Lawrence Person’ Library: Reference Books (Part 4: H. P. Lovecraft)

Don Webb once said that “If you are obsessed with a writer, you own more in print about him than the total number of words in print by him.” In which case I guess I’m obsessed by H. P. Lovecraft (who is also who Don was talking about). However, while I do like Lovecraft, it’s really only because I’m obsessed about books in general, part of which is obtaining reference books about authors I like. Is it my fault there are just so many books on Lovecraft out there? I don’t have all of them, but I do have a goodly number.

For In-print items, I’ve provided links to either the Lame Excuse Books page for things I have in stock, or Amazon links for those I don’t.

Here’s a long view of everything that would fit laid out on a single tabletop:

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  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Bell, Joseph. Les Bibliotheques Volumes 1-8. Soft Books, 1984-1987. Eight side-stapled A4-sized chapbooks, featuring a miscellaneous selection of Lovecraft material (including fiction, poems, letters, etc. from Lovecraft), the bulk of which is taken up by a chronology of his publications.
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  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Migliore, Andrew, and John Strysik. The Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of H.P. Lovecraft. Night Shade Press, 2010. First printing trade paperback original of this enlarged and updated edition. Normally sits among my film reference works.
  • Next comes a few Arkham House-related books I’m including here. (I already covered S. T. Joshi’s Sixty Years of Arkham House during my first reference book roundup.)

  • Jaffery, Sheldon. Horrors and Unpleasantries: A Bibliographical History and Collectors Price Guide to Arkham House. Popular Press, 1982. First edition hardback. Largely superseded by Joshi’s Sixty Years, it still has information not replicated there, including how the secret reprint edition of August Derleth’s own Someone in the Dark came to pass.
  • Nielsen, Leon. Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide. McFarland & Company, 2004. Trade paperback original. Goes a little farther than Joshi. Mostly superfluous if you have Joshi and Jaffrey, but useful if you don’t.
  • Derleth, August. Thirty Years of Arkham House: 1939-1969. Arkham House, 1970. First edition hardback. The official history up to that date. (I do not own a copy of Derleth’s Arkham House: The First 20 Years; it’s pretty pricey for a superseded paperback reference work, and insanely pricey for one of the 80 hardback copies…)
  • Finally, we get to the actual Lovecraft section, which starts off with several titles by HPL himself:

  • Lovecraft, H. P. Supernatural Horror in Literature. Ben Abramson, 1945. First separate edition, hardback (Currey A), sans dust jacket, as issued. His famous essay.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz) Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters. Ohio University Press, 2000. Hardback first edition. What the title says: chronological autobiographical information culled from Lovecraft’s voluminous correspondence.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi) Collected Essay Volume 1: Amateur Journalism. Hippocampus Press, 2004. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi) Collected Essay Volume 2: Literary Criticism. Hippocampus Press, 2004. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi) Collected Essay Volume 3: Science. Hippocampus Press, 2005. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi) Collected Essay Volume 4: Travel. Hippocampus Press, 2005. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi) Collected Essay Volume 5: Philosophy, Autobiography & Miscellany. Hippocampus Press, 2006. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei) Selected Letters I. Arkham House, 1965. Hardback first edition. Many later Lovecratt scholars have criticized the way the letters in these and subsequent volumes have been edited.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei) Selected Letters II. Arkham House, 1968. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei) Selected Letters IIII. Arkham House, 1971. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by August Derleth and James Turner) Selected Letters IV. Arkham House, 1976. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by August Derleth and James Turner) Selected Letters V. Arkham House, 1976. Hardback first edition.

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  • Lovecraft, H. P. and Donald Wandrei (edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz) Mysteries of Time and Spirit: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Donald Wandrei. Night Shade Books, 2002. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz) Letters from New York. Night Shade Books, 2005. Hardback first edition.
  • Howard, Robert E. and H. P. Lovecraft. A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. Hippocampus Press, 2009. First edition hardbacks, two volumes. Shelved in my Robert E. Howard section.
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  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by L. Sprague de Camp) To Quebec and the Stars. Donald M. Grant, 1976. Hardback first edition. (Out of order in the pictures because it’s oversized and shelved one shelf down from where it should be.)
  • Next comes books about Lovecraft by other authors.

