The cover image of the book The Spirit of Revision - Lovecraft's Letters to Zealia Brown Reed Bishop

The Spirit of Revision - Lovecraft's Letters to Zealia Brown Reed Bishop

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In 2014 a collection of letters from H.P. Lovecraft to Zealia Brown Reed Bishop was discovered in an old trunk in a basement. Mrs. Bishop was an aspiring young writer who became of a client of Lovecraft, making use of his service of revising and improving other author's stories to help them get published. In this collection of never before seen letters, we see how Lovecraft ran his business and how he mentored an aspiring writer. Lovecraft and Mrs. Bishop went on to collaborate on the stories "The Curse of Yig", "The Mound" and "Medusa's Coil".

The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society has carefully scanned and transcribed the original manuscripts which date from 1927 to 1936. The thirty-six new letters to Mrs. Bishop are presented in sequence with eighteen previously known letters to create the most thorough picture of the correspondence between Lovecraft and Bishop possible. The collection is extensively annotated by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman and includes pictures of reference documents which Lovecraft recommended to his clients, newspaper clippings about topics he describes, facsimiles of some letters, a cartoon by Lovecraft and much more. The Spirit of Revision features an introduction by pre-eminent Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi, and offers a fascinating glimpse of Lovecraft as teacher, correspondent and collaborator.

The Spirit of Revision is printed in paperback at 8 x 10 inches, 190pp. When ordered here, the HPLHS will include a free bonus of a replica of one of Lovecraft's letters to Mrs. Bishop. 

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
Jeremy L
A deeper dive into the works

These letters are a deeper dive into Lovecraft and the work he did and how he went about it with his client. I found it very interesting and it's a pretty good read.

Lucas Paden

This little collectible is a great piece to add to any Lovecraftian's collection. It's insightful and filled with so much information.

Monica Wasserman
A Noteworthy Collectible

The Spirit of Revision is an absolute treasure for aspiring writers and fans alike! The team at HPLHS are truly phenomenal for all of the love and dedication they pour into each product. I was thoroughly amazed by the detail and very thought it took to produce this paperback. It's beautiful, and I'm glad to have purchased a copy. In the words of Robert Bloch, I too can say, Lovecraft is my university. Thank you!

Kevin R
Enjoying the experience

Whether it is Lovecraft or any of my favorite authors, I thoroughly enjoy the all the writings of the writer. Favorite purchases are that of annotated works of the classics and their correspondence. In The Spirit of Revision... is a great addition to my world of Lovecraft (and bookshelf). I imagine he is correspinding with me to help me along as I learn to write fiction. I highly recommend.

A Beginner’s Introduction to Lovecraft’s Letters

After a great deal of time I have finally made my way through this book, and I must admit that it was time well spent. While my knowledge of Lovecraft’s epistolary repertoire is admittedly limited, I feel fairly safe in asserting that, those uninitiated to collections of Lovecraft’s vast correspondence, will find this a great place to begin. Throughout the book Lovecraft covers a wide array of topics, but namely his ideas regarding “proper” writing and his opinion of what makes an ideal writer. It is rather interesting to see the relationship between Lovecraft and Bishop transition from formal to fairly casual, over the course of time, and honestly rather surprising to see how frank and open Lovecraft is in answering Bishop’s occassional probings. There is a stilted, but genuine sort of warmth and congeniality he unreservedly seems to display in his letters, which is why I surmise so many who admire Lovecraft’s work are just as eager to read his letters as his stories. The book comes replete with many informative annotations and enlightening images and photographs as the fruits of what is doubtlessly the exhaustive research of Mssrs. Branney and Leman. If you’ve never before read a collection of Lovecraft’s letters, I would highly reccomend this to be your place to start; it is sure to pique your interest and whet your appetite for more of Lovecraft’s collected letters.