Rediscovered: Haefele IDs HPL in Medieval France!


Holy Cow! Our pal John D. Haefele went off for a little vacation, and when in France, apparently stepped across a dimensional boundary that put him smackdab into Clark Ashton Smith’s Averoigne — or some weird clime that lies out of space and out of time, where good old H.P. Lovecraft or his ancestors may have hung their hats.

Here’s what Haefele has to say about his find:

Here, finally, may be a clue to a mystery about the whereabouts of HPL in history, the lost interval between Rome’s Republic and that leading to England’s Age of Enlightenment, which Lovecraft himself was unsure of:

As far back as 450 A. D. my retrospective sense adheres alto­gether to Britain; but behind that point — when the scene of my memory becomes Roman — the chain abruptly snaps. Instead of following the various elements of Teutonic and Celtic Ancestry into their northern for­ests and druid groves, my sense of personal identity and locale shifts abruptly to the banks of the Tiber — mourning in the downfall of the Empire and of the old gods, and slipping back to the virile, warlike days of the republic, when the conquering eagles of our consuls were carrying the name and dominion of the Roman people to the uttermost confines of the known world. (HPL to Bernard Austin Dwyer: Nov. 1927)

The European medieval period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and lasted well into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. St. Martin’s Church — where the discovery was made — is the primary Roman Catholic Church in Colmar, France. It was built between 1234 and 1365, in gothic style.

Of especial interest, St. Martin’s replaced a Carolingian church built around 1000 and a later Romanesque church. Apparently that’s when HPL’s image was added to the site.

Let the pilgrimages begin!

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