- Publisher: Dover Publications, Inc.
- Publication Date: 1973
- ISBN: 9780486201054
H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937), the most important American supernaturalist since Poe, has had an incalculable influence on all the horror-story writing of recent decades. With incisive penetration and power, Lovecraft here formulates the aesthetics of supernatural horror, and summarizes in masterful fashion the range of its literary expression from primitive folklore to the tales of his own 20th-century masters.
Following a discussion of terror-literature in ancient, medieval and renaissance culture, he launches on a critical survey of the whole history of horror fiction from the Gothic school of the 18th century (when supernatural horror finally found its own genre) to the time of De la Mare and M. R. James. The Castle of Otranto, Radcliffe, "Monk" Lewis, Fathek, Charles Brockden Brown, Melmoth the Wanderer, Frankenstein, Bulwer-Lytton, Fongué's Undine, Wuthering Heights, Poe (an entire chapter), The House of the Seven Gables, de Maupassant's Horla, Bierce, The Turn of the Screw, M. P. Shiel, W. H. Hodgson, Machen, Blackwood, and Dunsany are among the authors and works discussed in depth. Lovecraft also notices a host of lesser supernatural writers — enough to draw up an extensive reading list.