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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 78
  • Posted November 6, 2022

Brawny Viragoes

In this multifaceted letter from July 11, 1935, written from Robert Barlow's house in Florida, HPL carries on his controversy with Robert E. Howard about police brutality, chivalry, international cooperation, and other potentially triggering topics. Then they share their mutual love of cats and ice cream, and Lovecraft describes his more recent travels in New England.

Music by Troy Sterling Nies. Thanks to Hippocampus Press for their book A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. There you can read the feisty letter from Howard to which this one is a reply, among many other rip-roaring exchanges.

You have to shell out money to see the whole thing, but below is a link to The Searchers which at least provides a free preview of what is reputed to be one of the best westerns ever made, inspired at least in part by the experiences of James W. Parker.

Out of the AeonsHPL's story "Out of the Aeons" was published in the April issue of Weird Tales in 1935, credited solely to Hazel Heald. REH's story "Beyond the Black River" appeared in two consecutive installments starting the very next month, alongside stories by Clark Ashton Smith, August Derleth, Robert Bloch, and even a reprint of HPL's own "Arthur Jermyn". CLICK HERE to read part one and CLICK HERE to read part two.

NRA newsThe Supreme Court rulings stopping President Roosevelt's New Deal programs were banner headline news across the country.

New England sightsHere are some vintage postcards of a couple of the locations of geological interest where HPL took Robert Moe, the son of his old friend Maurice W. Moe. The Dark Adventure Radio Theatre episode "Purgatory Chasm", currently in production, is set in the one in Massachusetts, but Rhode Island has its own rather different formation with the same name. Hanging Rock is still the place to go if, like Bishop George Berkeley, you want to write obscure works of immaterialist philosophy.

The GreensHere are Hetty Green, known as "The Witch of Wall Street", and her more fun-loving son Col. E.H.R. "Ned" Green. The Colonel was fascinated by new technology, and drove an electric car, owned a radio station, and even tried to combine the two with early attempts at car radio! He built this fantastic mansion for himself at Round Hill on the Massachusetts coast, and HPL and Bob Moe visited it in 1935.

WMAF bookletClick on the cover image at left to read a fun pamphlet about Col. Green's radio station, WMAF.

Franklin InnHere is the Franklin Inn, a building at the foot of College Street, about two blocks downhill from HPL's home, on the left as it appeared back in the day and on the right as it appears more or less now. Built in 1822, RISD preserved and added to it to create their College Building as HPL describes in this letter. They would appear to have completely covered up the arch that Lovecraft thought was so important.