Description[H. P. Lovecraft] Archive of Letters from Lovecraft Protégé Alfred Galpin to Samuel Loveman, both of "The Lovecraft Circle."
Alfred Galpin, a professor of French and Italian at The University of Wisconsin - Madison, and H. P. Lovecraft corresponded often in the early decades of the twentieth century. Lovecraft thought well of the young Galpin, remarking that "He is intellectually exactly like me save in degree. In degree he is immensely my superior-he is what I should like to be but have not brains enough to be." The archive presented here is composed of the following manuscript material, all from Alfred Galpin to fellow Lovecraft correspondent and friend, Samuel Loveman dated between 1971 and 1976.
Typed Letter Signed "Alf Galpin", two pages, 8.5" x 11", February 23-24, 1971, plain paper. In this letter, Galpin mentions not only Lovecraft, but Frank Belknap Long, Donald Wandrei, Clark Ashton Smith, and August Derleth. Galpin writes toward the end of the letter that "You were never like me and Howard [Lovecraft] in the matter of talking about yourself, as we always love(d) to talk of ourselves..." Accompanying this letter is a photocopy of Galpin's "Memories of a Friendship", previously published by Arkham House in 1959.
Typed Letter Signed "Alf", two pages, 8.5" x 11", March 21, 1971, plain paper. Galpin thanks Loveman for responding to his earlier letter, and writes that "I never did really know you in New York but I get the impression of you as very much of a recluse..."
Typed Letter Signed "Alf ", with envelope, one page, 8.5" x 11", March 22, 1971, plain paper. Galpin writes near the end, "As to Howard, I have the same feeling, complicated by the fact that by 1922 I was already outgrowing my taste for the macabre. However, he was such a grand guy that in some tales - and in so many letters - his genius for pouring it out (not just 'pouring it on') triumphed over verbosity.
Typed Letter Signed "Alf", three pages, 8.5" x 11", March 27, 1971, plain paper. "Derleth has made everything on HPL available to Brown U. (without charge of course) and I'm doing the same, at least with Xeroxes, for my own papers. Accompanying this letter is Galpin's translation of French poet Arthur Rimbaud's "The Drunken Boat", which Galpin has inscribed to Loveman.
Typed Letter Signed "Alf", with envelope, one page, 8.5" x 11", April 3, 1971, plain paper. In this letter, Galpin speaks of some dealings with specialty publisher Roy Squires. Also includes a telegram from Galpin to Loveman.
Typed Letter Signed "Alf", one page, 8.5" x 11", April 13, 1971, plain paper. Interestingly, in this letter, Galpin discourages Loveman from offering some of his "treasures" at auction, presumably Lovecraft-related material.
Typed Letter Signed "Alf", with envelope, two pages, 8.5" x 11", April 27, 1971, plain paper. Galpin mentions Derleth, de la Ree, Clark Ashton Smith, Rimbaud, and Lovecraft.
Typed Letter Signed "Alf", with envelope, one page, 8.5" x 11", May 11, 1971, plain paper. Similar content to some previous letters, including a discussion of Rimbaud.
Typed Letter Signed "Alfred Galpin", one page, 8.5" x 11", July 5, 1971, plain paper, to Mrs. Wodicka, Samuel Loveman's sister. Interesting content, as Galpin writes "...we are all fifty years older and it becomes important to keep in touch in case one of us leaves the scene, as happened yesterday to another old friend, the writer August Derleth, known well to Sam. Heart attack."
Typed Letter Signed "Alf", two pages, 5.75" x 7.75", November 8, 1971, plain paper. Galpin admonishing Loveman on over-exerting himself, and encouraging him to "take quarters where you can live in quiet."
Signed Photograph "Alf", February 1971, black and white, inscribed by Galpin to Loveman.
Typed Letter Signed "Alfred Galpin", one page, 8.25" x 5.5", January 16, 1972, plain paper, to Mrs. Wodicka, Samuel Loveman's sister. Condolences to Loveman's sister on "Sam's latest relapse."
Typed Letter Signed "Alf", one page, 8.5" x 11", January 25, 1972, plain paper. Another encouraging letter from Galpin to Loveman regarding the latter's health.
Typed Letter Signed "Alf", with envelope, two pages, 6" x 7", February 14, 1972, plain paper. Galpin asks that Loveman keep in touch, even though Loveman is soon to have surgery that will "put you out of circulation as far as letter-writing is concerned."
Typed Letter Signed "Alf Galpin", with envelope, one page, 8.5" x 11", October 24, 1973, plain paper. Galpin wonders how Loveman's health is, writing "Dear friend, do try to get me some word about you."
Typed Letter Signed "Alfred", with envelope, two pages, 8.5" x 9", February 3, 1974, plain paper. Galpin writes of James Merritt, potential biographer of Lovecraft: "...I know nothing about his - pardon the pun - possible merit as a biographer or critic of Lovecraft..."
Typed Letter Signed "Alf Galpin", with envelope, one page, 8.5" x 11", October 20-21, 1974, plain paper. Interesting comment regarding Lovecraft's writing: "After making a few perfunctory stabs in the direction of a possible publisher for a memoir that might involve, as a major factor, our old friend H.P.L., I am more convinced than ever that this Cthulhu stuff is not my dish."
Typed Letter Signed "Alf Galpin", with envelope, two pages, 8.5" x 11", May 7, 1976, plain paper. This amazing letter is almost exclusively devoted to H. P. Lovecraft, with Galpin pleading with Loveman to reconsider his opinion of Lovecraft, with whom Loveman became quite disillusioned after he learned of Lovecraft's anti-semitism. Here, Galpin quotes from several letters of Lovecraft's, and argues that Lovecraft often did not mean what he said in the way that it was ultimately interpreted. Galpin describes Lovecraft's "diatribes" as "exclusively verbal and abstract."
Overall, the letters are in fine condition or better, with the usual mailing folds. Most of the letters have handwritten corrections by Galpin himself, and a few of them have one of Galpin's address labels affixed beneath the signature. A truly fascinating collection of letters from one close Lovecraft friend to another. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.
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