RSS

Category Archives: Derleth, August W.

H.P. Lovecraft envelope to Howard Wandrei

HPL Letter to Wandrei-Front HPL Letter to Wandrei-Back

Here is a straight forward empty No. 10 envelope addressed to Howard Wandrei from HPL. I have no idea what it originally contained, but Derleth saved it for the 3 cent Washington on the front cover. The group contents would be most appreciative and informative to all.

 

Advertisements
 

Follow the Money

Here is another empty Registered Letter that was in that same box. It is dated 12 April 1940 on the reverse, from Donald Wandrei to Derleth. I speculate that it contained Donald share of the the expense to produce “The Outsider and Others” likely a cashier’s check, money order, but certainly not cash. The letter and the amount might well be in the archives at The State Historical Society. This is dated before America entered the war, and Donald was subsequently called up to serve.

Wandrei Registered Letter to Derleth 1040 Wandrei Registered Letter to Derleth 1040 - back

 

Derleth and The Guggenheim Foundation

Guggenheim to Derleth 1939

I purchased August Derleth’s stamp collection from April Derleth in 2010, and subsequently purchased Augie’s collection of FDC’s from David Rajchel the following year mounted in two blue binders. There was a box of stamps on paper, and envelopes and stationary dating right back to the 1930s. Here is but one of the covers. I speculate that this is the envelope that August received which notified him that he had won the prize, or perhaps it contained the check for $2,500 (Alison WIlson Bibliography). in any case August spent the money to bind his extensive collection of Comic Strips that he had meticulously collected since he was chilld. This collection now resides in the State Historical Society in Madison. Interesting! How a single envelope can tell a story. I am confident that Augie opened it, emptied the contents, and threw it into the box of philatelic odds and ends, only to be removed some 70 years later.

 

 

R.I.P. Peter Ruber (1940-2014)

Peter A. Ruber, BSI, PSI passed away on March 6, 2014. Peter was born September 29, 1940. I have had no contact with him since 2004. He had a major stroke in 2005, and has been in long-term care since 2011. But Peter was absolutely pivotal in my learning and understanding of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Vincent Starrett, August Derleth, Luther Norris, Seabury Quinn, George F. Worts, H. Bedford-Jones and Bertram Fletcher Robinson among others.

Austin McLean introduced Peter to me when I commenced my research on Vincent Starrett in 1994 along with Cameron Hollyer.

I have many fond memories when we travelled together to Minnesota and visited the Sherlock Holmes Collection in Minneapolis. We were royally entertained by Allan Mackler at the time; Allan was full of book stories as well.

Peter and I first visited Arkham House and April Derleth together in 1996. I helped him carry four boxes of books and manuscripts to the airport on his return flight; and Peter was appointed Editor of Arkham House, the following year.

Kay Price extended her hospitality to both of us, and we planned many Derleth publications together for The August Derleth Society in Sauk City. Most, but not all of these can be found on their website www.Derleth.org.

l have pleasant memories of countless long telephone conversations about a multitude of literary matters.

During the course of preparing The Original Text Solar Pons Omnibus 2 volume edition, we had many heated discussions, and resolved many difficult points, but I believe the final published result was worth the effort on both our parts.

Peter talked with me at great length about his publication on The Baker Street Gasogene in 1961-1962. He had plans for a regular journal, but that didn’t work out.

He revised one of the articles to be his introduction to the book The Chronicles of Addington Peace by Fletcher Robinson.

I well remember a meeting on a Friday morning in New York with Richard Lancelyn Green, Peter Ruber, Christopher Roden and myself in New York City. Richard had brought along his personal copies of Baker Street Gasogene for Peter to sign. Richard had also brought along his file of correspondence between Michael Harrison and August Derleth. Peter Ruber also had a file of correspondence he had obtained from Arkham House archives. I was to meld the two and publish the results. Richard also noted there were some missing originals in the files of John Michael Gibson. I did not have the opportunity to complete that correspondence until May 2012. But that’s another story, and the book is ready to go, introduced by David Hammer. I shall dedicate the volume to Peter Ruber and to Richard Lancelyn Green. At the end of breakfast, I adjourned to a second breakfast at The Harvard Club down the street with Dan Posnanysky. I learned later that Peter then presented a number of unpublished manuscripts by H Russell Wakefield which were subsequently published as Reunion at Dawn. But the conclusion to that story is an adventure for another day.

