Lovecraft’s Ladies: New Books from Hippocampus Press

Peter Cannon -- February 25th, 2014

Hippocampus Press, the world’s leading publisher of books related to horror writer H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937), has just issued the sixth volume in the Hippocampus Press Library of the Collected Letters of H. P. Lovecraft: Letters to Elizabeth Toldridge and Anne Tillery Renshaw, edited by David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi. Lovecraft had few female correspondents, but these are two of the more notable. Toldridge, a poet living in Washington, D.C., began corresponding with Lovecraft in the 1920s. Poetry and politics were prominent among the topics they discussed, though we have only Lovecraft’s side of the correspondence. Anne Tillery Renshaw, an amateur journalism colleague of Lovecraft’s, is mainly remembered for having commissioned him to work on her treatise on English usage, Well-Bred Speech (1936). This edition publishes for the first time several chapters that Lovecraft wrote for that book that were dropped before publication.

Another recent Hippocampus title is Edith Miniter’s The Village Green and Other Pieces, edited by Kenneth W. Faig, Jr., and Sean Donnelly. This follow-up volume to Miniter’s Dead Houses and Other Works (Hippocampus, 2008) collects three unfinished novels, 10 short stories, and two articles, “How to Dress on $40 a Year” (first published in the Boston Sunday Globe in 1891), and “A Rearward Glance,” her affectionate look at her early years in amateur journalism (originally serialized in The Varied Year in 1909–10). Mrs. Miniter (1867–1934) has the distinction of being the first to use Lovecraft as a character in a work of fiction, “Falco Ossifracus,” a parody that appeared in her zine, The Muffin Man, in 1921. One of the characters in the novel fragment The Village Green, a portrait of a literary club patterned on Boston’s Hub Club, is one H. Theobald, Jr., “the man with the long chin.” Fans of S. T. Joshi’s The Assaults of Chaos (Hippocampus, 2013), the latest effort to feature Lovecraft in a work of fiction, will want to check out this early, hitherto unknown appearance of a Lovecraft alter-ego.

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