Sunday, October 31, 2010

... In love-craft, Hallow-eve ...

Happy Halloween, 2010 !!!

William Allingham. *

The Autumn's fairy gold turns pale,
And twilight closes fast and chill.
And dirge-like winds, with lengthening wail,
Moan low, or rise w ith whistle shrill:
In winter's night the year declines,
Yet gaily we that night receive.
For thick with happy stars it shines,
Its IHesper, Hallow-eve !
Fresh-dawning Hallow-eve !
Sweet, new-old Hallow-eve !
For what thou wert, for what thou art.
Thrice welcome, Hallow-eve!

It freezes ; but no frost on earth
The seasons of the soul can blight;
Here bloom at once a Spring of mirth,
A Summertide of joy to-night;
Though days grow short, the fire's a sun
That will not set without our leave ;
Our hearts are flowering, every one,
In the beams of Hallow-eve!
Bright-blazing Hallow-eve !
Warm-glowing Hallow-eve !
Far sweeter flowers than April's dowers
Are these of Hallow-eve !

'Tis fruit-time, too; who can may snatch
Gold apples from the branch or pail;
But Fire and Water closely watch
The treasure, as in fairy tale:
And sure this is a fairy hour
That lets the ghostly world retrieve
A little while its ancient power,
In right of Hallow-eve !
Mysterious Hallow-eve!
Weird-mantled Hallow-evc!
Much joy and pain have cause more vain
Than ours of Hallow-eve!

Heaven's stars were used as lamps, of old,
The mist from future time to clear ;
By earth-stars are our fortunes told,—
The nuts in constellation here :
Glimpse of the patterns, gay or dull,
From which the Fatal Spinsters weave,
Or work our lives, like Berlin wool,—
Is caught at Hallow eve !
Love-sybil Hallow-eve !
Heart-prophet Hallow-eve!
A nut can hold the story told
All through by Hallow-eve !

Now Love in cabbage-stalk can read
Papyrus-wealth of mystic lore ;
Or raise full-grown from garden seed
A human crop like that of yore.
To-night, beforo the wasted fire
A semblance turns the drying sleeve;
The treasured thought, the heart's desire,
Takes place at Hallow-eve!
Yet truly, Hallow-eve,
In love-craft, Hallow-eve,
Thy magic, arms with needless charms
Our witches,—Hallow-eve!

Come, then! let none look sourly grave,
Nor creak, this night, in rusty talk !
Let cares take flight before our stave
As ghosts at crowing of the cock!
How many things that are indeed
Mere ghosts and shadows men believe
The sole true substance!—Men whose creed
Despises Hallow-eve.
Without one Hallow-eve,
Or time like Hallow-eve,
Of loving mirth,—how great a dearth
Is theirs—dear Hallow-eve !

*published in
Howitt's journal of literature and popular progress, Volume 2
By William Howitt, Mary Botham Howitt

Saturday, October 30, 2010

8 October 1885: Providence Cemeteries !

Happy Halloween !

Happy Halloween Eve

Lynn Bonnette
Mena, Arkansas, United States

“Pumpkin Carving Mice”
Miniature ACEO painting
2½” X 3½”

{From the Blog of Lynn Bonnette}: Every year I just have to get one of those little mini pumpkins from the grocery store, and this year was no different. When I brought it home and placed it in my studio, I started to wonder what small creature could possibly carve this little mini pumpkin into a Jack-O-Lantern. Then the answer came to me……………….! I painted this ACEO miniature using acrylic paint and graphite pencil on gesso treated Arches 300lb hot press watercolor paper, and finished it with a thin coat of acrylic varnish. The edges are painted black for a nice finished look.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween !!

A real life "ghost story" from the Providence News. Lovecraft read it? He'd trip !

Almost Halloween

A Victor Herbert hit from 1905 !
HPL was 15 years old. Ah, just a lad was he !
(Remember, all music was once new)

Those la - dy kill - ing- gen - tle - men
Who spend their time in hunting hearts,
I have encountered now and then -
To capture mine they've plied their arts !

I listen to each touching tale
Of passion deep
Of fond hopes lost
But when I answer,
{I} never fail ...
to always keep my fingers crossed.

... and the whole score is at:'LANTERN+GIRL+%22victor+herbert%22&hl=en&ei=aL-nTPHID4WKlwe0r5zADQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=THE%20JACK%20O'LANTERN%20GIRL%20%22victor%20herbert%22&f=false

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Measles !!

Previously, the blog discussed that Lovecraft's terrible case of measles began about the 10th of January 1910 or so. We know this because he times it precisely to the appearance of Comet 1910 A. That date is precisely known as between 10 January and 31 January 1910.

Below is an extract from an 11 January 1910 newspaper which downplays the growing pandemic somewhat. However, it was growing spectacualrly, and it seems obvious that Lovecraft was somehow swept into this disease.

We know he was Christmas shpping Christmas Eve, and felt wel enough to send a scathing note about businessmen thinking the planet Venus was the aeronaut Tillinghast showing off (however Tillinghast was a hoaxter).

