Description

    [H. P. Lovecraft]. The Tryout Magazine. Complete Set of Issues from 1920-1923. Haverhill, Massachusetts: C. W. Smith, [1920-1923].
    Another fabulous collection of early Lovecraft, this collection consists of all issues of The Tryout published between 1920-1923. All measure approximately 4.5 x 6 inches. The issues present here for each year are as follows:

    1920: Full year: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December. This complete run of 1920 is bound by the publisher in stiff green wrappers. Covers detached.

    1921: Full year (as published): February, March, June, July, August, September, October, November, December. Front cover detached.

    1922: Full year (as published): [February, March, and May 1922 bound with the 1921 issues]. July, August, and September.

    1923: Full year (as published): [January, February, March, April, August, July (1933 [sic]), November, December]. All of 1923 bound with July, August, and September 1922 in plain green wrappers. Some of the text in the 1922 and 1923 issues clipped at the bottom edge by the publisher, as The Tryout was famous for less than professional construction, evidenced further by the July 1923 issue being labeled as 1933.

    The Tryout
    was an amateur press journal published from 1914-1946 by Charles W. Smith of Haverhill, Massachusetts, and was connected to the National Amateur Press Association. Smith was a friend and correspondent of H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and other famous amateur press fanatics. Tryout was the first outlet for many of Lovecraft's short stories, namely "The Cats of Ulthar" (November 1920), "The Terrible Old Man" (July 1921), "The Tree" (October 1921), and "In the Vault" (November 1925). In fact, Smith provided the plot idea for "In the Vault". Tryout also published a number of non-fiction articles and several poems by Lovecraft. The publication was noted for its typographical errors, which Lovecraft referred to as "tryoutisms". Additionally, Lovecraft published a number of pieces under various pseudonyms, such as Lewis Theobald, Jr., Edward Softly, Ames Dorrance Rowley, Ward Phillips, Lawrence Appleton, and Alexander Ferguson Blair, and Henry Paget-Lowe, among others.

    Lovecraft published many poems, articles, and short pieces in The Tryout between 1920 and 1923. Those written as H. P. Lovecraft include "Looking Backward" (February 1920); "Looking Backward II" (March 1920); "Looking Backward III" (April 1920); "Looking Backward III. Continued [IV]" (May 1920); "Looking Backward V" (June 1920); "A Boiling Caldron of Amateur Enthusiasm!" (July 1920); "The Cats of Ulthar" (November 1920); "The Terrible Old Man" (July 1921); "The Haverhill Convention" (July 1921); and "The Tree" (October 1921).

    Articles by Lovecraft writing under various pseudonyms can also be found in this collection. They are: "To Phillis" (January 1920) as Lewis Theobald, Jun.; "Tryout's Lament for the Vanished Spider" (January 1920) as Edward Softly; "Cindy: Scrub-Lady in a State Street Skyscraper" (June 1920) as L. Theobald, Jun.; "On a Grecian Colonnade in a Park" (September 1920) as Henry Paget-Lowe; "The Dream" (September 1920) as Edward Softly; "October" (October 1920) as Henry Paget-Lowe; "Christmas" (November 1920) as Edward Softly; "To Alfred Galpin, Esq." (December 1920) as Lewis Theobald, Jun.; "To Mr. Hoag, On His Ninetieth Birthday, Feb. 10, 1921" (February 1921) as Ward Phillips; "To a Youth" (February 1921) as Richard Raleigh; "To Mr. Galpin, Upon His 20th Birthday, November 8, 1921" (December 1921) as L. Theobald Jun.; "Sir Thomas Tryout" (December 1921) as Ward Phillips; "On a Poet's Ninety-First Birthday" (March 1922) as Lewis Theobald, Jun.; "To Rheinhart Kleiner, Esq." (April 1923) as Lewis Theobald, Jun.; "Chloris and Damon" (June 1923) as Edward Softly; "To Damon" (August 1923) as L. Theobald, Jun.; and "To J. E. Hoag, Esq." (November 1923) as L. Theobald, Jun.

    Also, a tribute to Lovecraft can be found in the January 1920 issue in a poem written by Eugene B. Kuntz entitled "The Old and the New (To H. P. Lovecraft)", and Lovecraft is mentioned in several articles throughout the collection, most by the recurring Tryout columnist "Dame Gossip."

    Overall, the issues are in very good condition, and an absolute must for any Lovecraft completist, or anyone interested in the amateur press craze of the early 20th century. Very difficult to find complete runs of The Tryout for any year, much less four years worth!


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