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O Fortunate Floridian:
H.P. Lovecraft’s Letters to R.H. Barlow

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


Dust Jacket Text

H.P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) is almost as famous for his letters as for his supernatural fiction. Of the estimated one hundred thousand letters that he wrote, one hundred and fifty-nine of them—collected for the first time in this volume—were written to Robert H. Barlow (1918–1951).
     Barlow was only a teenager, living with his family in DeLand, Florida, when the famous writer began corresponding with him. He was enthusiastic for all things related to weird fiction, the pulp magazines and the people who wrote for them, and the emerging community of active fans. Like other fans of the period, Barlow published a fanzine, wrote stories and poems, and even tried his hand at printing. All of these endeavors the equally precocious Lovecraft encouraged.
     The reader will find references to familiar names like Weird Tales, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and Harry Houdini. Lovecraft’s letters to Barlow record much about that vanished time and prove to be among the liveliest of all his published correspondence.
     While the letters in this volume touch mainly on literary matters, they also record Lovecraft’s love of Florida. He visted the state several times—twice as Barlow’s guest—and was enthralled by the vistas of live oaks and Spanish moss. He occasionally felt “homesick” for Florida when he was at home in Rhode Island, and he never yearned more to be in the Sunshine State than during cold New England winters. There was no doubt where he wished to be when he addressed a letter to Barlow, during the depths of one winter, as “O Floridian More Fortunate than you can Realise.”
     In addition to letters, the reader will find an insightful introduction by the editors providing details and anecdotes about the friendship between Lovecraft and Barlow. The book is further enriched by Barlow’s poignant memoir of Lovecraft in Florida, a glossary of notable people mentioned in the letters, autobiographical pieces by Barlow, and an invaluable index.

     S.T. Joshi is a widely published critic and editor. He has edited the standard corrected editions of H.P. Lovecraft’s collected fiction, revisions, and miscellaneous writings as well as The Ancient Track: Complete Poetical Works and Collected Essays. He has prepared three annotated editions of Lovecraft’s tales for Penguin Classics and is the author of the award-winning biography, H.P. Lovecraft: A Life.
     David E. Schultz has edited a critical edition of H.P. Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book and compiled, with S.T. Joshi, An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia. Schultz and Joshi have edited numerous other works of H.P. Lovecraft, including Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters, The Shadow out of Time (annotated edition), and Letters from New York. He is a technical editor for an environmental engineering firm in Milwaukee.


  • Introduction by S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz
  • A Note on This Edition
  • The Wind That Is in the Grass: A Memoir of H.P. Lovecraft in Florida by R.H. Barlow
  • Lovecraft’s Coined Names for Friends and Associates

  • Letters
    • 1931: Letters 1–17
    • 1932: Letters 18–44
    • 1933: Letters 45–60
    • 1934: Letters 61–104
    • 1935: Letters 105–138
    • 1936: Letters 139–157
    • 1937: Letters 158–159

  • Appendices
    1. Autobiographical Writings of R.H. Barlow
      • [Memories of Lovecraft (1934)]
      • Autobiography
    2. H.P. Lovecraft’s Letters to Charles Blackburn Johnston

  • Glossary of Names
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Editors
  • About the Book

Bibliographic Information

O Fortunate Floridian: H.P. Lovecraft’s Letters to R.H. Barlow. By H.P. Lovecraft, Edited by S.T. Joshi & David E. Schultz. Tampa, FL: University of Tampa Press; 2007; ISBN 978-1-59732-034-4 (hardcover), 465 pages.

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased in hardcover from Amazon.com or directly from the publisher, University of Tampa Press.

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