It may have been incubating in his system by 1 January 1910, and it could easily have erupted the exact day of this article.


11 January 1910
Providence Evening Tribune

Measles Statistics Are Uncertain
Figuring on Dr. Chapin's Estimate Would Show a Possibility of 2500 Cases in This City.

There appears to be nothing more uncertain than measles statistics. Apparently there has been an abnormal increase in the number of cases in the city, but, as Dr. Chapin says, not better tjan one case in 10 is reported. More reports have been coming in within the last week, but this means no real increase numerically of those reported sick.

Another misleading feature is the number of cases officially reported and recorded. According to the City hall records there were 61 cases reported up to the close of December and a total of 86 up to this morning. On the est9imate given by Dr. Chapin this would mean that there may be 860 cases in the city.

Here again there is room for figuring. When a man buys a dozen eggs he buys 12, and he knows what he gets – that is as to number, but he isn't sure always of the age of the product. When Dr. Chapin speaks of a case he doesn't mean it in the sense of one. A case of measles, as considered by Dr. Chapin, may mean a dozen or more sick in the same household. Whenever there is one or more sick in one family in one house, that is one case. Allowing as a conservative estimate three children to a family, and presuming that all are ill because there has been general exposure, the figuring would allow a possibility to-day of 2500 individual cases of measles in the city.

The publicity which has been given the subject, coupled with the information that the doctors were slow with their reports of measles, caused one physician to call up Dr. Chapin this morning and to say he had never reported measles because he did not know that was expected of him; seeing that it was, he turned in 23 reports right off the reel. And this meant perhaps that 76 children were down with the disease.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Loyal Minion of Cthulhu Dies !

Pftagn in R'lyeh, Paul.
Paul, World Cup 'psychic' octopus, dies in Germany
26 October 2010

BERLIN – Paul the octopus, who shot to fame during this year's football World Cup for his flawless record in predicting game results, has died peacefully in his sleep, his German aquarium said Tuesday.

"Management and staff at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre were devastated to discover that oracle octopus Paul, who achieved global renown during the recent World Cup, had passed away overnight," the aquarium said in a statement.

"He appears to have passed away peacefully during the night, of natural causes," said Sea Life manager Stefan Porwoll.

Charlie Chaplin Movie Has Person Using Cell Phone?

I'm not sure whether this is a hoax, Fortean, Lovecraftian, or what! It's a bit "talky" so you can skip ahead several minutes to see the Chaplin Footage. It goes along with the "hanging man of Oz" legend.

No doubt that HPL watched this one as he was a Chaplin fanatic.

It's about 8 minutes or so long.

Addison Munroe Speaks !

Addison P. Munroe, resident at 66 Patterson, eventually became the revered Dean of Providence Democrats. He had a hard road early on as Rhode Island was solidly republican. He lost a crucial race to LeBaron Colt to become U S Senator.

Of all these things, the miracle is that the two children of a leading democrat and the grandson of a staunch republican businessman became fast and life-long friends when they met in 1898. Yet Howard had no truer friend than Chester, and no more loyal follower than Harold Munroe.

Willaim Townley Scott published one letter of Addison's about the 1910-1914 era of Lovecraft. This letter is what he was, himself, doing in 1910.

1 January 1910
Providence Evening Tribune

Senator-Elect Munroe Asks Republican Leader for Better Representation.

Addison P. Munroe, Senator-Elect from this city has written a letter to Senator John P. Sanborn, the Republican leader in the upper chamber, asking that the democratic minority in the Senate be given better representation than heretofore on important committees. Mr. Munroe's letter is as follows:

"Providence, R.I., Dec. 30, 1910.
"Hon John P. Sanborn, Newport, R.I. :

"Dear Sir – At a recent meeting of the committee on organization appointed by the Democratic caucus, I was appointed a committee to confer with the Republican majority of the next Senate in regard to the committees. As the probable majority leader in the next Senate, it seems proper to address my communication to you.

"While it is a fact that the committees are elected by the Senate, it is evident that the committees as selected by the majority will {be} the ones elected.

"Therefore, I wish to call your attention to the following facts:

"There will be 13 minority members in the senate, which will be over 34 per cent of the total membership, and this 34 per cent will represent over 54 per cent of the population of the State. Under these circumstances I think we are justified in requesting the majority to place at least two minority members on the leading committees, namely, judiciary, corporations, finance, and special legislation.

"While admitting that this would give the minority a representation of 40 per cent, yet this would be nearer the representation entitled to than would be a representation of twenty per cent; also bearing still in mind the fact that the minority members represent a majority of the people of the State.

"I believe it is the intention of the majority to treat the minority with absolute fairness, and trusting that the justice of the request will be conceded and that it will be acted upon accordingly. I am

"Very truly yours,
"Senator-elect from Providence."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Chrispy Error: Lovecraft's Meteorology

Soemhow - and I can't defend it - I became obsessed with "Dancing with the Stars". I think I know why. It's LIVE TV where mediocre or past-their-prime celebrities compete to see who can most embarass themselves. No net! Just let it all hang out, wardrobe malfunctions, and bad choices, and all.

