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Miskatonic Missives
Volume I, Numbers 1–3

By H.P. Lovecraft
Edited by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman

From the Preface

Lovecraft was the most voluminous letter writer in U.S. history; in the world, it is estimated that he was second only to Voltaire. Most estimates indicate that he wrote something in the neighborhood of 90,000 letters during his lifetime. To put that in context, Lovecraft would have needed to write fourteen letters each day of his adult life in order to reach that total. And while some of his letters were merely brief notes, others run in excess of seventy edge-to-edge, handwritten pages. Their contents vary wildly, but Lovecraft regularly documented his own life and travels, as well as touching on literary theory, history, science, philosophy, politics, current events, popular culture, cats, and just about anything else you can think of. He had roughly 70 correspondents in his circle, and with each of them he maintained an ongoing conversation—sometimes laden with in-jokes and shibboleths—and frequently included all kinds of ‘bonus items’ along with the letters: drafts of stories, newspaper clippings, circulars, brochures, photos, and more were regular inclusions in letters from HPL....

The purpose of this series is to tackle just one letter at a time and explore it in depth. In book form you can not only read the letter itself, but also see images of things mentioned and items included with it, read excerpts from stories referenced in it, and engage visualy with HPL’s correspondence. While we are extremely glad that the Arkham House and Hippocampus books exist, they maintain a relatively broad focus compared to the approach herein. We want to offer the reader the opportunity to immerse oneself in HPL’s world. Lovecraft’s letters are, after all, just one side of a two-way conversation—rich as they are, they are even richer if we have some understanding of the other side of that communication.

[Note that these three books are available individually, as a complete set, or in the Collector’s Edition (pictured above). The latter comes in a custom slipcase and packages each number’s extras in a custom faux-book box which nests in the slipcase alongside the three books.]

