In addition to his classics of horror fiction, it is estimated that Lovecraft wrote 100,000 letters — or roughly 15 every day of his adult life — ranging from one-page diaries to seventy-page diatribes. Perhaps 20,000 of those letters have survived, in the hands of private collectors and at the John Hay Library in Providence.
In each episode of this podcast, we'll read one of these letters (or part of it) and then discuss it. In his letters HPL reveals an amazing breadth of knowledge of philosophy, science, history, literature, art and many other subjects, and forcefully asserts some highly considered opinions (some of which can be upsetting).
And of course his letters offer a fascinating window into his personal life and times. Although we've been working with Lovecraftian material for over 30 years, we still find interesting new things in his letters, and while we don't claim to be experts we look forward to sharing them with a wider audience.
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In his first letter to Robert H. Barlow, written on June 25, 1931, HPL very kindly answers a few important questions of a young fan, and begins what will prove to be a very important relationship.
Special thanks to S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz. The text of the letter came from their book O Fortunate Floridian, published by the University of Tampa Press.
Music by Troy Sterling Nies. Transcript by Olivier Decker. Our thanks to Dan Viafore for his audio expertise. Thanks also to Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer of The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast for their encouragement and suggestions.