Peter had also done research on the bibliography of George F, Worts. The last item I sent him was the two volume collection of Peter the Brazen. I have also been working a multi-volume collection of Gillian Hazeltine. Rodney Schroeder recently completed the huge editorial job, and the set should be ready for publication soon. I shall dedicate this volume to Peter.

Peter also maintained a rich correspondence with August Derleth, after his first visit to Sauk City in 1962, This is all, now held in the archived of The State Historical Society in Madison Wisconsin. The Derleth archives is well worth a visit. It contains a note scribbled to Derleth by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you have trouble finding it, it is filed under “D”.

Peter and I spent three days perusing this archive in some detail in 1996.

Finally, Austin McLean introduced us, and I agreed to publish Ruber’s volume of Vincent Starrett’s poetry. (This is Volume 1 in the Starrett Memorial Library.) Peter sent me four manuscripts, which had been sitting on a shelf in his office since 1971, when his publishing company The Candlelight Press ceased to operate. I examined them in detail. There was also correspondence attached, but in particular Peter had a letterhead logo for his Candlelight Press. You will find it in his version of the Last Bookman. I asked him if I could adopt it as my own since he was no longer using it. The answer was an unqualified yes. The logo had been designed by Henry Lauritzen featuring deerstalker hat, book, candle and pipe. Peter also noted that he did not like the title for my press, in fact he said it was awful! as well as too long! And so The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box press was born amidst controversy. Peter noted that Henry had created it at the same time as he did the illustrations for The Adventure of the Orient Express which was published in 1968.

I well remember when Peter finally consented to let me publish, The Bibliography of H. Bedford Jones, tiled The King of the Pulps. We had talked about it for many years. Peter had two co-authors, Darrell Richardson and Victor Berch. Bedford-Jones was a Canadian, who lived and wrote in the USA. Bedford Jones was prolific to say the least. The rest of this story must be for another day — very complicated and convoluted, but the book was published and is still available. Many additional projects resulted after my perusal of this Bibliography. The Compleat Saga of John Solomon and The Exploits of Riley Dillon are two which immediately come to mind.

In summary, Peter, R.I.P. it was a pleasure to recall our times together, and exciting to remember there are still projects, yet to be published, which will have your imprimatur on them, as well as Henry Lauritzen’s design.

 

Five Authors and Hand Puppets

I recently visited Ken Vogel in Madison, Wisconsin to retrieve a set of five authors represented as hand puppets that Ken created from pictures that I gave him. I enclose a photo here, and now I will simply have to practise operating them. It involves the use of the five fingers on the dominant hand. I also have a set of five marionettes, but these definitely require coordination of both hands in manipulating a number of strings attached to an overhead cross stick. A couple of these fellows will serve double duty as characters in the January 2013 dramatic reading of “The Riddle of the Starving Swine” by Gayle Lange Puhl. The final location and time to be announced.

 

My Want List

I have a number of rather large literary projects on the go, both with members of the Editorial Board and with individuals whom I have encountered on the World Wid Web, a truly fascinating mechanism to meet and correspond with people without the involvement of Canada Post or it’s counterparts in other nations. There surely must be a time when these organizatons must go the equivalent of bankrupt, and their service doesn’t improve with age either! In the process of creating a book, or books, I need content; I cannot create an omelette without eggs, the same way a creative writer does. Hence for each project I have a want list of stories, books, magazine appearances, newspaper appearances and or digest appearances. I shall endeavour to list them here by author. This blog entry is a work in progress, and I shall emend and update it, as well as link to it in the future. I shall be eternally grateful, as well as pleased to reimburse the reader for out-of-pocket expenses for any items on these lists that can be supplied, either by e-mail attachment or by the equivalent of that dinosaur Canada Post alluded to above.

“White Slave Girls of East End Chinatown” by Sax Rohmer World’s Pictorial, ca. 1920.

