H. P. Lovecraft: Letters to James F. Morton
Edited by David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi
James Ferdinand Morton was one of H. P. Lovecraft’s most learned and accomplished correspondents: the recipient of a B.A. and M.A. from Harvard, Morton served as a leading figure in the Esperanto Association of North America, the Thomas Paine Natural History Association, and other organizations, and was a longtime curator of the Paterson (New Jersey) Museum. Lovecraft’s correspondence with Morton reveals the full range of his and Morton’s intellectual interests, ranging from freethought to socialism, from amateur journalism to crossword puzzles, from race relations to the rise of Mussolini and Hitler. Along the way, Lovecraft provides engaging accounts—many times written in piquant slang—of his travels across New England, his diet, and other details that bring the dreamer from Providence to life.
A sampling of Morton’s own writings complements the letters, and includes his substantial essay “Fragments of a Mental Autobiography.” The volume concludes with many fascinating memoirs of Morton by friends and colleagues, including E. Hoffmann Price, W. Paul Cook, and Morton’s wife Pearl K. Merritt.
Extensively 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.