The Limbonaut






     In 1976 Raymond Williams authored a book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. It reflected on certain words as central to understanding civilization, each word receiving its own essayistic exegesis. Were this premise applied to Lovecraft, I propose the following keywords, and have followed them with focusing descriptions to justify their inclusion; a legitimate version, however, should have essays of at least a page’s length. Most words are abstract and conceptual rather than concrete. Some entries may have too much overlap, and could be combined.


Adjective: Whether or not used to excess, this is arguably the most important part of speech in his stories.

Adventurous Expectancy: A phrase that encompasses something of great emotional value to him, and is a low-profile engine embedded in his fiction.

Alienation: “The Outsider” is the most obvious example, but the idea of a character who represents the Other appears in stories from “The Tomb” to “The Shadow out of Time”.

Amateurism: His creed concerning art, expressed in his letters, essays, and more subtly in his stories.

The Arts: Music, painting, sculpture feature in several stories.

Atheism: Its relation to a mechanistic universe and its effect on his fiction is worth exploring.

Atmosphere: Its emotional effect is perhaps the most important goal of his fiction.

Beauty: He stated that he worshipped beauty, and discussions of aesthetics are scattered throughout his letters.

Books: The ur-book, the Necronomicon, is a means of establishing a scholarly apparatus and validates the machinery of magic.

Chaos: An ultimate horror that is the opposite of the eighteenth-century’s concept of rationality and order.

Civilization: One of the most esteemed values for him.

Cosmicism: The feeling of infinity makes for man’s insignificant place in the cosmos.

The Dead: Their revival is a way to recreate life, learn about the past, and cross into a forbidden realm.

Decadence: What happens to civilizations and the arts they produce. He was born in the midst of the decadent movement, reflected in such writing as “The Hound”.

Eighteenth Century: An era idealized by HPL and influential on his style and manners.

Eldritch: Along with such words as “gibbous” and “rugose”, this is an example of a vocabulary objected to by underread “critics”.

Evil: A term frequently used in his writing to evoke horror--but what does it mean?

Evolution: Thematically, especially as related to atavism, this is  common in a number of his tales.

Friendship: Through correspondence and face-to-face this showed his social side and did a lot to bolster his literary survival, thanks to his friends.

Gods: Beings that evolved from classical and Dunsanian myth to worshipped aliens.

Gothic: A literary and emotional approach in his writing and outlook that is interwoven with horror (q. v.).

Horror: The demotic term, inexact though it may be, for the sense of dread that determines the success of a story in a genre considered by too many as déclassé.

Indescribability: Ironically, a rhapsody of words are used to depict the failure of words as if for a transcendental experience.

Knowledge: Not his, but how it figures in his stories, as through its extraction in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

Mind: From “The Tomb” to “The Shadow out of Time” the transfer of a mind as well as its capture (e.g., The Case of Charles Dexter Ward) is the most common motif in his fiction.

Modernism: While undeniably part of the movement, he was disdainful of it as represented by T. S. Eliot &c.

Monsters: From concrete to the semi-abstract and formless, they are one reason his work has been embraced and ridiculed.

Myth: Both classical and literary, it gave verisimilitude, historicity, shape, and relevance to his fiction.

Names and Namelessness: The latter is related to the concept of the indescribable, the former to his use of names as related to history, tradition, and (in the case of the alien) to the cosmos.

New England: The nexus of the regionalism that saturated his character and his writings.

Paganism: The most pervasive religion in his writing, often flavored with the occult.

Race: The use of race, racialism, and racism, appear centrally and marginally in his writing and thought.

Regionalism: The cultural and physical environment--be it New England or elsewhere--anchors his fiction.

Religion: Whether or not as parody, impulses that fuel religion (e.g., trying to explain the existential) are grappled with in a number of his tales.

Rome: With the eighteenth-century his favorite period, perhaps due to its military might as well as its culture.

Science: The sense of discovery and its additions to knowledge energized him.

Science Fiction: How its features of betting on probability and its efficiency of verisimilitude as well as forward thinking apply, notably in his later fiction.

Shadow: A word both literal and metaphoric, its combination of suggestion and darkness are used to evoke terror; the whisper is its aural equivalent.

Sunset: An aesthetic touchstone along with travel through a garden.

