Freely online at the Library of Congress, the popular science/history book Comet madness : how the 1910 return of Halley’s comet (almost) destroyed civilization (2023).
Hairy Stars: Fear and Loathing in the Heavens
From Astrology to Astronomy
Whither the Comet?
The Fabulous Flammarion
A Dangerous Tail
The Unexpected Visitor
From Science to Science Fiction
Aetna and the Wheel of Anxiety
The Death of Kings
Rationality Won’t Keep Out The Rain
Up on a Roof
Cosmic Death Ray
Hysteria’s Highwater Mark
The Case of the Missing Tail
And We (Mostly) Lived Happily Ever After.
Amazon UK will happily take your £17 for the ebook, but the LoC officially has it free.
Lovecraft made a substantial scientific entry on the comet, for 26th May 1910, but seems to make no reference in the letters I have access too. Other than…
I saw Halley’s in 1910 — but missed the bright one earlier in that year by being flat in bed with a hellish case of measles!
Tolkien had an interest in astronomical phenomena, but I am told that his diary does not note Halley’s Comet of 1910. To be fair, he was only a schoolboy at the time and swotting hard for vital exams in central Birmingham, a big industrial city not then noted for its pristine ‘dark’ night skies and star-gazing.