Wel, after a zillionth time reading about Howard Lovecraft's weather stuff, reading every weather bulletin the government printed, every story about the Providence Journal building, looking at every 1906 and 1907 US weather data maps online, I suddenly realized my major error.

When Howard mentions his weather station is on top of the "R I Journal" building, it isn't the new edifice built in 1906 for the ProJo. It's his house's rooftop. The "R I Journal" was his little newsletter, and I mistook it for a typo or error for the Providence Journal.

He wasn't a volunteer US Meteorological weather observer, but an entrepreneur peddling weather predictions. He only purchased official US paper to circulate his weather.

He didn't ride his bike everyday to a weather station, he looked out the window of the attic.

All that expensive equipment he used, and listed - he and Susan must have bought it!

And by my estimates from contemporary catalogues and such, that equipment set them back plenty.

Anywa, for those of you who follow Chrispy's explorations into Lovecraft;s life, that's where it seems to be as of now.

Monday, October 25, 2010

In Search of: Myra H. Bloser

Myra H. Blosser!
Myra H. Blosser?

I asked the same question. Hours later, after I read an obscure footnote in one of Mr. Joshi's books, and after obtaining Winfred Scott Towney's 1966 book, and reading the aricle on Lovecraft, I still couldn't figure out the logic of how Townely mentioned Ella Sweeney, and then a "family friend" and how scholars connected the family friend to Sweeney. How, I wondered?

Well wonder no more. I got it. And a whole bunch more I bet some folks didn't know.

Myra Blosser (an amateur and professional writer) and her hunsband Roy Blosser lived in providence, but he hailed from Atlanta at one time. A phsyician, he had a tragic death by asphixiated poisoning.

Here is what I came up with, and you don't have to pay Chrispy a thin dime "fer it".

Mrs. Roy Blosser (reporter), dates as yet unknown
Dr. Roy Blosser, physician, born 12 January 1882, died in Providence, 8 January 1931at age 48.

Roy Blosser of Providence, R. I. ; Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1902 ; Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, 1906; member of the New England Dermatological Society ; served during the World War ; aged 48 ; died, January 8, of illuminating gas poisoning. Journal of the American Medical Association, 14 February 1931, page 546.

{Hundreds of deaths by "water-gas" a type of illuminating gas were recorded in the literature of the era, a cheaper gas than coal-gas, it was also a common means of accidental death. It was about 38% hydrogen, 27% carbon monoxide, 16% methane. It is not only suffocating, but carbon monoxide poisoning was a lethal poison.}

Myra Blosser was a member of the Short Story Club of Providence, and notably wrote of a collection of the love letters of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning and the door to the Barrett’s at 50 Wimpole Street. The Providence Journal’s story about this gift was under the by-line of Myra Blosser, a member of The Short Story Club.

Now, here's how Townley (and scholars) determined that Sweeney was the full eyewitness to Winfield and Susan and Howard.

In an unpublished letter (dated 1944?) a Myra Blosser declared to Winfield Townley Scott that Ella Sweeney "knew him {HPL} as a little shaver. She spent summers where he and his mother did in Dudley, Mass." A current John Hay Library note states: Blosser, Myra to Scott, Winfield Townley [194-] Box: 1 accession Number: A11953 "Finding out about Lovecraft seems to have become a regular assignment to myself." Mentions that Miss Ella Sweeney, former Associate Superintendent of Schools, "knew him as a little shaver. She spent summers where he and his mother did in Dudley, Mass." Also as quoted in Books at Brown, Vol. 38-39, 1991, p. 97, footnote 15.

Now, we can also see how Townley got a typo. While Sweeney spents summers at Dudley, the Lovecrafts apparently only spent one there. Townley somehow conflates that they spent sumemrs there together on vacation.

{Believe me, Chrispy makes a lot of errors, too. No stones thrown in this glass house.}

Sunday, October 24, 2010

At Last! Cometh Forth From Google: Providence Evening Tribune

Now! You, too, can play scholar becuase some of HPL's articles are now available digitally. Can't afford Hippocampus' Collected Essays of Science? Then you can read an original HPL at the link posted.

I enclose a snippet of the newspaper article to tantalize and tempt.

Honestly, I just can't read every newspaper when Lovecraft was alive, but you can read some, and others can read some, and see what was going on when he was alive. Note the 1907 Scarlet Fever pandemic, and elsewhere how overcrowded the high schools were near 1908. So much more !