Supernatural: Overlapping with the “Horror” and “Gothic” entries, it is imagination’s explanation or “rule” of how the world invisibly works.

Things: A label in the Lovecraft lexicon, applied to the indescribable and to monsters.

Time: The lion’s share deals with the past, whether impersonal and cosmic or personal and nostalgic.

Weird: A term that has gained traction since his era, he discusses examples in Supernatural Horror in Literature.





     Nightmare: From Literary Experiments to Cultural Project (Brill, 2012) by Dina Khapaeva deals with HPL and four European authors, as I noted in Cri’ster 73 (Summer 2012) when I mentioned the original Russian-language version.



     With a day-by-day account, Constellation of Genius: 1922: Modernism Year One (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012) by Kevin Jackson does not completely ignore HPL.



      Among the free, full-length movies available at Zero Dollar Movies are H. P. Lovecraft’s Cool Air, The Shunned House, and Beyond Dunwich Horror. *** Famed French director Alain Resnais died in March at 91. One movie of his that never got made was tentatively titled Arkham, based on Lovecraft’s fiction. Resnais did direct a movie called Providence.



    “The New York Public Library has been awarded a three-year grant from the Aeroflex Foundation and Hippocampus Press to process and eventually digitize its Amateur Periodical Collection”--Ann-Christe Galloway, College & Research Libraries News (February 2014), 105.



     “The cosmos dwarfs my interest in the tiny insects called men”.[1] An online program allows the viewer to see the difference betwixt yoctometers (really small) and the observable universe (in which the Milky Way fits). It was done by a 14 year old.[2] *** Here’s a work missing from S. T.’s bibliography: “Lovecraft, H.P., et al. ‘Carrier-Envelope Phase Control of Femtosecond Mode-Locked Lasers and Direct Optical Frequency Synthesis.’ Science 288.5466 (2000): 635.” This is the example of how the citation is supposed to read at the end of the “Carrier-Envelope…” article in the Gale database Opposing Viewpoints in Context. For whatever reason, the name of HPL is used rather than the real authors.



     Prompted by Valentine’s Day, Quasimondo Milwaukee Physical Theatre presents Love and Cthulhu.


Magazine of Horror (February 1964): Review

     The lead story “Seeds of Death” by David H. Keller thematically relates to Clark Ashton Smith’s superior “The Seed from the Sepulchre.”[3] Both appeared in Weird Tales, Keller’s in June-July 1931 and Smith’s in October 1933, so an influence is possible to likely, though the set-up and locations are very different. Keller’s is deliberately ingenuous, rather like a fairy tale being told to unsophisticated listeners. Men have visited a castle/boudoir of a famed beauty and not been heard of, so a duke and a man in search of his brother go to find out what happened. With the subdued eroticism one could almost think that Smith would have invented the premise. The plot mechanics and the convention of using a card game to decide the fate of her and the duke is the sort of thing found in superficial fiction.

     Predecessors of the plant-as-parasite reflect myth. There’s a Seneca tribal story about the daughter of a supernatural mother sprouting a variety of crops from her body. According to The Golden Bough, in old Egypt “effigies of Osiris, with faces of green wax and their interior full of grain, were found buried near the necropolis of Thebes”, the idea being that as the grain would live again, so would Osiris. Perhaps there is the germ of this idea in Louisa May Alcott’s 1869 story ‘‘Lost in a Pyramid; or, The Mummy’s Curse,’’ where modern explorers plant a seed from a mummy’s wrappings with deadly results.[4] Eventually the characteristics of vampirism or carnivority would be attached to the plant, as in H. G. Wells’ “The Flowering of the Strange Orchid.”[5]

     “The Seeking Thing” by Janet Hirsh vaguely reminded me of Fritz Leiber’s “Smoke Ghost”. The too sketchy, undernourished narrative is about a “crumpled shape” that stalks a man.

     “A Vision of Judgment” by H. G. Wells is an ill-conceived theological fantasy, too minor to enjoy.

     Pulpmeister Arthur J. Burks’ “The Place of the Pythons” concerns a rogue’s curse that turns him into a python, and the story replicates his impressions as a snake. It’s enjoyable enough, but there is no great artistry, notwithstanding the technical proficiency.

