A series of blog posts celebrating H.P. Lovecraft’s keen interest in our fascinating felines.

In his final letter to Robert Bloch, Lovecraft notes the lad’s new story in the March 1937 Weird Tales, “The Brood of Bubastis”. The cat theme and the Cornwall setting were both an obvious nod to Lovecraft. Cornwall being the more American-recognisable stand-in for neighbouring Devonshire, to which Lovecraft traced many ancestors. Though the general idea of a Cornwall-Egypt link was not at all new by 1937.

I was hardly aware of the early Bloch beyond the story that inspired Lovecraft’s “The Haunter of the Dark”, but I know a bit more now. The Egyptian theme was obviously one that Bloch pursued in his early Lovecraftian stories in 1936-38. An entry for Bloch in Horror Literature through History: An Encyclopedia usefully lists the short cycle of Bloch’s ‘Lovecraftian Egypt’ stories, and from 1936-38 points to…

“The Faceless God”
“The Secret of Sebek”
“The Brood of Bubastis”
“Fane of the Black Pharoah”
“The Opener of the Way”
“The Eyes of the Mummy”

… with a warning that some lack Lovecraft lore, though all are generally said to be in the style and manner of Lovecraft. So far as I know these have not yet all been collected in a single “Robert Bloch’s Lovecraftian Egypt” volume. Such a collection might make for a good audiobook.

Looking into these I found a long survey essay on the early Bloch at Dark Worlds Quarterly, that I had missed in January 2020. I thus inadvertently discovered yet another early appearance of Lovecraft as a character…

The Dark Demon” (Weird Tales, November 1936) is another love letter to Lovecraft. Like “Shambler”, Bloch creates a character that is obviously HPL in Edgar Henquist Gordon. The man is tall and pale, writes horror stories for small magazines and is a bit of a recluse, though he has hundreds of correspondents.


Lovecraft had sent editor Farnsworth Wright a signed note saying that Bloch was permitted to portray and ‘murder’ Lovecraft in published fiction, and this must have permitted the story a slot in Weird Tales that it might not otherwise have had. Curiously enough, this issue of the magazine managed to get a cute kitten on the cover of Weird Tales