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 a pair of short letters from 1921 and 1922, HPL tells his friends Kleiner and Moe of his early encounters with Madame Greene (who will go on to become Mrs. Lovecraft). Is HPL the leading man in a romantic comedy or is he merely a Providence tour guide caught up in forces beyond his control?
Music by Troy Sterling Nies. Our thanks to S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz for their books Letters to Maurice W. Moe and Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters. Both are available from Hippocampus Press.
The Crown Hotel, where Sonia stayed when she visited Providence, was located downtown on Weybosset Street, a few blocks around the corner from City Hall. Sometime after these letters were written, they opened a lounge with an undersea theme where Cthulhu investigators might have enjoyed a drink.
Sonia invited HPL to visit her in Magnolia, Massachusetts, a fancy suburb of Gloucester where the rich and famous built vacation homes. HPL was more interested in the rugged coastal scenery. One of the sights is a reef off the coast called "Norman's Woe". The scene of numerous shipwrecks, it is rather reminiscent of Innsmouth's Devil Reef.