Friday the 13th approaches. Here in the UK, the 13th is a key virus infection-point. According to the UK’s Chief Medical officer the start of the peak in symptoms should then begin here on 19th-23rd March, rising thereafter and possibly continuing high for three or four weeks. (Update: he’s now saying “the peak” might last 10-14 weeks).

Thus, tomorrow we face a very scary Friday the 13th. There’s also a full moon in the night sky, possibly giving hysterical toilet-roll chewers an added dose of lunacy.

What better reading then, for this moment, than my account of H.P. Lovecraft and the deadly influenza epidemic? Accordingly here is a free chapter from my book Lovecraft in Historical Context #3, “A Real Horror: on the 1918 flu epidemic in Providence”. The chapter has been slightly revised, and there’s a new picture of one of the armed guards on the gates of Brown University.

Download: real_horror_1918_flu_in_providence.pdf