“You are right in your denunciations of unrestricted immigration. You are fortunate in having lived in a district apart from the mongrel swarms.”          Robert E. Howard  to H. P. Lovecraft

Robert E. Howard’s correspondence with H. P. Lovecraft covered weird fiction, history, and current events. One item that came up was immigration.

By the time they began their communication in1930, mass immigration had been shut down. Immigration had been wide open until 1917 when an act implemented a literacy test of basic comprehension in any language for those over age 16. Anyone born in the “Asiatic Barred Zone” was barred excluding Filipinos and Japanese.

A quota system was enacted in early 1921, which was set at three percent of the total population of the foreign-born of each nationality in the United States as recorded in the 1910 census. The total number of visas was set at 350,000 per year.

The 1924 act reduced the quota to two percent based on the population in 1890. The law also traced the origins of the whole of the U.S. population, including natural born citizens. The quotas changed, which increased for the British Isles and Western Europe while reducing Southern and Eastern Europe. Japanese were now excluded which increased tensions between the two nations.

Howard was the first to bring up immigration in a letter from September 1930 to H. P. Lovecraft:

“Thank you very much for the picture of Paul Revere’s home. I note that it is surrounded by stores and shops of Italians. Its a pity that all the landmarks of American history seem to be in the process of being swamped by the tide of foreign invasion. The same process is going on the Gulf Coast, and in the Rio Grande valley country.”

So Howard did not consider himself paisan. Another letter from 1930 had this:

“Your mention of the Italian invasion of New England brings up a phase of American life that always fills me with resentment: that of the overflowing of the country with low-class foreigners.”


Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft on Immigration — Castalia House

H P Lovecraft and Robert E Howard: A Contrast in Horror — Benjamin Cheah


When one thinks of horror in the pulp age, the figure of H P Lovecraft inevitably comes to mind. A doyen in the then-emerging field of weird fiction, he conceived of many modern horror tropes, and through his prodigious works brought to life the genre of cosmic horror. But another pulp giant also contributed immensely to the horror and weird fiction: Robert E Howard.

Hailed as literary geniuses and masters of the craft, Howard and Lovecraft were contemporaries who contributed to some of the same publications. They struck up a correspondence, discussing everything from politics to religion to writing, and exchanged ideas and themes which echo on in their works. Indeed, Howard set some of his horror stories within the Cthulhu Mythos, such as The Fire of Ashurbanipal.

Despite that, however, both men brought radically different worldviews to their writing. Lovecraft writes of the insignificance of man in an indifferent cosmos populated by unfathomable beings of immense powers, knowledge of which would surely shatter the mortal mind; Howard believes in a moral universe, where the strong, courageous and virtuous prevail over even the deadliest and foulest of eldritch abominations.


H P Lovecraft and Robert E Howard: A Contrast in Horror — Benjamin Cheah

A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard — H P Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard are two of the titans of weird fiction of their era. Dominating the pages of Weird Tales in the 1920’s and 1930’s they have gained worldwide followings for their compelling writings and also for the very different lives they led. The two writers came in touch in 1930, when Howard wrote to Lovecraft via Weird Tales. A rich and vibrant correspondence immediately ensued. Both writers were fascinated with the past, especially the history of Roman and Celtic Britain, and their letters are full of intriguing discussions of contemporary theories on this subject.

Gradually, a new discussion came to the fore—a complex dispute over the respective virtues of barbarism and civilisation, the frontier and settled life, and the physical and the mental. Lovecraft, a scion of centuries-old New England, and Howard, a product of recently settled Texas, were diametrically opposed on these and other issues, and each writes compellingly of his beliefs, attitudes, and theories. The result is a dramatic debate—livened by wit, learning, and personal revelation—that is as enthralling as the fiction they were writing at the time.

In [the] second volume of the letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, the two authors continue their wide-ranging discussion of such central issues as the relative value of barbarism and civilization, the virtues of the frontier and of settled city life, and other related issues. Lovecraft regales Howard with his extensive travels up and down the eastern seaboard, including trips to Quebec, Florida, and obscure corners of New England, while Howard writes engagingly of his own travels through the lonely stretches of Texas. Each has great praise for the other’s writings in Weird Tales and elsewhere, and each conducts searching discussions of literature, philosophy, politics, and economics in the wake of the depression and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s election. World affairs, including the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, also engage their attention.


A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard — H P Lovecraft


Lovecraft – After Dark — Myth of the 20th Century — Vermont Follk Troth

Lovecraft on immigration, culture — The Old Inheritance — Vermont Folk Troth

H.P.Lovecraft on Vermont — Vermont Folk Troth

Remembering H. P. Lovecraft: August 20, 1890–March 15, 1937 — Counter-Currents Publishing — Vermont Folk Troth

On maintaining roots — The Old Inheritance — Vermont Folk Troth

Through the Looking Glass — Undead Author Society — Vermont Folk Troth