Selected Letters V (H. P. Lovecraft's Selected Letters, #5)
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Selected Letters V

by H. P. Lovecraft
Release date: 1976
Type: other fiction
Genres: non-fiction

Selected Letters V (1934-1937). Edited by August Derleth and James Turner.

The monumental letters project is concluded with this fifth volume encompassing the final years and death of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. During this twilight era of his life, Lovecraft continued to reside at 66 College Street in Providence, Rhode Island with his surviving aunt, Mrs. Annie E. Phillips Gamwell. His physical health and financial resources were now sadly diminished, but his creative work – the haunting nouvelles of his cosmic Cthulhu Mythos – would remain as the darkly enduring pledge to his posthumous renown.

During a period in which confidence in his literary abilities had been undermined through the repeated editorial rejection of his earlier fictional efforts, Lovecraft at the end was directing his endeavors primarily upon the antient art of the epistolarian. Many youthful admirers and aspiring authors had begun to write to the scholarly recluse in Providence, and as his correspondence increased from five to sometimes ten letters each day, he was impelled to expend ever more creative energy simply attempting to accommodate this proliferating epistolary program. Lovecraft's incredible erudition and fabulous memory made him a legendary letter writer as he corresponded regularly with such old friends as August Derleth, James F. Morton, Elizabeth Toldridge, and Robert Bloch; with his three peers among contributors to Weird Tales, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, and C.L. Moore; and with such new acquaintances as Henry Kuttner, Virgil Finlay, Fritz and Jonquil Leiber, Kenneth Sterling, and many others.

The subjects represented in this final volume of letters range from speculation on the structure of the cosmos to theories of social reform; from a Florida sojourn with the Barlow family to autumnal outings in rural New England; from the composition of The Shadow Out of Time to an assessment of modern science fiction; and from the death of Robert E. Howard to Lovecraft's own terminal illness as detailed in a final, never finished document. Cosmic myth-maker, antiquarian recluse, philosophic materialist – here are the most memorable epistolary writings by this extraordinary gentleman from Providence, who in the years since his death has become a legend.

(updated 2017-01-17)

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