Contents

Number 1: H.P. Lovecraft to D.W. Rimel, 19 November 1934 (108 pages)
  • Preface by Sean Branney & Andrew Leman
  • Introduction by Sean Branney & Andrew Leman
  • H. P. Lovecraft to Duane W. Rimel, 19 November 1934
  • Notes on The Shadow Out of Time by Sean Branney & Andrew Leman
  • On Sketching Out Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Forbidden Room by Duane W. Rimel
  • Plate I: A Queer Dwelling by Marcio Ramos
  • The Isle of Pines by Ambrose Bierce
  • Late Revenge by Duane W. Rimel
  • The Tree on the Hill by Duane W. Rimel and H. P. Lovecraft
  • H.P. Lovecraft: A Biographical Sketch by F. Lee Baldwin
  • The Chuckler by Donald Wandrei
  • The Drone [an excerpt] by A. Merritt
  • Plate II: The Wished-For Gift by Parker Pen Company
  • Plate III: The Microscope Test by Waterman Pen Company
  • ‘Owyhee’, Candy Bars, and the Idaho Hawaiians by N.R. Jenzen-Jones
  • Little Sam Perkins by H.P. Lovecraft
  • Plate IV: The Kappa Alpha Tau by Marcio Ramos
  • Plate V: The Voice of Cincinnati by WLW Radio
  • Contemporary Notes on the New England Dialect
    • The Linguistic Atlas of New England by Hans Kurath
    • New England Terms for ‘Poached Eggs’ by Herbert Penzl
  • Also Called Store Cheese, But By Any Name It Tastes Good! by Caitlin Fitz Gerald
  • Plate VI: A Thing I Mourn by Marcio Ramos
  • The Feast in the Abbey by Robert Bloch
  • The Wharf Watchman by Edgar Daniel Kramer
  • Feigman’s Beard by August W. Derleth
  • Plate VII: Hexerei by Marcio Ramos
  • The Old Farmer’s Almanac Extract by Robert B. Thomas
  • Elucidations
  • Notes
  • Plate VIII: Eclipse from Fourteen Weeks in Descriptive Astronomy
  • Ephemera
    • A period postcard depicting a view of College Street in Providence, Rhode Island
    • The wrapper from Owhyhee Idaho Spud, a candy (sweet) with an interesting history
    • Handwritten notes for Lovecraft’s The Shadow Out of Time, in his own hand
    • A beautiful letterpress reproduction of Duane Rimel’s linocut portrait of H.P. Lovecraft
Number 2: H.P. Lovecraft to R.H. Barlow, 19 March & 10 April 1934 (156 pages)
  • Introduction by Sean Branney & Andrew Leman
  • H. P. Lovecraft to Robert H. Barlow, 19 March & 10 April 1934
  • Lovecraft and Trauma by Murray Ewing
  • Wandering in Roman Britain [an excerpt] by Arthur Weigall
  • H.P. Lovecraft & the Luck of Edenhall by Daniel R. Pratt
    • A True and Lamentable BALLAD, call’d the EARL’s Defeat by Duke Wharton
    • The Luck of Edenhall by Henry Wadsworth Longellow (Translation)
  • The Charnel God by Clark Ashton Smith
  • Ghouls of the Sea by H.B.S. Fullilove
  • Price Among the Osages by Bobby Derie
  • Plate I: Lovecraft in DeLand by Andy Morris
  • Notes on The Shunned House by Sean Branney & Andrew Leman
  • Black Thirst [an excerpt] by C.L. Moore
  • Plate II: The Bells of Oceana by Zohn Dyer
  • Bells of Oceana [an excerpt] by Arthur J. Burks
  • The Death of Malygris by Clark Ashton Smith
  • The Revenant by Clark Ashton Smith
  • Smirt [an excerpt] by James Branch Cabell
  • Plate III: The Black Temple of Tsathoggua at Au-bhun by Iván Elezar
  • Elucidations
  • Notes
  • Ephemera
    • A period postcard depicting a wealthy neighbourhood in DeLand, Florida
    • A Florida Motor Lines bus ticket stub, similar to that which Lovecraft would have received on his travels
    • A page from a catalogue showing ‘The Luck of Edenhall’, a glass beaker with a fascinating history
    • A re-creation of a period map of DeLand, Florida
Number 3: H.P. Lovecraft to R.E. Howard, 8 June 1932 (136 pages)
  • Introduction by Sean Branney & Andrew Leman
  • H. P. Lovecraft to Robert E. Howard, 8 June 1932
  • Oh! Susanna by Jonathan Bernstein
  • Plate I: Ghouls by Moonlight by Carlos Molocho
  • The Fall of Alexandria, 641 A.D. [an excerpt] by E.M. Forster
  • The Diary of Alonzo Typer by H.P. Lovecraft with William Lumley
  • When Change Arrived by James Podgers
  • Eugenics and Other Evils [an excerpt] by G.K. Chesterton
  • Reflections of an Actor on Lovecraft’s Letter to Howard by Amir Abdullah
  • Proofs of the Spirit World [an excerpt] by Léon Chevreuil
  • Mysterious Psychic Forces [an excerpt] by Camille Flammarion
  • The Web of Easter Island [an excerpt] by Donald Wandrei
  • Plate II: Moai Dreaming by Darrell Tutchton
  • The Sowers of the Thunder by Robert E. Howard
  • Elucidations
  • Notes
  • Ephemera
    • A period postcard showing a view of a riverboat in New Orleans
    • A newspaper clipping relating to the ‘Massie Affair’
    • The first page of the handwritten manuscript for The Diary of Alonzo Typer, by William Lumley
    • A photo of a young Robert E. Howard in costume

Bibliographic Information

Miskatonic Missives, Volume I, Numbers 1–3. By H. P. Lovecraft, edited by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman. London, UK: Helios House Press; 2022; 978-1-911683-09-4 (complete) and 978-1-911683-10-0 (Collector’s edition); hardcover, 400 pages.

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased directly from the publisher, Helios House Press.

 
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