Start here:

or here

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In Search of: John Edwards

"... One thing that helped me greatly was the free access which I had to the Ladd Observatory of Brown University—an unusual privilege for a kid, but made possible because Prof. Upton—head of the college astronomical department and director of the observatory—was a friend of the family. I suppose I pestered the people at the observatory half to death, but they were very kind about it. I had a chance to see all the standard modern equipment of an observatory (including a 12" telescope) in action, and read endlessly in the observatory library. The professors and their humbler assistant—an affable little cockney from England name John Edwards—often helped me pick up equipment, and Edwards made me some magnificent photographic lantern-slides (from illustrations in books) which I used in giving illustrated astronomical lectures before clubs." (to Duane Rimel, 29 March 1934)

"I used to haunt this observatory 30 years ago — the director and his two assistants (all dead now — save one asst. now at Wesleyan U. in Middletown, Conn.) being infinitely tolerant of a pompous juvenile ass with grandiose astronomical ambitions!"(to Robert H. Barlow, 23 July 1936)

Evening Tribune - Sep 29, 1915 page 5

"John Edwards, for 20 years assistant at the Ladd Observatory, Brown University, will soon leave to take charge of the field and routine work at the Van Vleck Observatory of Wesleyan University."

Friday, October 22, 2010

In Search of: Ella L Sweeney (1908)

May 15, 1908, the Providence Journal ran an illustrated article titled “Gardening a New Public School Study.”

It noted that one of Providence’s first primary school gardens was established around 1900 by Principal Ella L. Sweeney at the Benefit Street School.

As the city’s Assistant Superintendent of primary grades in 1908, Miss Sweeney aimed to have a garden in every school so that every student could study and care for at least one plant. Ideally, each student would have his or her own garden. The initiative marked a shift in the popular “nature study” movement, which introduced the natural world inside the classroom. Miss Sweeney wanted students to take it outside.

She worked with others to secure a 1/2-acre plot at Roger Williams Park, soil from the RI College of Agriculture (now URI), and an instructor from the State Board of Agricluture. Students from Manton Avenue, Broad Street, Peace Street, Lexington Avenue, Vineyard Street, and Oxford Street schools were offered plots at the park and on vacant lots near their school to farm. According to the Journal, “The little gardens allotted to the children at the park are as much their own property as they would be were they started in their own back yards.”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In Search of: Ella L. Sweeney

People crossed the Phillips and Lovecrafts family's path, but had vibrant lives of their own. Ella L. Sweeney knew Susan as early as 1893 (b. c. 1871, about 22 years old), and Sweeney went on to be a significant force in the Providence school system. About 1901, Sweeney advocated school gardens. Howard Lovecraft was an avid gadener after the move to 454 Angell Street (mid-1904). Gardens on vacant lots were the rage among the elite of Providence - to improve and beautify. I think it no coincidence that Sweeney was an advocate of gardening exactly the time Lovecraft was buiding gardens, though it remains unknown if it was a 1:1 relationship, or it was just something in the times.

All this talk about Howard being "weak and sickly" should be reevaluated. He certainly had significant maladies, and he may have had some form of chronic fatigue disease (as well as poikilothermia) late in life, but we catch glimpses of him bicycling dozens of miles or more, riding hot air ballooons, digging gardens, shoveling snow, building clubhouses, playing in bands, checking daily weather at the top of the ProJo building, and much, much more as a youth. When he was well, he was Herculean. When he was sick, sometimes he came close to death. That's HPL.

The School Garden Movement in Rhode Island

THE work of this state is under the immediate supervision of Prof Ernest K Thomas who is a member of the faculties of the Agricultural College and of the State Normal School In some respects of course Rhode Island is so much a manufacturing state that it is not considered the most appropriate place to interest the schools in agricultural work but notwithstanding this handicap school gardens have been developed in all the leading institutions of the state The work was first introduced about twelve years ago by Miss Ella Sweeney Assistant Superintendent of the Providence schools The Civic League of Newport began some work in school gardening in 1906 and the Westerly Schools started about the same time Even before this in 1904 a small garden was started at Kingston under the direction of the extension department of the College The Pawtucket Old Home and Improvement Society attached a school garden to their school in 1008 Without doubt the school garden which will have the most effect in influencing the teachers of Rhode Island is the one in connection with the Rhode Island Normal School under the management of Principal John L Alger As I have already mentioned the city of Newport has had some most excellent school gardens for a number of years The City of Pawtucket has a very commendable garden which is interesting many people in that city in this movement and in improved home conditions generally Warwick Saylesville Lonsdale and a number of other smaller cities of the state have made commendable progress One of the most valuable results of the whole movement has been that of the home garden which has been established in many places as an outgrowth of the interest aroused by the school garden.
EE Balcomb
Formerly of the Providence Normal School

page 102

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is William Channing Webb really Margarette Amundson Reynolds?

Is William Channing Webb really Margarette Amundson Reynolds?
And other odd coincidences.

If Call of Cthulhu was written Summer of 1926, then the Spokane discovery is truly a remarkable coincidence - was it included on purpose? In addition, a 50 year old article has spectacular coincidences with Lovecraft's extract. See below.

