Juvenile Works: Science


Juvenile Works: Science
   Aside from The Scientific Gazette, The Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy,and Astronomy/The Monthly Almanack,HPL wrote numerous other periodicals and treatises on chemistry, astronomy, and other subjects prior to 1908.
   Of chemical treatises, four survive: Chemistry, Chemistry, Magic & Electricity(presumably Chemistry II), Chemistry III,and Chemistry IV . In a catalogue of his works at the back of Poemata Minora, Volume 2(1902), HPL noted a series of chemistry books in six volumes; these are presumably the first four. There are also two separate treatises, The Art of Fusion Melting Pudling & Castingand A Good Anaesthetic.Nonextant treatises include: Iron Working; Acids; Explosives;and Static Electricity Of astronomical treatises, there is one issue of The Planet(1, No. 1, August 29, 1903); My Opinion as to the lunar canals(dated 1903); Annals of the Providence Observatory, Vol. 1: Observations of a General Character During 1903(1904); and Providence Observatory: Forecast for Providence & Vicinity Next 24h(a forecast for April 4–5, 1904). There are three surviving volumes of a series of monographs under the general title “The Science Library”: 1. Naked Eye Selenography;2. The Telescope;5. On Saturn and His Ring.The six missing volumes are: 3. Life of Galileo;4. Life ofHerschel (revised);6. Selections from Author’s “Astronomy”;7. The Moon, Part I;8. The Moon, Part II;9. On Optics.
   Several early treatises (nonextant) testify to HPL’s devotion to geography, specifically his fascination with Antarctica: Antarctic Atlas, Voyages of Capt. Ross, R.N.,and Wilkes’s Explorations. The last treatise was extant as late as 1936, as HPL sent it to C.L.Moore, who returned it to HPL after seeing it (see SL5.237).
   Of miscellaneous treatises there is extant one issue of The Railroad Review(1, No. 1, December 1901). Nonextant are such works as Mythology for the Young(possibly a condensation of Bulfinch’s Age of Fable,which HPL read around the age of five), Egyptian Myths,and two historical treatises: Early Rhode Islandand An Historical Account of Last Year’s War with SPAIN(1899). In 1905 HPL produced one of his most substantial juvenile works: A Manual of Roman Antiquities . In the Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy(July 30, 1905) HPL gives an outline of the work, stating that it will also contain “biographies of certain great Romans”; but a notice in the Rhode Island Journalof August 13, 1905, states that the volume is ready but that the biographies could not be included. The work does not survive.
   Also nonextant is A Brief Course in Astronomy—Descriptive, Practical, and Observational; for Beginners and General Readers(1906), of which HPL states: “it got as far as the typed and handillustrated stage (circa one hundred and fifty pages)” ( SL5.141). One part of the work appears to be extant in AHT, under the title Celestial Objects for All. Its preface declares that “The greater part of this work is also printed in ‘A Brief Course in Astronomy’ by the same author.”
   HPL’s juvenile scientific work culminates in A Brief Course in Inorganic Chemistry (1910), written during his “recluse” phase of 1908–13, when he was taking correspondence courses in chemistry. HPL only describes it as a “bulky manuscript” ( SL1.75), and we know nothing more about it.

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .

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