.T. Joshi. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2014; ISBN 978-1-61498-079-7; hardcover; 645 pages.

Purchasing This Book

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

  Return to Literary Criticism This page last revised 7 October 2014.
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