S. T. Joshi’s blog has updated, and includes news that…

Hippocampus is preparing to release a number of additional titles very soon, including a huge two-volume edition of Lovecraft’s Letters to Family and Family Friends.

These will contain the long-awaited complete set of letters from Lovecraft to his aunts. Looking at the Hippocampus website, I see that the new H. P. Lovecraft: Letters to Alfred Galpin and Others [UPDATED & ENLARGED] is now available for order.

I’m also pleased to read on Joshi’s blog that he has rekindled an old, and apparently ardent, interest in British history. He has started reading the Oxford History of England (the original set, 1934-86) and has become interested in the reigns of the two Elizabeths (our current Queen Elizabeth, long may she reign, and Elizabeth the First from the time of Shakespeare). I recall that about twenty or more years ago I picked up a nearly complete set of History of England, swiftly gathered up by the armful and sold to me for a few pounds by a dozy Boy Scout at a jumble sale (USA equivalent: a large garage sale held in a church hall). I then filleted them for notes on West Midlands history, and then sold them for a handsome profit on eBay. That was before ebooks. I recall they’re surprisingly readable, though of course much has changed since. A number of the Marxist distortions introduced in the 1950s-70s have since been shown to be fudge and bunk (e.g. the claim that the slave trade funded the Industrial Revolution). Archaeology, genetics and other more obscure sciences have since illuminated seemingly impenetrable mysteries. But I’d imagine the 1934-86 set is still a good sound introduction, perhaps alongside Churchill’s abridged History of the English-Speaking Peoples, and its fine sequel by Andrew Roberts which covers the period from 1900 onward.

I’d send Joshi a cheap eBay DVD of the excellent movies Elizabeth / its sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which it sounds like he’d enjoy — only I don’t know if his DVD player is multi-region or is locked to USA-only discs. The combo Elizabeth/Golden Age DVD appears to be three or four times more expensive on the USA eBay, presumably because it’s pitched as being an exotic imported art-house thing, but they’re dirt cheap here in the UK. Does anyone happen to know if Joshi can play DVDs sent in from anywhere in the world?

Anyway, talking of DVDs and Hippocampus, I see that Clark Ashton Smith: The Emperor of Dreams DVD is currently on a discount at a mere $10 plus shipping.