A Weird Writer In Our Midst: Early Criticism Of H. P. Lovecraft


  • edited by S. T. Joshi
  • 2010
  • Paperback: ISBN 978-0-9844802-1-0
  • 254 pp


It is well known that H. P. Lovecraft was virtually ignored by the mainstream literary community in his time, being known only in the tiny worlds of amateur journalism and fantasy fandom. And yet, it is surprising how much comment on Lovecraft appeared in various venues, both obscure and prominent, in his own time and just shortly after his early death in 1937.

This volume gathers, for the first time, a wide array of early criticism of Lovecraft, including poignant obituaries by such friends as Walter J. Coates and Hyman Bradofsky; early attempts to analyze Lovecraft’s work by such writers as Rheinhart Kleiner and Frank Belknap Long; voluminous discussions of Lovecraft’s tales in the letter columns of Weird Tales and Astounding Stories; an abundant selection of criticism from the fan world of the 1930s and 1940s, including articles by August Derleth, P. Schuyler Miller, and Francis T. Laney; and reviews of the first Arkham House books of Lovecraft’s work by Will Cuppy, T. O. Mabbott, Vincent Starrett, William Rose Benét, and many others.

Compiled by S. T. Joshi, a leading authority on Lovecraft’s life and work, this volume sheds unique light on the faint wisps of recognition that Lovecraft received during and just after his lifetime—recognition that would become universal and worldwide with the passing of decades.



This is a unique volume in the canon of works about Lovecraft and his writing. Herein we are given the commentaries on his work by those who knew him best and those who discovered his writings and saw fit to pass their opinions on to others.

From “Recollections of Lovecraft” by those who knew him; “Criticism in Lovecraft’s Lifetime” from those who were there as it happened; “Comments from Readers” featuring the fan letters to Weird Tales and other publications; “Criticism from the Fan World” feature articles by fans of his writing; and, “Notices from the Literary Community” are articles about his works after his death.

There are many familiar names ranging from Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner, Don Wollheim, J Vernon Shea, and other members of the Lovecraft Circle to John Brunner, Sam Moskowitz, Vincent Starrett and other critics.

While not for everyone, this is an essential book for the Lovecraft aficionado and historian. As the former, it’s interesting to read how Lovecraft was thought of during his lifetime and shortly after his death. Congratulations to Hippocampus and Joshi for an interesting and informative book.


This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 24 April, 2010.