"… there was one man in that gathering who suspected a touch of bizarre familiarity in the monstrous shape and writing, and who presently told with some diffidence of the odd trifle he knew. This person was the late William Channing Webb, Professor of Anthropology in Princeton University, and an explorer of no slight note. Professor Webb had been engaged, forty-eight years before, in a tour of Greenland and Iceland in search of some Runic inscriptions which he failed to unearth; and whilst high up on the West Greenland coast had encountered a singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux whose religion, a curious form of devil-worship, chilled him with its deliberate bloodthirstiness and repulsiveness. It was a faith of which other Esquimaux knew little, and which they mentioned only with shudders, saying that it had come down from horribly ancient aeons before ever the world was made. Besides nameless rites and human sacrifices there were certain queer hereditary rituals addressed to a supreme elder devil or tornasuk; and of this Professor Webb had taken a careful phonetic copy from an aged angekok or wizard-priest, expressing the sounds in Roman letters as best he knew how. But just now of prime significance was the fetish which this cult had cherished, and around which they danced when the aurora leaped high over the ice cliffs. It was, the professor stated, a very crude bas-relief of stone, comprising a hideous picture and some cryptic writing. And so far as he could tell, it was a rough parallel in all essential features of the bestial thing now lying before the meeting." Call of Cthulhu, periscope, HP Lovecraft

And from:

Eclectic Magazine of FOREIGN LITERATURE SCIENCE AND ART, JANUARY 1877, THE ARCTIC REGIONS AND THE ESKIMO, page 1 ff. Originally from: Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo with Sketch of their Habits, Religion, Language, other Peculiarities; By Dr Henry Rink, Director of the Royal Greenland Board of Trade, Translated from the Danish by the Author, and Edited by Dr. Robert Brown , London 1875 [Note this is roughly 48 years before 1926]

"As is well known this is a sceptical fault finding age and so our readers must not be surprised if they find old forms and names overthrown in the very heading of our article. Our grandfathers talked of the Esquimaux and were content just as our grandmothers when they sucked eggs extracted the yolk by an old and time honored process So far as regards these venerable women a new generation has sprung up which will not allow them to pursue such a hand to mouth means of alimentation but insists on a more scientific treatment of barn door deposits In the same way we are not suffered to write Esquimaux after the good old spelling but are quite behind the age unless we adopt the form Eskimo. (p.1) … It is probable as in other mythologies that the Eskimo were at first content with the pantheistic arrangement of supernatural owners who ruled each particular object in the universe but such a creed is only transitory and ends in the belief of one Supreme Power This being was called by the Eskimo Tornasuk the supreme helper who only it seems revealed himself to the angakoks or wise men that is to the priests. (p.11)

"... Professor Webb had been engaged, forty-eight years before, in a tour of Greenland and Iceland in search of some Runic inscriptions which he failed to unearth …", Call of Cthulhu written summer 1926, fragment.

NORSE VOYAGES TO AMERICA ARE RETRACED; Story of These Hardy Adventurers Is Woven From the Sagas, Records of the Vatican, and the Ruins Found in Greenland, New York Times; By VILHJALMUR STEFANSSON, July 18, 1926

RECENT reports of the discovery of a Viking burial mound near Spokane, Wash., and runic inscriptions telling of a Norse expedition that crossed the continent from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific in 1010 A.D. renew interest in the story of the adventurous Norsemen who found their way to America as early as 1000 A.D. and made many voyages in the following three centuries.

Indians Capture 7 viking Women in A.D. 1010
September 23, 2008
Norse Mysteries Washington
Fight Between Vikings and Indians 1010 AD

“Found Viking Grave Near City!” headlined the July 5, 1926 issue of the Spokane Daily Chronicle. It showed a Whale shaped boulder 50 feet long and 15 feet high.

On it was a Norse Runic Inscription. Professor Opsjohn translated it and dated it 1010 AD. It told of a fight between a band of Vikings (24 men and 7 women) and Indians. Half of the men and one women were killed and buried at the smaller end of the boulder.

The other Vikings who escaped the battle carved the runes before swimming the Columbia River to get out of the territory.

There are also carved pictures of the Norse Goddess Freya with gold horns on her helm. The same as those found in Gotland Denmark and are now in the Northern Royal Museum of Denmark.

Margarette Amundson Reynolds, a runic scholar, said the Viking Grave was the most remarkable discovery ever uncovered on the North American continent. She said the inscription was filled with a thrilling description of action.

The Record tells how the men put the seven women and baby on top of the boulder. The men then stood about the base fighting the Indians. They were greatly outnumbered.

Twelve of the Norsemen were killed. The Indians captured the women and left. The survivors dug a grave near the rock and buried the dead.

Pictured rocks with runes are scattered across the American continent. They prove beyond a doubt, that the Norse established colonies 500 years before Columbus.

Philip Howell, sage of the Clallam tribe states that his grandmother told him of big blond men who came many generations ago. They wandered inland and that the rock near Spokane was regarded by the Indians as the burial place of the Invaders who were killed in their battle with the Indians.

