THE HASHEESH EATER: BEING PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF A PYTHAGOREAN. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square, 1857. 12mo, pp. [i-v] vi-viii [ix] x-xiv  16-365 [366: blank] -371: appendix [372 blank], flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated brown cloth, front and rear panels stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in gold, yellow coated endpapers. First edition. Formerly, H. P. Lovecraft's copy, signed "H. P. Lovecraft" and dated "1925" on front free endpaper; above this is the note, in HPL's hand, "From Samuel Loveman, Esq." and, opposite, on the front paste-down, is written out in the same hand the book's title and author. One of the classics of drug literature, by an interesting figure of mid-nineteenth-century Bohemian New York, his first book, published anonymously when he was 21. Sam Loveman, a minor turn-of-the-century poet who became a NYC bookseller, was a longtime friend of Lovecraft and also a friend of Hart Crane. The double association here adds a special perspective on the book. Loveman was born on the thirtieth anniversary of its publication. Lovecraft died on its eightieth. In a 1927 letter to Bernard Austin Dwyer, HPL notes proudly his possession of this special copy of a special book. "Have I read Fitzhugh Ludlow's Hasheesh-Eater? Why, Sir, I possess it upon mine own shelves; and wou'd not part with it for any inducement whatever! I ... have frequently reread those phantasmagoria of exotic colour, which proved more of a stimulant to my own fancy than any vegetable alkaloid ever grown and distilled ... The reeling panoramas out of space and time have an unmistakable tinge of authenticity, and even the metaphysical speculations were far from arid." Later, in the same letter, he acknowledges the gulf between his politics and Loveman's, while affirming their friendship. "Great Scott -- if Loveman and I judged each other by our ideas, we'd have long ago suffered the fate of the Kilkennny cats. According to my social and political theories, he ought to be shot or in gaol, whilst according to his, I ought to be guillotined! But since we deal in art and not in ideas, we get along with the utmost cordiality" (Selected Letters, II, pp. 118-19). Some years after Lovecraft's death, in the bitter context of the Holocaust, Loveman felt unable to look the other way at HPL's frequently-voiced anti-Semitic views (however cordial he may have been in person with Jewish friends), and burnt all of his letters, a not insignificant holocaust of his own, leaving this as one of the few testimonials to their friendship. Joshi, Lovecraft's Library: A Catalogue, Revised & Enlarged (2002) 556. Wright (III) 1592. As is often the case with books from Lovecraft's library, the physical condition is rather poor. Shallow chipping to cloth at spine ends, small chip from spine near title lettering, several signatures strengthened. (#129190).
No statement of printing.