In his Commonplace Book and in his lengthy essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature", H.P. Lovecraft carefully assessed weird tales through the ages. He named a great many stories that he admired. The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society has curated a collection of 43 of the best of them and recorded them as audiobooks for your listening enjoyment. Read by the HPLHS' own Andrew Leman and Sean Branney and featuring original music by Troy Sterling Nies, these eerie tales will delight your mind and chill your blood.

This collection features forty-three tales totaling roughly fifty hours of thrilling storytelling by masters including Blackwood, Dickens, Kipling, Machen, Chambers, Conan Doyle and Poe. You'll likely meet new authors whose works you may not know. The collection features a special audio Afterword in which Mssrs. Branney and Leman share their thoughts as editors and readers of the collection in a casual conversation.

The Literature of Lovecraft is available in a Collector’s Edition featuring a faux old library book which holds a custom-made 16GB memory stick containing all of the stories as individual files. Download editions of the Literature of Lovecraft are also available.

Order now!

SAMPLES

Click the play button of any of the samples below to hear some of the audio in the collection.

Thumb Drive

Where Do I Start?

Download CoverWhile Lovecraft appreciated all of the stories in this collection, even he hadn't necessarily read all of them in their entirety. In some cases he had to rely on anthologized excerpts, digests, and encyclopedia entries, and while all of these stories influenced him to some degree or another, some of them are obscure and challenging. For an audiobook which might get played on a computer or a car stereo or an iPod or wherever with varying degrees of control, and for those who might not be familiar with all of these stories, we wanted to provide some suggestions for ways to approach this collection. As with our audiobook volumes of Lovecraft's own fiction, for the thumb drive we decided the best choice was to put the files in alphabetical order, but provide some suggestions for other ways to hear them.

If you’re already familiar with these tales, we suggest you simply dive in and start listening to some of your favorite stories. If you’re new to these weird classics, we suggest you start with our RECOMMENDATIONS in the tab to the right — once you’ve heard those stories, you can explore the rest of them on your own. We have some other suggestions in other tabs here.

If you'd like to learn some more about several of the authors in this collection, may we point you to this very nice blog post.

How to Listen

These are some of our favorites from this collection...

The House and the Brain
The Man-Wolf
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Seaton's Aunt
The Story of a Panic
What Was It?

Here are some of the stories that HPL himself thought were the best...

The Willows
The White People
Count Magnus
Idle Days on the Yann
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Upper Berth

If you want to hear the stories in the order in which they were written, here's a guide.

The Vampyre (1816)
The Adventure of the German Student (1824)
The Tapestried Chamber (1828)
The Minister's Black Veil (1832)
The Venus of Ille (1835)
The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains (1839)
The Fall of the House of Usher (1839)
What Was It? (1859)
The Signal-Man (1866)
The Man-Wolf (1876)
The Ghostly Kiss (1880)
One of Cleopatra's Nights (1882)
The Upper Berth (1886)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
The Horla (1887)
The Phantom Rickshaw (1888)
The Middle Toe of the Right Foot (1891)
Lot #249 (1892)
The Yellow Wallpaper (1892)
The Ghost of Fear (1894)
The Yellow Sign (1895)
The Dead Valley (1895)
The Were-Wolf (1896)
The House and the Brain (1897)
The Monkey's Paw (1902)
The Shadows on the Wall (1903)
Count Magnus (1904)
The White People (1904)
The Willows (1907)
The Boats of the Glen Carrig (1908)
A Shop in Go-By Street (1910)
Idle Days on the Yann (1910)
The Avenger of Perdóndaris (1910)
The Story of a Panic (1911)
The House of Sounds (1911)
The Spider (1915)
The Death Mask (1920)
The Bad Lands (1920)
Seaton's Aunt (1922)
The Place Called Dagon (1927)
Skule Skerry (1928)
The Tale of Satampra Zeiros (1929)
The Black Stone (1931)

In addition to the stories, we have provided an audio Afterword and a file of Outtakes.

