Lord of a Visible World

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Lovecraft wrote tens of thousands of letters, some of them of great length; but more than that, these letters are incredibly revelatory in the depth of detail they provide for all aspects of his life, work, and thought.

This volume, first published in 2000, assembles generous extracts of Lovecraft’s letters covering the entirety of his life, from childhood until his death. He tells of his youthful interests (poetry, Greco-Roman mythology, science), his childhood friends, and the “blank” period of 1908–13, after he dropped out of high school. He emerged from his hermitry in 1914 by joining the amateur journalism movement, where he became a leading figure and was involved in numerous literary and personal controversies.

In 1921 Lovecraft became acquainted with Sonia Greene, whom he would marry in 1924. By that time, he had begun publishing in the pulp magazine Weird Tales. But his marriage was a failure: living in New York, he was unable find a job and found the teeming city so different from the tranquility of his native Providence, R.I. Returning home in 1926, he embarked on a tremendous literary outburst, and over the next ten years wrote many of the stories that have ensured his literary immortality.

Lord of a Visible World is a riveting compilation that not only paints a full portrait of Lovecraft’s life, writings, and philosophical beliefs, but features the piquant and engaging prose characteristic of his letters. Edited by S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz.

 378 pages, 6 x 9 inches, paperback.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Gloria Z.
Learning so much about my favorite writer

I am savoring this book slowly and only up to Chapter II (ok I admit I have peeked ahead here and there) but I can confidently give this five stars. It is an amazing presentation - as the subtitle says, an autobiography in letters. Just think, Howard actually wrote his autobiography piecemeal, over many years, in the forms of his life reminiscences and experiences penned to numerous friends and relatives. The editors have carefully arranged these in chronological order to present Howard's life in his own words; honest, unpretentious, both heartbreaking and filled with wonder and delight.

In life, Howard would never have thought to write out his life story for publication because he would have believed no one would be interested. Now he has legions of fans all over the world and he is firmly in place as one of the greatest American authors of the macabre and fantastic. This book is a grand opportunity to really get to know the man 'behind the Mythos.'

Biographies are great and I know there are many good ones out there, but nothing really compares with getting it straight from the source. The cover art is perfect too. I wish it had photos! I highly recommend this book to any admirer of HPL.

Monica Wasserman
Once a Lord of a Visible World, Always a Lord of a Visible World.

After having read by now a multitude of biographies about H.P. Lovecraft, there is nothing more refreshing than reading Lovecraft’s biography in his very own words. We are presented with the rare opportunity to experience every stage of his life in vivid narrations unspoiled by secondary perceptions, and because of it, we understand him better through these intimate correspondences. A Lord of a Visible World is richly insightful and an extremely rewarding book. I am sincerely grateful for the hard work that S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz dedicated into compiling this neat edition of additional Lovecraftian scholarship. I highly recommend it!