     “Jean Bouchon” by S. Baring-Gould concerns the ghost of a waiter who haunts a restaurant because of an injustice done him. The ghost is of little menace, and the story is told in a genteel way that works against any chill.

      Rachel Cosgrove Payes’ “The Door” has a light-hearted one-idea premise: a strange door is built out in the open. While in the climax the author has some people enter it, I would have preferred that something come out of it.

     Though it is little over a page, “One Summer Night” by Ambrose Bierce has for some inscrutable reason stayed in my memory since reading it in the late sixties, not that this is such a good story about burial alive and the aftermath. Bierce’s self-conscious tone can be wearing.

       Bearing tenuous resemblance to the situation in “The Shunned House”, Mary Wilkins-Freeman’s “Luella Miller” is the most literary story presented, a very good one about a young woman whose dependency on others is symbolized as a sucking of their life force, whether deliberately or not. The implied supernatural is successfully combined with a memorable character study, and encourages me to read more of her work.[6]

    “They That Wait” by H. S. W. Chibbett was the creepiest story of all, and only in re-reading it did I remember a scene involving the disturbing idea of things that observe you from the wallpaper. Besides the kinship with “The Yellow Wallpaper”, this is a variant of “From Beyond” and has a chill superior to that story; yet I’m more likely to re-read the Lovecraft, in part because his doesn’t have the extraneous details, the attempt at characterization and background, which waters the Chibbett.

     Finishing off The Magazine of Horror issue, “The Repairer of Reputations” by Robert W. Chambers was the first story in the 1895 collection The King in Yellow--bound in light green rather than yellow--and is known to many readers through Lovecraft. If I wasn’t aware of the story’s date, I’d have sworn that ideas were lifted from HPL. Other writers occurred to me as I read the story--Ambrose Bierce, M. P. Shiel, and Edgar Allan Poe. Bierce I already knew had supplied allusions to Carcosa and Hastur. The Shiel quality is thanks to a quirkiness of outlook, a decadent aesthetic that also appeared in such writers as Oscar Wilde and J. K. Huysmans.[7]  In the matter of Poe, it’s the perfervid, homicidal narrator Castaigne[8] and the antagonism with the cat (as in “The Black Cat”).[9] As for Lovecraft, there’s the line with its evocative melodrama, “I cannot forget Carcosa, where black stars hang in the heavens, where the shadows of men’s thoughts lengthen in the afternoon, when the twin suns sink into the Lake of Hali, and my mind will bear forever the memory of the Pallid Mask.” Especially redolent of HPL are the phrases “black stars”[10] and “Pallid Mask” (cf. “yellow silken mask” in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath).

    For the pre-Necronomicon play The King in Yellow “all felt that human nature could not bear the strain nor thrive on words in which the essence of purest poison lurked”. Yet I suspect that the objection to the book is moral rather than cosmic. In it “the supreme note of art had been struck”, putting it in the camp of 1890’s aesthetic decadence, even if the story’s setting is thirty years in the future. The injection of medievalism--the narrator visits an armourer who is searching for the missing greave of a suit--is another bow to the aesthetic movement. More pointedly, the name of the dwarf, the repairer of reputations, is Mr. Wilde. As an aesthete and what it represented, Oscar Wilde got parodied, most famously as Bunthorne in Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1881 Patience, where he sings about “my medievalism's affectation”. He also received his due in the 1894 novel The Green Carnation by Robert Hichens, who later wrote the macabre "How Love Came to Professor Guildea".  

     An additional incentive for Chambers may have been Wilde’s predicament, with 1895 the culmination of his woes--a conviction for “gross indecency”. A character refers to Mr. Wilde as “vicious”, defined by Merriam-Webster as “having the nature or quality of vice or immorality”.[11] However, the narrator does defend Mr. Wilde. "No, he is not vicious, nor is he in the least demented. His mind is a wonder chamber, from which he can extract treasures”.  That Mr. Wilde is a disfigured dwarf may be Chambers’ sense of humor or a reference to the Dwarf in “The Birthday of the Infanta”, a story in the 1891 Wilde fairy tale collection A House of Pomegranates.[12] Much is made of Mr. Wilde’s antagonistic cat, and that could relate to an obscure play. “Only a few months before Patience was completed, Where's the Cat? (1880), a new play by James Albery, made fun of the “lily-bearing poets” and included the first theatrical caricature of Oscar Wilde”.[13] Ironically, Chambers and Wilde seem interchangeable when it comes to condemnation. A contemporary called Chambers “a martyr to Degeneracy”[14] and to a later critic, he was “the prince … of commercialized darkness and flippant immorality in American fiction … who satirizes what he exploits”.[15] While it might be a stretch to say that “The Repairer of Reputations” is exclusively a satire taking aim at Oscar Wilde and the artistic movement of the 1890’s, the evidence is a challenge to overlook, especially for a reader back then.

