"At the time of his death in 1937 H. P. Lovecraft was little more than a minor pulp author. He regarded himself as a failure. Three-quarters of a century later he is accepted as a serious figure in American (and World) literature, one whose standing and influence grow almost daily.
But was he 'merely' a writer of horror stories, or was there something more to his works? Were his many weird beings and alien gods purely the products of his imagination, or did Lovecraft tap into some greater and more esoteric truth than the average reader of Weird Tales or Astounding Stories realized?
In H. P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition, John L. Steadman addresses this question headon. Whether Lovecraft was himself a practicing, if covert, occultist, as some devotees believe, or solely a practitioner of the talespinner's art, his works fall clearly within the occult traditions of cultural and even supernatural beliefs stretching back to classical Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia.
Steadman's scholarship is impressive and the revelations in his book may well be as shocking to skeptics (including me!) as they are reassuring to believers. I recommend this book unreservedly to any admirer of Lovecraft, whichever camp the reader may belong to." --Richard A. Lupoff, author of Marblehead: A Novel of H.P. Lovecraft and Lovecraft's Book
"John L. Steadman's book is a welcome contribution to an important and neglected subject. Much nonsense has been written about Lovecraft's involvement with occultism, and Steadman brings a refreshing dose of reason and sanity to the discussion. His thorough understanding of Lovecraft's life, work, and thought, and his impressive grounding in all aspects of the occult tradition make him the ideal scholar to address this controversial topic." --S.T. Joshi, Lovecraft expert/editor of The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
"They say truth is stranger than fiction, but is truth stranger than Lovecraftian fiction? John L. Steadman's indepth look on Lovecraft and the occult proves that it is! A fascinating mix of literary criticism, subaltern history, and occult minutiae, even for nonoccultists like myself." --Nick Mamatas
, author of Move Under Ground
and Love is the Law
"John L. Steadman may well have created the most thorough and accessible study of the occasionally perilous, often credulous, but always fascinating realm where the fictional mythos of H.P. Lovecraft dovetails with occult praxis. H.P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition
exhibits a blend of scholarly insight and literary panache that is sure to please and enlighten both the Initiate and the weird fiction connoisseur." --Richard Gavin
, author of At Fear's Altar
"Steadman has written a perceptive, comprehensive, and admirably balanced study of Lovecraft's connection with occultism. H.P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition
provides an important and valuable contribution to this highly contentious aspect of his life and work." --Paul Roland
, author of The Curious Case of H.P. Lovecraft
"Not just for students of the occult! Lovecraftian horror fans and writers will find this well-researched volume a brisk and fascinating read." --Lon Prater
, author of Head Music
and over a dozen Lovecraftian horror stories
"I am enthralled by this outstanding study. As one who has practiced as a solitary witch, and one who now practices as a weaver of Lovecraftian fiction, I can appreciate this book on many levels. In its approach to biographical matters, it paints an honest portrait of H. P. Lovecraft. A magnificent work!" --W. H. Pugmire
, author of Some Unknown Gulf of Night