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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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  • Episode 48
  • Posted September 20, 2020

I Am Home

In a letter to Frank Belknap Long from 1926, HPL describes his unbridled joy at returning to Providence after his unhappy years in New York City.

Music by Troy Sterling Nies. Our thanks to Arkham House for their book Selected Letters II.

Met Pantheon modelSoane Pantheon modelThe model of the Pantheon that HPL admired in New York was part of a collection commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, sculpted by A. Joly under the direction of French architect Charles Chipiez. The collection was on display in the 1920s but was moved into storage sometime in the 1950s, when the museum could afford to acquire genuine antiquities instead of plaster reproductions. We found the old postcard shown at left, but we couldn't find any clue as to where that model is now. Sean did find a gorgeous model of the Pantheon at Sir John Soane's Museum in London by François Fouquet that is well worth a look, seen at right. (And don't forget to view the gift shop and the VR museum tour!) There are also some spectacular model Pantheons at museums in Milan and Rome.

Packer's Pine Tar SoapGorton'sWe couldn't find any photos of the billboards that made HPL feel like he was finally home, but here are some 1920s ads for Packer's Pine Tar Soap and Gorton's Codfish, two longtime New England brands both still going strong.