  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Joshi, S. T. H. P. Lovecraft and Lovecraft Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography. Kent State University Press, 1981. Hardback first edition, sans dust jacket, as issued. If you haven’t figured out already by the number of times his name has already appeared on this list, Joshi is the Lovecraft obsessive that puts all the other Lovecraft obsessives in the shade. I have several criticisms of his Sixty Years of Arkham House, and disagree with significant bits and pieces of his critical approach to Lovecraft’s. But when comes to excessive knowledge of Lovecraft’s life and work, he has no equal, and this bibliography is ridiculously comprehensive up through the period covered. There were 14 Lovecraft books (including some chapbooks, pamphlets, etc.) printed before The Outsider and Others, each of which is either insanely expensive or simply not available anywhere at any price.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Joshi, S. T. I Am Providence: the Life and Times of H P Lovecraft. Hippocampus Press, 2010. First edition hardback, two volumes. Back in 1996, Necronomicon Press published Joshi’s H. P. Lovecraft: A Life, a definitive biography which was about 700 pages long, with very small margins, in a hardback edition of 250 copies which went out of print before just about anyone knew about it. (You can still get the trade paperback edition.) Well, guess what? Joshi had to leave out about 150,000 words of material for space constraints. That, plus everything he’s learned since 1996, is packed into these two volumse. (I see some people online are asking $550 for this set. I have sets available for $95, which is half-off cover price. [Sorry, sold out. – LP])
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Joshi, S. T. and David E. Schultz. An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press, 2001. Hardback first edition, in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Includes things both in Lovecraft’s fiction and his life.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) de Camp, L. Sprague Lovecraft: A Life. Doubleday, 1975. Hardback first edition, inscribed by de Camp, remainder speckling at heel, otherwise Fine in a Fine dust jacket. Considered the standard biography before Joshi went to work; not so much anymore.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Long, Frank Belknap. Howard Philips Lovecraft: Dreamer on the Night Side Arkham House, 1975. Hardback first edition. Biography of Lovecraft by a close friend and fellow writer.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Cannon, Peter, editor. Lovecraft Remembered. Arkham House, 1998. Hardback first edition with review slip laid in. Collection of remembrances of both Lovecraft and his writing by numerous contemporaries, much of it original published in very obscure journals or small-run pamphlets.
  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Carter, Lin. Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos. Starmont House/Borgo Press, [1992]. First hardback edition, Fine in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Cannon, Peter. H. P. Lovecraft. Twayne, 1989. Hardback first edition (a reasonably clean ex-library copy). Part of the Twayn’s United States Authors Series.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Joshi, S. T. H. P. Lovecraft: Four Decades of Criticism. Ohio University Press, 1980. Hardback first edition. Variety of essays on Lovecraft’s work.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Mark Owings and Irving Binkin, catalogers. A Catalog of Lovecraftiana: The Grill Binkin Collection. Mirage Press, 1975. Hardback first edition, Fine sans dust jacket, as issued. Catalog of perhaps the most extensive Lovecraft collection ever in existence.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) St. Armand, Barton Levi. The Roots of Horror in the Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. Dragon Press, 1977. Hardback first edition, Fine sans dust jacket, as issued. Critical work.
  • And a few works on the Cthulhu Mythos more generally:

  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Jarocha-Ernst, Chris. A Cthulhu Mythos Bibliography and Concordance. Armitage House, 1999. First edition trade paperback original.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Harms, Daniel. Encyclopedia Cthulhuiana. Chaosium, 1994. Trade paperback original.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Harms, Daniel. The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia. Elder Signs Press, 2008. First edition hardback, one of 200 signed, numbered copies. “Updated and Expanded Third Edition,” and the first hardback edition.
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    And here are some chapbook that you can’t tell what they are from the spine. I pick up those Necronomicon Press chapbooks when I find them cheap, but usually not otherwise.

  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) St. Armand, Barton Levi. H. P. Lovecraft: New England Decadent. Silver Scarab Press, 1979. Perfect-bound chapbook.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Barlow, R. H. On Lovecraft and Life. Necronomicon Press, 1992. First edition chapbook.

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  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Cook, W. Paul. In Memoriam: Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Necronomicon Press, 1991. Chapbook, second edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. A History of the Necronomicon. Necronomicon Press, 1992. Chapbook, sixth printing.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Barrass, Glynn. A Cthulhu Mythos Bibliography & Checklist: Second Edition. Blackgoat Books, 1996. An extremely barebones checklist (title, publisher, and whether it was issued in hardback). Probably the last thing you would reach for, but it does have a few obscure listings.

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  • Lovecraft, H. P. and Anthony Raven. The Occult Lovecraft. Gerry de la Ree, 1975. First edition chapbook.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) H. P. Lovecraft: A Symposium. The Los Angeles Science Fiction Society/The Riverside Quarterly, [1964]. First edition chapbook, with Errata sheet laid in.
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    Related Posts

  • Lawrence Person’s Library of Science Fiction First Editions
  • Lawrence Person’s Reference Books Part 1
  • Lawrence Person’s Reference Books Part 2
  • Lawrence Person’s Reference Books Part 3
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    3 Responses to “Lawrence Person’ Library: Reference Books (Part 4: H. P. Lovecraft)”

    1. […] Lawrence Person on Lawrence Person’ Library: Reference Books (Part 4: H. P. Lovecraft). […]

    2. Don Webb says:

      A library to be coveted :)

    3. […] A look at some of my Lovecraft reference books […]

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