- Amateur magazine edited by HPL (1915–23). Rpt. (unabridged) as The Conservative: Complete (Necronomicon Press, 1976, 1977); selections as The Conservative,ed. S.T.Joshi (Necronomicon Press, 1990).The magazine consists of 13 issues: 1, No. 1 (April 1915), 8 pp.; 1, No. 2 (July 1915), 12 pp.; 1, No. 3 (October 1915), 16 pp.; 1, No. 4 (January 1916), 4 pp.; 2, No. 1 (April 1916), 4 pp.; 2, No. 2 (July 1916), 4 pp.; 2, No. 3 (October 1916), 12 pp.; 2, No. 4 (January 1917), 4 pp.; 3, No. 1 (July 1917), 4 pp.; 4, No. 1 (July 1918), 8 pp.; 5, No. 1 (July 1919), 12 pp.; No. 12 (March 1923), 8 pp.; No. 13 (July 1923), 28 pp. [For complete table of contents, see S.T.Joshi, H.P.Lovecraft and Lovecraft Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography (1981), pp. 173–77.]The first issue was printed by an unidentified Providence printer. The next five issues were printed by The Lincoln Press (Albert A.Sandusky), Cambridge, Mass. The next three were printed locally, and W.Paul Cook printed the final four. HPL wrote most of the first three issues himself, but subsequently opened the magazine to prose and poetic contributions by his associates, including Rheinhart Kleiner, Winifred Virginia Jackson, Anne Tillery Renshaw, Alfred Galpin, Samuel Loveman, and others. The issue for July 1916 consists entirely of Henry Clapham McGavack’s essay “The American Proletariat versus England.” Beginning with the October 1916 issue, HPL instituted an editorial column entitled “In the Editor’s Study,” containing some of his most controversial political, social, and literary musings.Rheinhart Kleiner reports on the effect of reading the first issue: “…many were immediately aware that a brilliant new talent had made itself known. The entire contents of the issue, both prose and verse, were the work of the editor, who obviously knew exactly what he wished to say, and no less exactly how to say it. The Conservativetook a unique place among the valuable publications of its time, and held that place with ease through the period of seven or eight years during which it made occasional pronouncements. Its critical pronouncements were relished by some and resented by others, but there was no doubt of the respect in which they were held by all” (“Howard Phillips Lovecraft,” Californian 5, No. 1 [Summer 1937]: 5). But HPL’s contributions to the issues of 1915–19 are on the whole dogmatic, narrow, and intolerant; he was taken heavily to task for his reactionary racial and literary views by such amateurs as Charles D.Isaacson and James F.Morton. The last two issues reveal a significant broadening of intellectual horizons and a more sophisticated appreciation of cultural change, and thereby foreshadow the development of HPL’s aesthetic and moral thought in his last decade.
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.
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