H. P. Lovecraft did not have a great many female correspondents, but among the most notable was Elizabeth Toldridge, a poet living in Washington, D.C., who began corresponding with Lovecraft in the late 1920s. Over their decade-long exchange of letters, Lovecraft discussed at length the aesthetic basis of poetry and the methods by which poetic expression could be made relevant in an age of science. He came to recognize that his earlier attempts at writing eighteenth-century-style verse were aesthetic failures, and he attempted to put his new poetic theories into practice with Fungi from Yuggoth (1929-30) and other poems. Lovecraft also extensively discussed the current political and economic situation, recognizing that the onset of the Great Depression necessitated a political shift-one that ultimately led him to moderate socialism.
Anne Tillery Renshaw was a colleague of long standing, having known Lovecraft during his amateur journalism period in the 1910s. Late in life she commissioned Lovecraft 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.
Exhaustively annotated by leading Lovecraft scholars David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi, this volume illuminates one of the great literary personalities of his time-and in his own words. The letters are presented in unabridged form and with detailed notes and commentary.
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About the Author
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937), commonly known as H. P. Lovecraft, was an American author known for his works of horror fiction (many of which have been adapted into movies). Having died in obscure poverty, he achieved posthumous fame for his books and stories. Today, he is best known for his take on The Call of Cthulhu. Because of his influence on contemporary writers and the development of his unique style known as "Lovecraftian," he is often compared to Edgar Allan Poe.