“The Horror at Martin’s Beach”

The Lovecraft series continues, but we’ve moved into what Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi calls “secondary revisions”, stories where Lovecraft’s hand is light.

Yes, it’s that Sonia H. Greene, the future Mrs. Lovecraft.

The inspiration for the story was Lovecraft and Greene strolling the beach at Magnolia, Massachusetts one evening in 1922.

The two, under a full moon hear a “peculiar and unusual noise … a loud snorting and grunting” with a rope connecting the submerged piles. Greene suggested the view could inspire an “interesting weird tale”. Lovecraft demurred and said Greene should write it, “Tell me what the scene pictures to your imagination”.”

So she stayed up that night and wrote a “general outline” which Lovecraft revised and edited.

Joshi says in H. P. Lovecraft: A Life the “wild and improbable story” of Greene’s was propped up with Lovecraft’s “typical verbal flamboyance.”

Raw Feed (2005): “The Horror at Martin’s Beach”, Sonia H. Greene [and H. P. Lovecraft], 1922.hm

It’s not a bad story.

It has, in its account of a sea monster fatally hypnotizing the men trying to drag it to shore by ropes and dragging them to their deaths in the sea, a certain weirdness which is perhaps spoiled by a rather explicit description of one of the monster’s relative in the beginning of the story.

I feel comfortable stating that he definitely wrote the penultimate paragraph which shows, in this 1922 story, typical Lovecraftian vocabulary.


More reviews of Lovecraft related titles are indexed on the Lovecraft page.

More reviews of fantastic fiction are indexed by title and author/editor.

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