The Shunned House [title on supplied typewritten title-page]. [Athol, Mass.: The Recluse Press, 1928]
In 8s (8 1/2 x 5 3/4 in.; 216 x 146 mm). Supplied frontispiece and title-page by Lovecraft and printed loose sheets (of the short story only; lacks the printed title-page, copyright page, dedication leaf and preface), bound with two brass clasps in wrappers fashioned from a portion of a manila file folder; tear at upper left corner of front cover.
A unique presentation copy of Lovecraft's celebrated "stillborn first 'book'" (Joshi), inscribed on the first page of text, "To Richard Ely Morse, Esq., with the compliments of H. P. Lovecraft."
W. Paul Cook, the publisher of this book, had wanted to publish Tthe Shunned House" in the first issue of his periodical The Recluse, but found the story's length daunting. Instead he printed approximately 300 copies of the story (with preface by Frank Belknap Long, Jr.), but bound none. Some copies were later bound by R. H. Barlow and others by Arkham House.
For this presentation copy, Lovecraft has created a typed title-page, giving the year the story was written (1924) rather than the year of attempted publication (1928). He has created a handmade frontispiece with a tipped-in newspaper photo of the famous house (torn at the bottom corners). In addition, he has dispensed with all of Cook's preliminaries.
Richard Ely Morse was a poet and librarian introduced to Lovecraft by Samuel Loveman in 1932. A "brisk correspondence … ensued" (Joshi and Schultz).
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