     Contemporary readers would have got this, as well as the association of The King in Yellow title. In the 1840’s appeared the “yellowback”, a cheap novel that competed with the sensational “penny dreadful” for the leisure reader’s attention. In America, the first dime novel, Malaeska, the Indian Wife of the White Hunter (1861), was put in a “saffron cover”.[16] With yellow established as representative of a certain class of literature, perhaps this influenced the English periodical The Yellow Book (hence the decade’s popular appellation, “Yellow Nineties”), publisher of many Wilde associates.[17] In The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) a corrupting “yellow book” (presumably  À Rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans) is so called because books sold in Paris for adults had yellow wrapping, possibly a cross-cultural influence.[18] Moral corruption by way of Chambers, Wilde, and Huysmans is one strand forming the Necronomicon. Yet another association with the color was “the yellow peril” phrase, which earliest print appearance I’ve traced to 1895 (what a year!). I’ve found no evidence that this term was invented by M. P. Shiel, who wrote about the menace of Asiatic invasion later in the decade.     

     Once interpreting the allusions in the story through the Wilde lens, there are further revelations. Chambers’ The King in Yellow is a play with a mind-numbing second act.[19] Wilde’s play Salome appeared in 1891 (in French) and in 1894 in English, where it was illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley, who also was the first art editor of The Yellow Book. Salome “still has the power to shock, particularly in the horrific last act.”[20] At the same time that Wilde brought out the French version Chambers was studying art in Paris, where he would have been exposed to the aesthete philosophy. 

    While I have given a raison d’etre for “yellow” in the title, there is still the matter of “king”. The introduction of medievalism may be one hint as well as the fact that Europe had actual kings, who presumably existed in the story’s future setting of 1920. The narrator is obsessed with becoming king, the King in Yellow, an extension of his madness. Perhaps one influence was The Prisoner of Zenda, which came out in 1894, the year before the Chambers’ collection. The novel[21] by Anthony Hope is set in a mythical country and concerns the kidnapping of a king and the impersonation by a lookalike cousin; and it is his cousin whom Castaigne fears will be the next king. In Zenda the king is betrothed to Princess Flavia, a name that by way of the Latin “flāuus” signifies “yellow”.[22]

     Having spent a disproportion of space on the final story, how would I rank it along with the others? As a letter grade, an A goes to “Luella Miller”, followed by an A- for both “They That Wait” and “The Repairer of Reputations”; “Seeds of Death” rates a B and “The Place of Pythons” a B-; “The Seeking Thing” and “Jean Bouchon” get C+; “One  Summer Night” and “The Door” share a C; and “A Vision of Judgment” is a D.


Many Happy Returns

     Graeme (Cyäegha): In case I’ve omitted this suggestion, consider double-columning your zine. The eye grows tired following the length of the line clean across the page.

      Kevin (The Alienist): I don’t imagine that what with self-mutilation, there was a queue to join Cybele followers.

     Don and Mollie (The Morgan and Rice Gazette): I cannot speak for New Mexico, but at my higher latitude of 38.8° I find robins round the whole year. They have resigned the post of harbingers.

     T. E. (The Cosmicomicon): Once I began reading the summary of “The Final Escape” (Alfred Hitchcock Hour) I remembered the impact its ending made on me when it first broadcast. “The Jar” I also remember, but found it disappointing, never achieving the weirdness I would have liked, but more concerned with its effect on the characters and their community. I do remember the George Lindsey character talk about drowning kittens and my distaste for this, which has not abated.

     David (Cthulsz): How much does it matter about finding every book that HPL owned, for how does it aid us in understanding him? Some of his documented owned titles could lead researchers astray, for perhaps he never consulted them or they didn’t represent his interests. Other books that he read either were borrowed from friends or from Providence libraries, and will never be known. Then there are magazines and newspapers. Perhaps it is ingrained within our nature to be completists--finding or collecting everything on a topic--but the resulting contribution to knowledge may be inconsequential.

