A definitive edition of stories by the master of supernatural fiction Howard Phillips Lovecraft's unique contribution to American literature was a melding of traditional supernaturalism (derived chiefly from Edgar Allan Poe) with the genre of science fiction that emerged in the early 1920s. This Penguin Classics edition brings together a dozen of the master's tales-from his early short stories Under the Pyramids (originally ghostwritten for Harry Houdini) and The Music of Erich Zann (which Lovecraft ranked second among his own favorites) through his more fully developed works, The Dunwich Horror, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and At the Mountains of Madness. The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Storiespresents the definitive corrected texts of these works, along with Lovecraft critic and biographer S. T. Joshi's illuminating introduction and tes to each story. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and tes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
H. P. Lovecraftwas born in 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island, where he lived most of his life. Frequent illnesses in his youth disrupted his schooling, but Lovecraft gained a wide knowledge of many subjects through independent reading and study. He wrote many essays and poems early in his career, but gradually focused on the writing of horror stories, after the advent in 1923 of the pulp magazineWeird Tales, to which he contributed most of his fiction. His relatively small corpus of fiction three short novels and about sixty short stories has nevertheless exercised a wide influence on subsequent work in the field, and he is regarded as the leading twentieth-century American author of supernatural fiction. H. P. Lovecraft died in Providence in 1937. S. T. Joshiis a freelance writer and editor. He has edited Penguin Classics editions of H. P. Lovecraft sThe Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories(1999), andThe Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories(2001), as well as Algernon Blackwood sAncient Sorceries and Other Strange Stories(2002). Among his critical and biographical studies areThe Weird Tale(1990), Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination(1995), H. P. Lovecraft: A Life(1996), andThe Modern Weird Tale(2001). He has also edited works by Ambrose Bierce, Arthur Machen, and H. L. Mencken, and is compiling a three-volumeEncyclopedia of Supernatural Literature. He lives with his wife in Seattle, Washington.