Rare Drawings Reveal H.P. Lovecraft’s Terrifying “Elder Things” for the First Time

“Cosmic Horror” writer H.P. Lovecraft’s classic 1936 horror tale “At the Mountains of Madness” featured some of the most nightmarish alien creations in modern literature. Only referred to as “Elder Things” in the novella, the creatures have remained some of the writer’s most difficult monsters to visualize. Now, through a new exhibition at Brown University, fans will be given a rare glimpse into how exactly Lovecraft intended the the plant-like sentient beings to look.

The Brown University Library, which is home to the largest collection of Lovecraft’s writings and ephemera, is co-sponsoring a two-part exhibition on the “weird fiction” master titled “The Shadow over College Street: H.P. Lovecraft in Providence.” The drawings on view are woven into detailed notes for several stories, including “At the Mountains of Madness,” which Lovecraft wrote while living in the college town.  In collaboration with the Providence Athenaeum, the show will run at the Philbrick Rare Book Room from August 19-September 22, with a satellite show at the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library from August 19-October 24.

—Alanna Martinez

(HP Lovecraft, notes on “At the Mountains of Madness,” 1931. The John Hay Library, Brown University, Image courtesy Slate)

[io9, Slate]