Howell said that blonds among the Clallams were proof of the six Norse women were captured by the Indians, and integrated into the tribe.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Longfellow on Poe (1849)

My good freind, Tom, found this at the auction site:

Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, LLC,
Sale 622,
October 21-24, 2010,
Lot 3819 and 3820

He writes:

In 1847, John Reuben Thompson purchased the Southern Literary Messenger. Thompson returned the journal to its literary focus, publishing work by many of the most prominent southern authors, including Poe, Philip Pendleton Cooke, William Gilmore Simms, and Henry Timrod along with Northern authors like Henry W. Longfellow, John Quincy Adams and Charles Dickens.

In the summer of 1835, Poe went to Richmond to assist in the editing of The Southern Literary Messenger, and before the end of the year he had been promoted to be editor-in-chief of that magazine. He was now fairly launched on his career as man of letters. In the columns of the Messenger he republished, with slight revisions, the tales that had already appeared, and in addition a number of new tales and poems, together with a long line of book reviews, which promptly won for the Messenger popularity such as no other Southern magazine has ever enjoyed. In 1837, his resignation as editor was formally announced. Poe moved between Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, where he published his poem The Raven.

On 7 October, 1849, Edgar Allen Poe passed away.

Henry W. Longfellow lamenting the death of Edgar A. Poe wrote this 4-page quarto letter to John R. Thompson, Esq. Southern Literary Messenger, Richmond, VA.

The letter reads:

Cambridge (Mass.) Oct. 15, 1849

“Enclosed is a short poem by Mr. [sic], whom I mentioned to you in my last [letter]. I send it as his request and really hope you may accept it, and be able to send him some remuneration. At all events, have the goodness to write him a line upon the subject. He has come to this country with his wife and children relying upon his pen for support!! His address is Mr. Randall, 291 East Broadway, New York.

“What a melancholy death is that of Mr. Poe, a man so richly endowed with genius! I never knew him personally, but have always entertained a high appreciation of his powers as a prose writer and a poet. His prose is remarkably vigorous, direct and yet affluent and his verse has a particular chain of melody, an atmosphere of true poetry about it which is very winning. The harshness of his criticisms, I have never attributed to anything but the irritation of a very sensitive nature, chaffed by some indefinite sense of wrong and certainly so far as I am concerned entirely without foundation. I am quite sure that if I had known Mr. Poe personally we would have been friends.”

Yours truly,
Henry W. Longfellow

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More Winfield

It does appear, circumstantially, that Winfield checked into a Chicago Hotel in 1891. A "stub" from the Chicago Tribune for 14 February 1891 (pay per view) shows him listed. It is attached, apparently, to the bottom of an embezzlement scandal, but Chrispy thinks this is a coincidence, as hotel registries were often appended to other news columns.

Once more newspapers are scanned into the digital archives, we should be able to make more tracings of his circuit riding. Obviously Chicago and 1891 are pretty critical, as he was now married with a child, and in two years hence he will have collapsed with illness.

If anyone has access to the more Jeweler's Circular and Horological Reviews of the era, Frederick A Lovecraft is mentioned in connection to his suicide, and it's possible that George Lovecraft might be mentioned. I've not traced WSL in it.

Here are the ones I've examined (google books)

Vol 15, 1884
Vol 23, 1891
Vol 27, 1893
Vol 34, 1897

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another sighting of Winfield Lovecraft

This uncovered recently. One assumes it is identical with the Newport News, as the NYT often reprinted the arrivals of the Newport News. It lists "W. Lovecroft", but it seems likely that it is our WSL.

This couples with the previous sightings of WSL in Newport on 30 July 1884, and

Thursday, October 14, 2010


We are in the midst of installing this Saturday's Lovecraft exhibit and we are really excited to share a featured work with you. You can view the full roster here:


wade buchanan curator
gallery nucleus 210 e main st. alhambra, ca 91801 626.458.7477

Winfield S Lovecraft

Perhaps we are forming a pattern? Chripy has also heard whispers that WSL was seen at Chicago hotels, too. Slowly, the old newspaper archives are opening up, and we will soon known more.

Of course, we only have Sonia's testiomony that WSL worked for Gorham, but it seems clear that he traveled and was some type of sale agent. It may be that he made "rounds" and held trade for a few weeks at a time at each location making a boarding house or hotel him residence as he made calls in the locality.

I think there is some evidence that he was connected with Frederick Lovecraft, who dabbled a bit in the "jewelry" trade. (I found Frederick connected to jewelry of some type in an ancient Jewelers Circular).

In any event, here is one more piece of the puzzle.

Detroit Free Press - Apr 19, 1884
W. S. Lovecraft of New York, D. B. Hyde of Boston, and R O Dolittle of Chicago are at the Griswold House.
The Howard House on Congress Street between Woodward Avenue and Griswold Street was opened in 1853 with JC Davis as proprietor. In 1855 he was succeeded by George Millard who remained three years or more. In 1862 MW Burchard was acting landlord, in 1863 Mrs RA Bishop, in 1864 J Haggenbach, from 1865 to 1869 AA Corkins. In 1869 GO Williams was proprietor succeeded in 1870 by Mrs GO Williams. From 1871 to 1875 it was conducted by JB Hamilton in 1875 by Hamilton & Clark in 1876 by Booth & Root in 1 877 by GP Booth and in 1 878 by LJ Clark On May 3 1880 Van Est & Graves became proprietors and the name was changed to Griswold House. In 1881 the house was enlarged on the north side and extensively refitted.

