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Selected Essays

By H.P. Lovecraft
Edited by S. T. Joshi

Dustjacket text

Prose nonfiction was among the earliest forms of literary expression for H. P. Lovecraft. Over the course of his career, he addressed a wide array of other topics in essays that reveal his perspicacity and his gift for language. This volume is the first in nearly 25 years to present a comprehensive selection of Lovecraft’s best and most representative essays.

As he became a pioneering author of weird fiction, Lovecraft assessed the foundations of his chosen genre in such essays as “Notes on Writing Weird Fiction”; he also wrote keen essays on Lord Dunsany, Robert E. Howard, and other leading figures. Much of his weird fiction is based on his deeply held philosophical views, and he expounds those views in “In Defence of Dagon” and other pieces.

The wide travels that Lovecraft undertook in the 1920s and 1930s are reflected in exhaustive and poignant travel essays that exhibit his absorption of the antiquarian wonders from New England to Florida. Among the most affecting of his essays are autobiographical forays, such as “Notes on Writing Weird Fiction,” “A Confession of Unfaith” (a frank account of his developing atheism), and “Cats and Dogs,” a half-satirical vaunting of his favorite species, the cat, over the lowly dog.

The volume has been assembled by S. T. Joshi, a leading authority on Lovecraft and the editor of his collected fiction, essays, poetry, and letters.


Introduction by S. T. Joshi
I. On Weird Fiction
  • Lord Dunsany and His Work
  • [Review of Ebony and Crystal by Clark Ashton Smith]
  • Notes on Writing Weird Fiction
  • Some Notes on Interplanetary Fiction
  • In Memoriam: Robert Ervin Howard
On Philosophy and Politics
  • Idealism and Materialism—A Reflection
  • Life for Humanity’s Sake
  • [In Defence of Dagon]
  • Nietzscheism and Realism
  • Some Repetitions on the Times
On Literary Criticism
  • The Case for Classicism
  • Rudis Indigestaque Moles
  • The Professional Incubus
  • The Omnipresent Philistine
  • Notes on Verse Technique
On Science
  • Can the Moon Be Reached by Man?
  • [Science versus Charlatanry]
    • Science versus Charlatanry
    • The Falsity of Astrology
    • Astrology and the Future
    • Delavan’s Comet and Astrology
    • The Fall of Astrology
    • [Isaac Bickerstaffe’s Reply]
  • The Truth about Mars
  • [Some Backgrounds of Fairyland]
On Travel
  • Vermont—A First Impression
  • Travels in the Provinces of America
  • Homes and Shrines of Poe
On Amateur Journalism
  • The Dignity of Journalism
  • Les Mouches Fantastiques
  • Amateur Journalism: Its Possible Needs and Betterment
  • What Amateurdom and I Have Done for Each Other
  • Lucubrations Lovecraftian
  • Within the Gates
  • A Matter of Uniteds
  • Mrs. Miniter—Estimates and Recollections
  • Some Current Motives and Practices
On H. P. Lovecraft
  • A Confession of Unfaith
  • Cats and Dogs
  • Some Notes on a Nonentity

Bibliographic Information

Selected Essays. By H.P. Lovecraft, edited by S. T. Joshi. West Warwick, RI: Necronomicon Press; 2019; ISBN-13 978-0-940884-96-0 (hardcover) and 978-0-940884-97-7 (trade paperback); 302 pages.

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased in trade paperback from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or directly from the publisher, Necronomicon Press.

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