“The Last Test”

The Lovecraft series with another one of his heavy, i.e. “primary” revisions.

This one has a tie to another frequent subject of this blog: Ambrose Bierce.  De Castro and Bierce collaborated on one work (which I have not read): “The Monk and the Hangman’s Daughter”.

Raw Feed (2005): “The Last Test”, Adolphe de Castro [and H. P. Lovecraft], 1928.hm

This story has a curious pedigree.

It originally showed up in an 1893 collection of Castro, and then, says S. T. Joshi, Lovecraft rewrote it completely.

The original plot skeleton explains the presence of a woman character and a frustrated romance between the Governor of California and the sister of a mad scientist — both elements very untypical of Lovecraft.

But some of the Cthulhu gods are mentioned, and I suspect the presence of Surama and the Thibetans is a Lovecraft addition.

I liked the idea that the black fever may have extraterresterial orgins.  The vernacular and language of the tale is more mainstream than a lot of Lovecraft.

I’m curious if Lovecraft did his revisions quicker and with less care than stuff appearing under his own name or if he tried to match the style of his client.

 

More Lovecraft related reviews are on the Lovecraft page.

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

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