Thanks to the sharp eye of the Criticaster, we also know that WSL was in Newport on 20 July 1884.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gallery Nucleus

Gallery Nucleus Presents


October 16, 2010 – November 8, 2010

Opening Reception: October 16, 2010 (7 pm - 11 pm)

Alhambra, CA – Gallery Nucleus presents an art exhibit tributing H. P. Lovecraft who is considered by many to be the most influential horror writer of the 20th century. Lovecraft’s stories deal with the terror of the unknown or incomprehensible and have inspired modern day talents like Clive Barker, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and H. R.
Giger. It has been recently announced that one of Lovecraft’s best known stories will receive big screen treatment at the hands of director Guillermo del Toro and James Cameron. It is difficult to deny Lovecraft’s influence on our culture.

The art exhibit promises to touch on the writer’s best known stories such as “The Call of Cthulhu” as well as some lesser known ones showcased in a variety of mediums in both two and three-dimensional format. It features several premier artists currently working in the film industry including Jordu Schell who was the character designer behind the “Na’vi” people depicted in Cameron’s Avatar. Several award-winning illustrators will also offer their interpretations of the classic horror tales including the acclaimed John Jude Palencar whose paintings have been commissioned for several Lovecraft publications. All works will be available for view online as well.

Learn more about the exhibit and the fifteen contributing artists by visiting online at:

210 e. main st. alhambra, ca 91801
CONTACT wade buchanan
tel: 626.458.7477 fax: 626.458.7486

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brown College Library (1890's)

This is the library in Lovecraft's early youth and before he was born.

From a stereoview and a postcard. The eagle-eyed seller on Ebay noted that the photographer accidentally captured his traveling, horse-drawn dark room used for developing the pictures.

While the postcard was "photoshopped" as was the custom, the stereoview was a virtual 3-D or hologram of the place. Yes, they had holograms in the 19th century ! In the postcard, the image enhancer deleted the trees in the foreground, but not the shadows cast by the tree. Also, the postcard is a bit later, as the top floor (turret) is slightly altered and may date from the 1890's. The stereo-view may be the late 1870's or 1880's.

Amazing detail. One can almost see Howard walking around with books tucked under his arm. It's a virtual time machine of the imagination.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Bat Discovered

Struck me as somehow Lovecraftian. Sort of startling, sort of cute, sort of "Flying-Monkey-from-Wizard-of-Oz.

This tube-nosed fruit bat is just one of the roughly 200 species encountered during two scientific expeditions to Papua New Guinea in 2009 ... more here ...

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Happy 10-10-10 !!

CthulhuWho1 ? CthulhuWho1 !

Are you interested in antiquarian horror - what a silly question, you're reading Chrispy's blog, ain't you?

Will Hart just sent an alert that should make you drool:

Have you been to lately?

Everything there (and at the sister CthulhuWho1 Flickr site) is freely
downloadable for any use.

The CthulhuWho1 blog at has exploded over the
last month or so, with a wealth of rare images, documents, and audio
recordings that have never been posted anywhere else; the following
items have been posted during the last four weeks (with many of these
in just the last 24 hours):

Robert Bloch Speaks of Lovecraft and More from the Grave

Very rare audio files of Robert Bloch in 1977 and 1978; plus images
and documents.

Fungi from Yuggoth Wav Format Files

The Fanscient No.8 Summer 1949 – The Robert Bloch Issue

...and much more.

Don't be square, go there - - now !

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Eaugaptilis hyperboreus

I don't really know what this is, but when I look at it I think of Lovecraft stuff.

Eaugaptilis hyperboreus

This came from the survey of the sea life in oceans.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Tracking the Elusive Lovecraft: 3 June 1909

We have a note, courtesy of David Keller and Mr. Joshi from Lovecraft's astronomical notebook. We have contemporary confirmations, as well. Lovecraft was moon-gazing.

June 3 - 1909. Moon's Eclipse. Clouds interfered but several glimpses were obtained. Total 7.58. {apparently 7.58 means that the total eclipse was to occur at 7: 58 PM - see Greeley et. al. below} Notebook of HPL.

(Click on images below to expand to larger size)

The Recent Lunar Eclipse, June 3.— Owing to the persistent clouds, the total eclipse of the moon which took place on June 3-4 was unobservable in London, but that it was well observed in other localities is shown by the reports now published.

MM. Borrelly and Coggia made observations at Marseilles, the results of which are published in No. 23 (June 7) of the Comptes rendus.

The former noted the exceptional intensity of the penumbra at the beginning of the eclipse, and a seamy appearance of the umbra which gave the front line of the shadow a sinuous appearance. In the telescope the eclipsed moon appeared rose-coloured, but to the naked eye it was red; many of the lunar circles were visible despite the shadow.

