Edited by S. T. Joshi.
H. P. Lovecraft was a voracious reader of supernatural and fantastic fiction, and he was continually on the hunt for powerful and stimulating works in these genres. Many of the stories he read directly influenced his own writings. This first volume of H. P. Lovecraft’s Favorite Horror Stories presents 16 stories that Lovecraft found to be of particular merit. Among them are the beautiful poetic fantasy “Idle Days on the Yann” by Lord Dunsany; Fiona Macleod’s grimly evocative “The Sin-Eater,” which influenced “The Rats in the Walls”; Arthur Machen’s grisly novelette “Novel of the White Powder,” which Lovecraft adapted for “Cool Air”; and M. P. Shiel’s “The House of Sounds,” which Lovecraft ranked among the greatest weird tales ever written. Also included are hard-to-find stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, E. F. Benson, Théophile Gautier, John Buchan, and others, as well as two stories from the legendary pulp magazine Weird Tales (Seabury Quinn’s “The Phantom Farmhouse” and Arthur J. Burks’s “Bells of Oceana”). The volume contains an introduction by S. T. Joshi as well as notes on the individual stories, giving background on the authors as well as on Lovecraft’s appreciation of the tales and their possible influence on his work.
S. T. Joshi is a leading authority on H. P. Lovecraft and the author of The Weird Tale (1990), The Modern Weird Tale (2001), The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos (2008), and other critical and biographical studies. His biography, H. P. Lovecraft: A Life (1996), won the British Fantasy Award and the Horror Writers Association award; it has now been published in an unabridged edition as I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft (2010). Joshi has prepared corrected editions of Lovecraft's fiction, poetry, and essays, and is working on a long-range project to publish Lovecraft's collected letters. He has also done work on Ambrose Bierce, H. L. Mencken, Lord Dunsany, and other writers. He has received the ... (more)