H. P. Lovecraft: Letters with Donald and Howard Wandrei and to Emil Petaja


  • Edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz
  • 552 pages
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781614982579


A new edition of all the correspondence between Lovecraft and future Arkham-House co-founder Donald Wandrei, augmented here with 120 new pages of Lovecraft's letters to Howard Wandrei and Emil Petaja. Large portions of this volume were previously published as Mysteries of Time and Spirit: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Donald Wandrei, out of print now for many years.


It is safe to say that Donald Wandrei (1908–1987) was one of Lovecraft’s leading correspondents. In 1924 Wandrei came in touch with his literary idol, Clark Ashton Smith, and two years later Smith referred him to Lovecraft. There began a rich, expansive communication in which both sides of the correspondence are preserved largely intact, allowing for an unprecedented glimpse into the life and beliefs of the two authors. Wandrei began as a fiery, cosmic poet in the tradition of Smith, but later took to writing weird fiction. He persuaded Farnsworth Wright of Weird Tales to accept Lovecraft’s seminal tale “The Call of Cthulhu,” just as Lovecraft urged Wright to take Wandrei’s “The Red Brain.” Lovecraft introduced Wandrei to his fellow Midwesterner August Derleth, and after Lovecraft’s death they founded Arkham House to publish the work of Lovecraft and other writers of weird fiction.


Lovecraft came to believe that Donald Wandrei’s brother Howard was a weird artist of the first order, and this volume features the letters and postcards they exchanged in the 1930s. Another late colleague, Emil Petaja, was of Finnish ancestry, and Lovecraft’s letters to him are full of discussions into the fantasy fandom of that era along with his later beliefs on politics, society, and religion.


As with other volumes of the Letters of H. P. Lovecraft series, this book prints all surviving letters unabridged and with exhaustive annotations by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz. In addition, a rare interview of Donald Wandrei is included, along with poems, essays, and stories by Petaja.



This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 02 February, 2019.