Part three of four, of a few notes on the new expanded edition of the Galpin letters:

* Lovecraft’s childhood barn was “razed” in 1931 (p. 272) having become rotten and fungus ridden. He puts an age-date on the period in which it formed his playhouse, age 10. Which puts the disposal of the carriage-horses at or before 1900. (p. 272).

* The 1932 eclipse of the sun is described in detail on page 274, with some comparative reference to the eclipse of 1925.

* He cogently summarises his attitude to emotions and his ‘what the heck’ approach, in paragraphs at the foot of pages 278 and 279.

* He notes the “mild winters” in 1932/32 (p. 283), 1932/33 (p. 288), at a time when he had not yet moved into 66 College Street. The move to the new house may well have saved his life, since 1933/34 was a very cold winter and was sometimes at “seventeen below” zero (p. 305). But by then he thankfully had the 24-hour steam-heat from the neighbouring Library boiler. At No. 66 he also enjoyed the “symphony of chimes” from the various nearby clock and church towers (p. 291).

* Lovecraft found a “surprisingly vast audience” attendant on a public visit to Brown by the T.S. Eliot to Providence. He notes that Eliot was newly British Royalist / Anglo-Catholic.

* At the end of March 1933 he was about to launch into the revision of an 88,000 word novel, which it appears he completed and for which he was paid $100. “This novel has not been identified” says a footnote.

* He notes various Cleveland locations in August 1922. More on those, with new pictures, in a near-future ‘Picture Postals’ post at Tentaclii.

* He tells Galpin in 1933 that he had twice been mistaken by Canadian strangers as a British man (p. 296). The non-French Canadians presumably being, at that time, more familiar with the British upper-class accent than today.

* He talks of a booklet issued by the city “school department” circa 1933, which presumably formed a guide to College Hill. Since he was pleased that the bird’s eye view on the cover showed #66 and its garden court. (p. 300) Elsewhere he talks of the magnifying glass he used to closely scrutinise such things, and also picture postcards and photographs.

* He gives a long synopsis of a never-written story of his, in a lengthy paragraph (p. 303, also footnote on p. 305 which references Commonplace Book #157). This would have been about the animated ‘Kirby krackle’ that happens behind the eyes when they are tightly scrunched shut.

“It would amuse me if some writer were to build upon my work & achieve a fabric infinitely surpassing the original!” (p. 301). Indeed.

* He did extensive research on the topography and sights of Paris in early 1933, as he had earlier done for olde London (p. 304).

* Belknap Long was a strongly doctrinaire communist by June 1934, but by October had learned to tone it down a bit when writing to Lovecraft (p. 312, p. 322).

* “Had an interesting view of Peltier’s Comet…” late in his life at Ladd. He then still had his own “small glass” [i.e. his telescope], but evidently he has not set it up on the monitor roof at No. 66. He had a fine westward view, and even a door onto the roof. But the general view of the northern sky had an “obstructed nature” as he put it (p. 336).

* Galpin’s lost novel is named, being Murder in Monparnasse (p. 336).

* The de Castro letters are at the end of the book of Galpin letters. Spurred by de Castro’s wayward pursuit of various New Testament figures via ancient Gaul, Lovecraft engages in discussion about the historicity of Christ and the value of Christianity in the modern world (pp. 366-367).

* He recalls he read a biography of Baudelaire circa 1922. The book’s notes suggest there were then two good choices for such (p. 375).

* His phone number at No. 66 was Providence 2044. Which is the title of a future Lovecraftian sci-fi graphic novel, if ever I heard one (p. 375).

* Despite Lovecraft’s reputation for being supposedly unreadable, a Galpin review hails his style in “Arthur Jermyn” story and the Dreamlands tales… “He certainly excels Lord Dunsany in the directness of narration” and has a “beauty of style” (p. 426).