This first volume only begins to scratch the surface of classic weird fiction, and we will be bringing you additional volumes that will include tons of other great stories that HPL found important. We have a very long list to work from.

We began recording these stories in the early months of the COVID lockdown, working in isolation either at the HPLHS headquarters or in our own homes. It took well over a year to record them all.

It didn’t seem necessary to have one, as such. Each story is its own separate MP3 file, arranged alphabetically on the thumb drive. For longer stories, there are also separate files for each chapter in the folder called "Chaptered Stories". If/when these stories become available via Audible, then things may change. Audible has its own way of organizing things and we have no control over it.

We took turns choosing. Somehow Branney got stuck with the novels.

Although that sounds like fun, please don’t post these on the internet or make digital copies. If you really want to use excerpts in some project, write to us and let’s talk.

There are some errors that arose in the process of recording these stories — those are solely our fault and we apologize for them. We fixed the ones we could, but some of them we had to let stand. You do not need to write in and tell us about any imperfections you may find — we just hope you, Mr. Lovecraft and all these great authors will forgive us. If you really want to point out a mistake you've found, here's where you can write to us.

We would like to thank Scott Marshall, Michael Feldman, Jay Stigdon, Allan Carey and Kevin Miller, who risked — and lost — precious sanity by doing a proof-listen.

We included genuine signatures (and birthdays) of several of the notable authors in this collection. We regret we didn't have room for everyone!

Algernon Blackwood
Lord Dunsany
M.R. James
Arthur Machen
Edgar Allan Poe
Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Robert Louis Stevenson
Arthur Conan Doyle
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Washington Irving
Rudyard Kipling
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Emile Erckmann
Alexandre Chatrian

Some Windows users have reported having an issue unarchiving their download. We are currently running tests to see what the problem might be and will replace the ZIP file if needed. Meanwhile, Windows users report having success using WinRAR to unarchive the download. A free trial version of WinRAR is available at the foregoing link. If you continue to have trouble with the download and WinRAR doesn't help, please do write to us and we will do our best to solve the problem.

Included Stories

"The Adventure of the German Student" by Washington Irving
"The Avenger of Perdóndaris" by Lord Dunsany
"The Bad Lands" by John Metcalfe
"The Black Stone" by Robert E. Howard
The Boats of the Glen Carrig by William Hope Hodgson
"Count Magnus" by M.R. James
"The Dead Valley" by Ralph Adams Cram
"The Death Mask" by Henrietta Everett
"The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe
"The Ghost of Fear" by H.G. Wells
"The Ghostly Kiss" by Lafcafio Hearn
"The Horla" by Guy de Maupassant

"The House and the Brain" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
"The House of Sounds" by Matthew Phipps Shiel
"Idle Days on the Yann" by Lord Dunsany
"Lot #249" by Arthur Conan Doyle
"The Man-Wolf" by Erckmann-Chatrian
"The Middle Toe of the Right Foot" by Ambrose Bierce
"The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs
"One of Cleopatra's Nights" by Theophile Gauthier
"The Phantom Rickshaw" by Rudyard Kipling
The Place Called Dagon by Herbert S. Gorman
"Seaton's Aunt" by Walter de la Mare
"The Shadows on the Wall" by Mary E. Wilkins
"A Shop in Go By Street" by Lord Dunsany
"The Signal Man" by Charles Dickens

"Skule Skerry" by John Buchan
"The Spider" by Hanns Heinz Ewers
"The Story of a Panic" by E.M. Forster
"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson
"The Tale of Satampra Zeiros" by Clark Ashton Smith
"The Tapestried Chamber" by Sir Walter Scott
"The Upper Berth" by F. Marion Crawford
"The Vampyre" by Johni Polidori
"The Venus of Ille" by Prosper Merimee
"The Were Wolf" by Clemence Housman
"What Was It?" by Fitz-James O'Brien
"The White People" by Arthur Machen
"The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood
"The Yellow Sign" by Robert W. Chambers
"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

These are NOT dramatizations like our Dark Adventure Radio Theatre - rather, this is an audiobook of the original stories, in all-new, never-before-heard recordings.