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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 50
  • Posted October 4, 2020

REH Part 1: Rhode Island

In part one of this long letter from October of 1930, HPL writes to his friend, writer Robert E. Howard. After a discussion on the merits of Arab culture, HPL moves into a lengthy recapitulation of the history of Rhode Island and the dark forces that shaped its unique culture. CONTENT WARNING: This episode touches on slavery and racism and dubious anthropology.

Music by Troy Sterling Nies. Our thanks to Hippocampus Press for their book A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard.

Today we recorded a special episode of the podcast as part of the live feed from the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland. That episode also covered a letter to Robert E. Howard, but this is a different letter. Stay tuned for our special HPLFF episode which we will release here several weeks from now.