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Midnight Rambles

H. P. Lovecraft in Gotham

A micro-biography of horror fiction’s most influential author and his love-hate relationship with New York City. Coming November 2023.

By the end of his life and near financial ruin, pulp horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft resigned himself to the likelihood that his writing would be forgotten. Today, Lovecraft stands alongside J. R. R. Tolkien as the most influential genre writer of the twentieth century. His reputation as an unreformed racist and bigot, however, leaves readers to grapple with his legacy. Midnight Rambles: H. P. Lovecraft in Gotham explores Lovecraft’s time in New York City, a crucial yet often overlooked chapter in his life that shaped his literary career and the inextricable racism in his work.

Author David J. Goodwin presents a chronological micro-biography of Lovecraft’s New York years, emphasizing Lovecraft’s exploration of the city environment, the greater metropolitan region, and other locales and how they molded him as a writer and as an individual. Drawing from primary sources (letters, memoirs, and published personal reflections) and secondary sources (biographies and scholarship), Midnight Rambles develops a portrait of a talented and troubled author and offers insights into his unsettling beliefs on race, ethnicity, and immigration.

Publisher: Fordham Press

Published: 2023
ISBN: 9781531504410
Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 22 b/w illustrations


Goodwin builds his scrupulous account on a thorough reading of Lovecraft’s letters and diaries, and the unsparing portrait that emerges, while unflattering, offers keen insight into his character.

- Publisher's Weekly

Midnight Rambles is a clear and comprehensive discussion of Lovecraft’s controversial New York period.

- Carl Sederholm, Brigham Young University

Meticulously researched, carefully documented, and clearly written, David J. Goodwin’s Midnight Rambles: H. P. Lovecraft in Gotham offers an intimate and even-handed portrait of the fascinating—if problematic—author’s time in New York City. Refuting some myths while confirming others, Goodwin’s biographical study productively supplements the existing literature and helps us better understand both the man and his work.

- Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, author of Gothic Things: Dark Enchantment and Anthropocene Anxiety

A brief, but amazingly thorough discussion of Lovecraft’s biography. . . Very accessible.

- W. Scott Poole, author of Dark Carnivals: Modern Horror and the Origins of American Empire

David Goodwin illuminates a pivotal period in Lovecraft’s career, the two eventful years in New York City that began with hope and ended in despair. This accessible book offers new insights into Lovecraft’s marriage and other relationships, his ambitions, anxieties, and prejudices. Drawing on extensive research and a sharp critical eye, Goodwin has made a major contribution to our understanding of this troubled and troubling writer.

- Scott Peeples, author of The Man of the Crowd: Edgar Allan Poe and the City

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