If we’re celebrating John D. Haefele’s landmark article on Modern Arkham House Ephemera in the September/October issue of Firsts (with the checklist of items to follow soon in the November/December issue) — and we are — then how about bringing out the Big Gun?
For Autograph Hound Super-Sunday check out the ownership inscription by none other than H. P. Lovecraft in a Dr. Syntax volume from his library. No Lovecraft, no Arkham House — no Arkham House ephemera.
Haefele says, “Something of possible interest from my files.
“On August 29, 1936 HPL wrote Henry Kuttner, ‘I enjoyed yours of Aug. 14, & am very grateful for the glimpse of the Combe-Rowlandson ‘Dance of Death’. These quaint early 19th century products have always held a particular charm for me — ‘Dr. Syntax’ having been encountered at an early age. I wish I had acquired a whole set of these red-covered reprints when they were cheap. As it is, I have only the first ‘Syntax’ book.”
The item entry from Lovecraft’s Library: A Catalogue (Fourth Edition):
941. Syntax, Doctor [pseud. of William Combe (1742-1823)]. The Tour of Doctor Syntax in Search of the Picturesque. <1812> New ed. New York: D. Appleton & Co, 1903. 266 pp. … Poem.