THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH. Everett, Pennsylvania: Visionary Publishing Co., 1936. Octavo, [1-12] 13-158 [159-176: blank], illustrations by Frank A. Utpatel, original black cloth, front and spine panels stamped in silver. First edition. A publisher's "check" copy, several of which were sent to a select group of early readers and reviewers. This copy has title on front panel stamped in upper and lower case letters which is considered to be the earliest binding. The errata leaf and printed dust jacket, prepared after publication according to Crawford, do not accompany this copy. This copy differs from other early copies: The first signature of eight blank leaves is not bound into this copy, and the second signature (in this copy the first signature is 16 leaves rather that the usual 20 leaves: the half title leaf and title leaf are canceled (the stubs are still visible), the copyright leaf is used as the front paste-down and the leaf with the frontispiece is pasted to it. This is a historic copy. It was given by the printer/publisher William L. Crawford to Wilson H. Shepherd, an early fan editor/publisher and Lovecraft correspondent, 1932-1937. After Lovraft's death Shepherd published Lovecraft's A HISTORY OF THE NECRONOMICON in a tiny edition in 1938. Shepherd offered to sell the book to collector Frank Halpern who accepted the offer and purchased it. The book's history is given in a letter from Shepherd to Halpern dated 6 May 1978 as follows:"At the request of Dr. Dirk Mosig herewith [an] outline of [the] history of my copy of [THE] SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH by H. P. Lovecraft:The copy I have is in fairly good condition.It was one of the first 8 or 10 'copies' made-up after the final press run, or what we call a printed dummy, made up to see how the finished product might appear and to allow a check for any errors in page numbers, signatures and so on.As is usual in such cases these copies were distributed to various interested people. In this case I had been doing so business with Crawford (the publisher) for some time, and had been in touch with his projected book ventures and so on, and consequently received a copy for 'comment.'These first few were not as well put together as the regular production run, and lack several of the finished book's features: no dust jacket (wasn't even printed at the time) and in fact I didn't know that one was ever put on, no errata sheet (this followed after HPL had made his usual keen reading of the finished book) and so on -- in fact no title page, copyright notice and so on.If you are interested in this copy, you have first chance at it subject to prior sale."Also present are two handwritten letters from printer/publisher William L. Crawford, dated 22 June 1978 and 5 July 1978 respectively, regarding the book and other matters. This was Lovecraft's first published book, preceded by THE SHUNNED HOUSE (1928) that was printed, but not circulated beyond a tiny circle of Lovecraft's friends. Publisher William H. Crawford has stated that approximately 400 copies were printed, of which about 200 were bound, and the remainder destroyed at a later date. "A fine story of supernatural adventure and discovery, despite the unfortunate surprise ending which does much to spoil what went on before." - Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 1039. Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, p. 272. Survey of Modern Fantasy Literature IV, pp. 1624-26. In 333. See Barron (ed), Horror Literature 3-132. See Tymn (ed), Horror Literature 4-160. Bleiler (1978), p. 127. Reginald 09259. Joshi I-A-11. Cloth spotted and rubbed, binding leaned, small tear in cloth on spine panel, publisher's imprint on spine panel dull, chip from lower fore-edge of pages 93-94 just touching a word at the end of the last line on each page, a good copy. Enclosed in a custom cloth clamshell box with Halpern's library label affixed to the inner front cover. An important copy of this seminal book. (#158843).
No statement of printing on copyright page.