H. P. Lovecraft in the Merrimack Valley (Paperback)
For decades, David Goudsward has been a leading authority on the obscurer historical and topographical corners of his native New England. In this lavish and detailed treatise, he has written the definitive treatment of Lovecraft's connections with the Merrimack Valley of coastal Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Goudsward traces Lovecraft's initial visits in the 1920s to such towns as Newburyport, Haverhill, and Hampstead, where he met such colleagues as Charles W. "Tryout" Smith, Myrta Alice Little, and Edgar J. Davis. Later visits clearly inspired many of the topographical features in such tales as "The Shadow over Innsmouth" and "The Shadow out of Time." Goudsward has made a profound study of Lovecraft's letters and other documents in tracing the Providence writer's movements in the area and the impressions he drew from it. This book is lavishly illustrated with dozens of photographs of the locale, including many vivid period snapshots that show the towns and other landmarks as they would have been seen by Lovecraft himself. Goudsward also treats the possibility that Lovecraft visited Mystery Hill, a megalithic site that some scholars believe inspired "The Dunwich Horror." H. P. Lovecraft in the Merrimack Valley is an exhaustive treatment of a subject that has rarely been discussed before, but that is of crucial importance to H. P. Lovecraft's life and imagination.