“Wainwright T. Morton and McGarvey” by Donald Barr Chidsey: The Carrion Clue(Dime Detective Magazine Mar 15 1935); The Scar Clue (Dime Detective Magazine June 15, 1935); Once Too Often (Detective Fiction Weekly April 29 1939); The Jawbones of Nightmare Swamp (Detective Fiction Weekly Apr 5 1941)

Henry St. Clair Whitehead: Mechanics of Revision (Writer’s Digest, September 1927); The Project Method (Date unknown); The Occult Story (The Free-Lance Writer’s Annual, 1927)

Fraklin H. Martin: (in collaboration with Edward Agnew for WWI Air Adventure Stories) Lone Eagle (Aces, September 1932); The Cloud Crasher (Wings, August 1932); Dealers in Death (Wings, October1934); God Help the Hun (Wings, January 1935); Song of the Eagle (War Birds, June 1937)

Frederick Nebel:  (in collaboration with Edward Agnew for WWI Air Adventure Stories) Skyrocket Scott (Wings, March 1928); Birdmen of Borneo (Air Stories, September 1927); Bolt From the Blue (Air Stories, October 1928); High-Flying Highbinders (Air Stories, March 1930); South of Saigon (Air Stories, June 1930); Boomerang Barnes (Air Adventures, January 1929); The Scourge of the South Seas (Flying Stories, 3 parts, September–November 1929).

Raoul Whitfield: (in collaboration with Edward Agnew for WWI Air Adventure Stories) The want list consist of 54 stories, instead of an individual list, here is a link to the web page where the entire table of contents can be reviewed and the wanted pulps are highlighted in red.http://www.batteredbox.com/LostTreasures/57-WWIWhitfield.htm

Nictzin Dyalhis:  (In collaboration with Robert Weinberg for The Nictzin Dyalhis Portfolio) The Whirling Machete (Underworld, December 1933)

Seabury Quinn: (In collaboration with Gene Christie from The Case Files of Major Sturdevant) The Washington Nights’ Entertainment: No. 2 Not seen? When V3#4; The Washington Nights’ Entertainment: V4#1; The Washington Nights’ Entertainment: V4#2; The Washington Nights’ Entertainment: No. 3 Not seen; “The Shrine of Seven Lamps” Real Detective Tales, V5#2 (September-October 1924; “No. 9. Voodoo” Real Detective Tales, V5#3 (November 1924)

Baroness Emmuska Oczy: The Miser of Maida Vale (Doran, 1925)

 

Bookmarks for 2011

I borrowed a couple of books from Robert Weinberg of Virgil Findlay’s illustations. I thought there would be something there to create new bookmarks — perhaps 4 per year? — and I was not disappointed. I plan to use them as premiums for book purchases from The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, and they will have a limited run changing every year.

In the process, I had the idea to share the two volumes with my friend John Robert Colombo, because he was in the process of republishing a volume of Supernatural Stories by Canadian authors titled “Not to be Taken at Night.” which will appear later this year. JRC found a number of suitable illustrations for the cover, and the one we decided on “The NIght Road.” Now this story was originally drawn to illustrate the story by August Derleth which appeared in the Weird Tales, May 1952. The story was subsequently collected in Dwellers in Darkness (1976, Arkham House) and again in Volume 2 of The Macabre Quarto in 2009. the the illustration was not included; in hind sight it would have been a good idea to collect all the original magazine illustrations fromt he magazine appearances for the stories in the Macabre Quarto; hind sight is always clearer than foresight! I also selected a striking image for the back cover titled “Other Worlds.”

On the facing page of the Virgil Fndlay volume was another illustration for “Sexton, Sexton, On the Wall” a story by August Derleth which appeared in Weird Tales, January 1953. this story subsequently appeared in Lonesone Places (1966, Akrham House) without an illustration.

Now I pose the quetion — How many other times did Virgil Finlay illustrate the work of August Derleth, and I will leave the answer to the readers of this post, and invite dialogue. I know VF illustrated “Roads” but although that was an Arkham House publication in 1948, it was written by Seabury Quinn.

I attach all three illustrations by VIrgil FInlay, as additiional eye candy for the reader.