“Mysterious Ship, The“
- Juvenile story (460 words); written 1902. First published in SR;corrected text in Juvenilia: 1897– 1905(1985) and MWA “strange brig” docks at various ports, with the result that various individuals are found to have disappeared. The ship goes all over the world and deposits its kidnapped individuals at the North Pole. At this point HPL relates a “geographical fact” that “At the N. Pole there exists a vast continent composed of volcanic soil, a portion of which is open to explorers. It is called ‘No-Mans Land.’” Some unnamed individuals find the kidnapped individuals, who then go to their respective homes and are showered with honors.HPL has prepared this story as a twelve-page booklet, with the imprint: “The Royal Press. 1902.” He is clearly aiming for dramatic concision: some of the nine chapters of the story are no more than twenty-five words in length. A revised or elaborated version of the story has recently been found in the HPL materials collected by August Derleth at Arkham House. This version (still unpublished) fleshes out each chapter to about seventy-five to one hundred words each, so that the total comes to 780 words, almost twice the length of the original.
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.
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