Courtesy an eagle-eyed bud of mine, ever perched over eBay, I landed a couple of Items of Arkham House ephemera I needed just a couple of days ago.
If you consult the list I did of the classic era Derleth-Wandrei ephemera in the October 2002 issue of Firsts: The Book Collector’s Magazine, you’ll see that the postcard from 1951 announcing The Dark Chateau by Clark Ashton Smith is no. 34 — the card for Three Problems for Solar Pons — no. 37 — came out in 1952.
The 1950s was a bleak decade for Arkham House and the other specialty genre publishers, but August Derleth pulled every trick out of the hat to keep it going, and survived.
(Notice that Derleth throws in a plug for The Double Shadow by CAS — some time back when I was talking with Scott Connors about the biography of Smith he is working on, he had to admit new respect for Derleth for constantly doing promo for CAS. And anyone with a brain can see that Derleth gave CAS prominence in the Arkham list second only to Lovecraft. Now I guess the question becomes: Will Scott ever do his bit to get that bio finished and out into the world?)
Those list numbers are about to change. John D. Haefele and I are plugging merrily away on a full book on the Classic Ephemera. Glancing at the hand notations in my working copy of Firsts, I see at least ten Items that need to be added in — which will bump The Dark Chateau card up to at least 44, and Three Problems to 47.
We will, of course, report what the current numbers were when cited in Firsts — and also in that Ur reference source, The Phil Mays Collection of Arkham House Ephemerae.