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 part two of this long letter from the summer of 1921, HPL tells his buddies in the Gallomo of another key figure he's become acquainted with: Frank Belknap Long. This young man from New York goes on to become HPL's colleague, business partner, and one of his closest friends. HPL also sets the record straight on who wrote "The Crawling Chaos".
Our friend Donovan Loucks, who runs the H.P. Lovecraft Archive, also shared with us this photo of a page from The Tryout, the amateur journal edited and printed by HPL's Haverhill friend "Tryout" Smith. Here is the poem by Myrta Alice Little that HPL mentions in this letter.
Donovan writes: "As luck would have it, I happen to have the issue of The Tryout which includes Myrta Alice Little’s poem, “My Willow Lane” (March 1921, volume 7, number 2, page 32). Unfortunately, I have no idea of the location of the site Myrta wrote about. I do see there’s a swampy area behind the Little property with a brook that extends northwest and southeast out of it. However, I don’t see a “willow lane” in the immediate vicinity. Of course, much may have changed over the intervening nearly 100 years. In that letter Lovecraft also mentions the “Pinnacle”, which I suspect is a hill about one-third of a mile east of the Little house, easily accessible from the parking lot of the Hampstead Hospital. Pam and I took a hike up to the top of it the same day I took the photos of the Little house. It’s just an unremarkable pine-topped hill that’s no higher than any other hills in the area, though it is the highest hill in the immediate vicinity."
We thank Donovan for his graciousness and generosity.