In 1973, plans were made to publish a collection of essays by noted Lovecraft scholar Kenneth W. Faig, Jr., the man credited with transforming research on Lovecraft and his circle from a haphazard collection of amateurs into a literary discipline unto itself. The publication never materialized, and Faig’s manuscript became the holy grail of scholarship, difficult to consult because of its limited distribution, but well worth the quest. Early scholarship relied on Faig’s holistic approach of treating bibliographic, genealogical, biographic, and epistolary material interchangeably to understand the full picture of Lovecraft as a man and as a writer. Faig’s fabled manuscript was the foundation to begin future research. One need go no further than de Camp’s 1975 biography of Lovecraft to see Faig’s presence already influencing future research.
The book is the eclectic mix expected of a man who is equally at home discussing Lovecraft’s annual income as he is pondering proper pronunciation of Cthulhu. This is a book for everyone interested in the external influences of Lovecraft’s life and how they shaped his career. Faig’s research remains the gold standard; as fascinating, relevant, and valuable as when it was pulled from a typewriter in the early 1970s.
This updated 2017 edition has been prepared for Hippocampus Press by editors Christopher M. O’Brien and J.-M. Rajala, who have augmented the text with chapter divisions to assist the reader in locating a particular topic; also, a number of additional anotations are provided, distinguished from Faig's notes. Finally, the most complete listing of works to date by and about Faig has been assembled, celebrating his unstinting and
continuing devotion to the study of the Providence writer. S. T. Joshi has provided a new foreword.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword, by S. T. Joshi
1. Lovecraft’s family and childhood
2. Grandfather Whipple and the collapse of the Phillips household
3. Lovecraft’s literary executor and the John Hay Library collection
4. Some Lovecraftiana; bibliographical research and amateur press work
5. The ultra-collectables; planned edition of the Fungi from Yuggoth
6. The Shunned House book
7. The rarest Lovecraft editions
8. Some additions to the Lovecraft bibliography
9. The “Lost Lovecrafts”
10. Lovecraft in Rhode Island newspapers
11. Lovecraft’s destroyed and abandoned fiction
12. Lovecraft’s use of dreams and newspaper clippings in his fiction
13. Lovecraft’s planned novels
14. Lovecraft’s revisory work; a few miscellaneous observations
15. Lovecraft’s financial affairs
16. Notes on the education of Lovecraft’s family
17. Lovecraft’s travelogues; the Arkham country
18. Real New England locales in Lovecraft’s fiction
19. Who Ate Roger Williams?
20. Searching for the Dark Swamp
21. Lovecraft’s pseudonyms
22. The Kalem Club; Lovecraft’s correspondence with his wife
23. About the pronunciation of Cthulhu
24. Of the Commonplace Book
25. Lovecraft’s Providence
Appendix: Calculations of Lovecraft’s earnings