Have you ever wanted to own a first-edition H.P. Lovecraft book, to breathe in its sulphurous, deathless pages, preferably while wearing black robes and chanting? Obviously we all do. But only one of us will have the opportunity: Lovecraft’s first edition of his first novel — The Shunned House, 1928 — along with many others, will be going up for auction.
On Oct. 5, auction house PBA Galleries is offering The Daryl Litchfield Collection of Arkham House & H.P. Lovecraft, which contains many eldritch delights. Works of Lovecraft include The Outside and Others, Beyond the Wall of Sleep, and At the Mountains of Madness and Other Stories. This version of The Shunned House has notes from publisher August Derleth, circa 1952.
Books from authors such as Robert Bloch and pulp authors extraordinaire Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith are also up for your fetid, pseudopod-like hands to grab.
There are also books from Derleth, who created publishing house Arkham Press just to spread the dark joy of Lovecraft’s work. Derleth also wrote stories set in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu realm. In fact, it was Derleth, not Lovecraft, who tied Lovecraft’s stories into its own mythology.
Many of books are estimated at $250, with opening bids starting at $130, while some are estimated higher. The opening bid for The Shunned House is a hefty $2,000, but the book is expected to take in $4,000-$6,000. You must register first with PBA Galleries before bidding.
San Franciscans can swing by PBA Galleries for previews of the collection, starting Oct. 2. The rest of us will have to rely on the internet and the dark arts for our information.
To the bidders for Lovecraft’s works, we don’t think the books will summon the Elder Gods. (That would be the Necronomicon.) But if they do, please enjoy the rest of your sanity now while you have the chance.