“The Picture in the House”

With Carmilla, I’ve caught up on my backlog of reviews, so I’m continuing my Lovecraft series until I finish something new.

Raw Feed (2005): “The Picture in the House“, H. P. Lovecraft, 1920.Dunwich Horror and Others

This story demolished a theory I was forming as I worked my through this collection where the stories are not the chronological order of their composition.

I thought that somewhere between his 1923 story “The Rats in the Wall” and his 1925 story “In the Vault“, Lovecraft abandoned vaguely European settings and begin to set things in his native New England.

However, this 1920 story, the earliest I’ve read so far in the collection, is set in New England. While its horror may involve a traditional motif of cannibalism, there are already several characteristic Lovecraft elements here:  evil, degenerate rural New Englanders of Puritan stock; horror revealed through old books and pictures (no mention of the famous Necronomicon yet, though); chunks of New England dialect; and even the fictional geography of the Miskatonic River and Arkham.

 

More reviews of Lovecraft are indexed on the Lovecraft page.

More reviews of fantastic fiction are indexed by title and author/editor.

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