M. Coggia observed that on the approach of the shadow's edge, at 12h. 45m. (Marseilles M.T.), Plato took on a red tint, which became redder until, at 12h. 50m., it appeared like glowing charcoal.

Mr. J. H. Elgie writes that, according to his observations, at Leeds, the eclipse was a " light " one; although at its first encroachment the shadow was dead black, when the disc was fully eclipsed many features could be perceived by the naked eye. The shadow was first seen, without a telescope, at about 11.45 PM. Mr. Elgie also directs attention to a curious glow in the northern heavens throughout the night, almost suggestive of an auroral display.

Nature, 24 June 1909, Vol. 80, No. 2069, pp. 502-503

World Almanac 1909

Tribune Almanac, Horace Greeley, et. al, 1909

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Edgar Allan Poe died on this day in 1849, at the age of 40.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Historical Lovecraft anthology opening this September to submissions. The anthology will be available in print and as an e-book in 2011, and is produced and edited by the eldritch duo of Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles.

What They Want: Historical fiction with a Lovecraftian twist. Stories should be set in a variety of places, cultures and time periods. While they might buy one story set in 1920s New England, they want to stray far from the normal Lovecraft milieu. If you’re going to do 1920s, why not ship them off to China and tell the story from the point of view of a native of Shanghai? More by clicking here!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Derleth Skate Park: Nearing Reality

Sauk Prairie Eagle Skatepark to be located in August Derleth Park.

"It's so pretty and looks so neat that I think the people who live there are eventually going to like it," said Vicki Gullickson, who helped start the most recent push for a public skatepark in Sauk Prairie.

More here.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Whipple's Providence of the 1870's

As a few of you know, Chrispy has spent months accumulating data on Whipple van Buren Phillips. Why? Even I don't really know, but the man was incredible. This is not the venu to do a lot of sharing just yet, but one must pause to think.

Lovecraft became increasingly nostalgic about old Providence. However, he seemed to purposely leap frog past Whipple's Providence, to the Georgian era. To him it was a particularly fascinating era, and he often daydreamed himself there.

The Whipple-era Providence was bustling, growing, and a bit gritty. Providence blew past Newport to become a top 20 American city teaming with immigrants. They were the fodder for the industrialization of America, and much of Whipple's business fed timber and coal to that hoi poloi.

There was no EPA, and Whipple would have been appalled by sch a thing. Pollution was the lubricant of business, and business was all to the tycoons of the gilded era. Where Thoreau might have seen the rape of Nature, Whipple would have seen progress. Lovecraft would have seen Juan Romero and some monsters lurking. But that's another story. heh.

These are typical stereoscopic and sepia images, the forerunners of viewmasters. And if you are too young to recall the power and glory of viewmaster, think of them as 3-d holograms. These are the Providence that Lovecraft did not see, as they are dated to the 1870's. He saw the same places 25 and even 50 years later, but they had been upgraed, torn down or become more delapidated as the case might have been.

Whipple apparently flitted back and forth between western Rhode Island and Providence as he variously created enterprises, went in and out of bankruptcy, fought numerous litigations, and finally settled permanently into Providence hesitating only briefly before he decided on his obsessive, final and fatal conquest and terraforming of Idaho's Bruneau River valley.

His story is a worthy one, and the famous (to Lovecraftians) Idaho adventure was but the finale of an incredible career that has yet to be fully excavated by historians.

Friday, October 01, 2010

James Morton on Lovecraft (1920)

In a recent auction, this item's descritpion appeared.

THE STRAY ONE, May, 1920
Published by James F. Morton

Now it's interesting to read current critical analyses of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, but it is FAR more interesting to read what his contemporaries had to say about him!

James F. Morton was one of H. P. Lovecraft's earliest and greatest friends amongst Amateur Journalists, and they remained friends until HPL's death. Morton like Lovecraft was an intellectual, like HPL he served as President of the National Amateurs, and also like HPL published his own "AJ". But Morton was also a severe critic and be ye friend or be ye foe made no difference as evidenced by his appraisal of HPL's poetry..."...with reference to the poetical work of Howard P. Lovecraft. To many of us it does not seem that the Queen Anne period in English literature was that from which the finest inspiration might be drawn. There is a heaviness and stiltedness of phrase in all but the very best work...and modern imitations ring somewhat hollow. "

But regarding Lovecraft's prose, Morton was equally honest..."His gift in the construction of tales of fantastic and terrible marks him out for a coming master in this restricted but fascinating field of literary endeavor. Already much of his work displays a craftmanship and a genuine creative power scarcely inferior to the those of the recognized geniuses in this department...."

I will not divulge the entirety of this lengthy paragraph, that is reserved for the privilege of ownership, but Morton summarizes......"If Mr. Lovecraft has not fully mastered the secret known to the author of 'Dracula,' he is well on the road to such mastery"

A most worthy offering as an associational item on its own, but much much more!

Folded for mailing, with a few short splits closed with clear tape.


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