Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Penguin Edition of HPL

Penguin Classics has just publish'd a new Deluxe edition of their first volume of H. P. Lovecraft's fiction.  The three editions of Lovecraft's weird tales from Penguin are my absolute favorite editions of Lovecraft's work.  Edited, and fully annotated, by S. T. Joshi, they give us a fuller understanding of Lovecraft's genius as an artist.  This new Deluxe edition reprints the older edition exactly, but with a new cover illustration and three other art pieces by Travis Louie.  The cover stock is quite beautiful, and the title of the book and Lovecraft's name are slightly emboss'd.  I have two copies of the earlier edition in my library, but I love getting newer editions of HPL's Tales because I am forever returning to them for inspiration, and it's nice to have different editions.

Following a succinct 14-page Introduction, the stories in the book (arranged chronologically) are:
The Statement of Randolph Carter
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
The Picture in the House
The Outsider
Herbert West--Reanimator
The Hound
The Rats in the Walls
The Festival
Cool Air
The Call of Cthulhu
The Colour Out of Space
The Whisperer in Darkness
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
The Haunter of the Dark

I love annotated editions, and S. T.'s Notes are fascinating and informative.  They begin with basic information, and then tell aspects of the story and how HPL came to write it, &c.  Here is the opening paragraph to ye Note for "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family":

"This story first appeared in the amateur journal, the Wolverine (edited by Horace L. Lawson), for March and June 1921; this was the only time until recent corrected editions that the full title of the story was printed.  When it appeared in Weird Tales for April 1924 the editor, Edwin Baird, gave it the title 'The White Ape,' much to Lovecraft's disgust; in the Weird Tales reprint of May 1935 it was titled simply 'Arthur Jermyn.'"

This is followed by a full page of introductory matter, and then we have one and one-third pages of annotations.

with S. T. and ye Gang in front of 598 Angell Street, Providence, where HPL wrote "The Outsider."
I am hoping that Penguin will reprint the other two volumes of Lovecraft in this Deluxe format.