This week on ‘Picture Postals from Lovecraft’, a glimpse of the winter we’re now leaving behind. Here’s a rare view looking up College Street in a New England winter after snow. Lovecraft would later live at No. 66 College Street, at the top of the rise seen here.
With thanks to the Providence Public Library, picture extracted from the John Hutchins Cady Research Scrapbooks Collection. Here newly colorised and contrast balanced.
Lovecraft would increasingly dread having to venture out in very cold weather. Though he did, well wrapped-up.
He once penned a little-known Dunsanian fragment based around the idea of winter and spring…
… And it is recorded that in the Elder Times, Om Oris, mightiest of the wizards, laid crafty snare for the demon Avaloth, and pitted dark magic against him; for Avaloth plagued the earth with a strange growth of ice and snow that crept as if alive, ever southward, and swallowed up the forests and the mountains. And the outcome of the contest with the demon is not known; but wizards of that day maintained that Avaloth, who was not easily discernible, could not be destroyed save by a great heat, the means whereof was not then known, although certain of the wizards foresaw that one day it should be. Yet, at this time the ice fields began to shrink and dwindle and finally vanished; and the earth bloomed forth afresh.” (Lovecraft’s unused ‘transcription from the Eltdown Shards’, Selected Letters V, March 1935)
And here is his beloved Angell Street with the leaves off, but about to “bloom forth afresh” as the earliest spring starts to bud on the trees…
View down Angell Street, Providence.
Up and down this colonial hill [College Hill] I have walk’d ever since I could walk at all — and it has always exerted upon me the greatest possible fascination, even though my native part of Angell Street is somewhat farther East [along the hill], in a decidedly newer (middle and later Victorian) district. Let no one tell me that Providence is not the most beautiful city in the world! Line for line, atmospheric touch for atmospheric touch, it positively and absolutely is! Colour, shade, contour, diversity, quaintness, impressiveness — all are there” (rhapsody on his return home to the city, Selected Letters II, May 1926).