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H.P. Lovecraft In Britain: A Monograph
Stephen Jones
The British Fantasy Society, 46 pages

Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones is the winner of multiple World Fantasy Awards, the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award and International Horror Guild Awards, British Fantasy Awards and a Hugo Award nominee. A full-time columnist, television producer/director and genre movie publicist and consultant, Stephen Jones is also one of Britain's most acclaimed anthologists of horror and dark fantasy. He has edited and written more than 100 books, including: Shadows Over Innsmouth; Exorcisms and Ecstasies, a Karl Edward Wagner collection; and Clive Barker's A-Z of Horror. He is co-editor of a number of series including Best New Horror, Dark Terrors and Dark Voices. He lives in London, England.

Stephen Jones Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #18
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Monsters
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #17
SF Site Review: Shadows Over Innsmouth
SF Site Review: Dark Terrors 5
SF Site Review: White of the Moon
SF Site Review: Dark of the Night

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Kit O'Connell

H.P. Lovecraft In Britain: A Monograph When writer and anthologist Stephen Jones was compiling Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft for British publisher Gollancz, he was given access to the archives of their communications with Arkham House and Lovecraft's estate. Since Gollancz was the first to publish that author in the United Kingdom this gave Jones a unique window onto a tiny but formative part of horror publishing history.

H.P. Lovecraft In Britain: A Monograph is the product of his studies. Beginning with the first correspondence between August Derleth and Victor Gollancz in 1950, this slim volume chronicles every British appearance of the master's work from 1951's The Haunter of the Dark & Other Tales of Horror through Jones own 2008 collection, mentioned above. The book includes the cover illustration to nearly every publication, as well as actual copies of contracts and pertinent letters.

While this may seem like book industry minutiae, it is great to see all the covers (especially the Panther Press paperbacks, since most of Gollancz's covers are famously plain) and there are entertaining details scattered throughout. For example, we can easily imagine the Gollancz's editors increasing frustration as they issue volume after volume of Lovecraft's work, believing each one to contain all remaining unpublished stories, only to be inundated by fan letters asking about works they'd missed. Stephen Jones writes in a clear, quick prose which makes the monograph an easy read.

Probably the most pleasure for the average reader comes from the illustrations by Les Edwards which appear throughout the book. A sinister gargoyle appears at the end of every chapter and there is a wonderful full-page drawing of nightgaunts over Arkham (or is it London?). The cover, also by Edwards, lovingly depicts Lovecraft himself standing in front of a tentacle-besieged Big Ben.

At $25.99 for North American buyers, H.P. Lovecraft In Britain's price may be a bit steep for many buyers' book budgets. Still, most Lovecraft fans will want to at least take a look at it, and it is obviously a must-have for scholars of the Mythos.

Copyright © 2008 Kit O'Connell

Kit O'Connell
Kit O'Connell is a writer and bookseller and Voluptuary living in College Station, Texas. His poetry will appear in Aberrant Dreams in 2008. He can be found online at approximately 8,000 words, his homepage, and Words Words Words, the Dream Café weblog.

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