     S. T. (What Is Anything?): To avoid the repetitious problem of publishers sitting inactively on your manuscripts, have you considered publishing your own work? You show such initiative and energy, this would be more profitable--if not in time--and the frustration of futile waiting would be diminished as would the need for proposal writing. In a sense this would be vanity publishing, but it would lack the negatives of that concept. *** a) Speaking of vanity, I imagine no one likes to have his work (e.g., The Assaults of Chaos) criticized, however high the quality of the criticism; nonetheless, to tamper with an observation, it is better to be looked over, however critically, then overlooked. b) That the work is what you call a jeu d’esprit does not relieve it from the responsibility of being technically proficient. c) The ability to convey the trueness of a writer’s character may have less to do with fact and more with art, so a fine work may have the details wrong or distorted, but nail the essential reality of someone. d) If you regard the reputation of a literary critic as a standard of reliability and excellence, then the opinion of Edmund Wilson on HPL must eclipse or reduce that of such Lovecraftians as yourself. e) I find an irony in your own recommendation for humility. I too have yearned to practice humility, keeping in mind Oscar Levant’s, “What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.”             

     Leigh (The Mantichore): The Henry S. Whitehead title came from Mystery Stories (October 1928). For a list of the appearances of his stories, see The FictionMags Index.

     Juha-Matti (The Nonconformist): Good luck in your many investigative aspirations; like you my screech exceeds my gasp. *** To the names of Chris Perridas and David Haden as ought-to-be’s in EOoD add Terence E. Hanley, whose Tellers of Weird Tales blog is documenting all writers and illustrators who have contributed. *** Perhaps the most frequently consulted title I have concerning Lovecraft is Index to the Selected Letters, so if you create an index to all the volumes of letters published by Arkham House and Hippocampus Press, I’d be grateful. *** I wouldn’t consider your Robert Nelson contribution obsolete, since some people will never acquire the Sable Revery chapbook but do have the relevant issue of your zine, and for those of us less interested in Nelson, that will be satisfactory.


James Blish

     The science fiction writer had a brief correspondence with HPL. There were other connections that I have discovered through Imprisoned in a Tesseract: The Life and Work of James Blish (Kent State University Press, 1987) by David Ketterer. A character in Blish’s best known novel, A Case of Conscience, has part of his name out of Clark Ashton Smith: Lucien le Compte des Bois-d’Averoigne. In The Frozen Year an expedition to the North Pole involves Commodore Bramwell-Farnsworth. According to Ketterer “Farnsworth is probably named for both Duncan Farnsworth, pseudonym of the American writer David Wright O’Brien, and O’Brien’s uncle, Farnsworth Wright, editor of Weird Tales” (340). The novel also has a Hans Bloch (after Robert Bloch). 

      Blish contributed a story to Alchemy and Academe: A Collection of Original Stories Concerning Themselves with Transmutations, Mental and Elemental, Alchemical and Academic (Doubleday, 1970) compiled by Anne McCaffrey. In “More Light” the character Bill Atheling (a pseudonym of Blish) is reading Robert W. Chambers’ play The King in Yellow, sent to him from Lovecraft who got it through Chambers. Atheling had tried to persuade Lovecraft to write the Nekronomikon (as Ketterer spells it). Much of the story is taken up with the transcription of the play that ultimately drives the reader mad.

     In the short “Getting Along” writers are parodied through a series of nine letters: John Cleland (of Fanny Hill notoriety), Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, John Collier and Lord Dunsany, A. Merritt, H. G. Wells, Victor Appleton (Tom Swift, etc.), and HPL.

     Blish was a roommate and friend of Robert A. W. Lowndes, another Lovecraft correspondent and editor of several genre publications, such as Magazine of Horror. Blish also had a ten-year correspondence with Henry Kuttner, from whom he acknowledged learning more about writing than from anyone else.



     “Low as the laughter of the cricket” is a line from Emily Dickinson that reminded me of the erstwhile title of Nuclear Chaos, The Cry of the Cricket. *** In the account of his youth in Happy Days (Knopf, 1940; 161) newspaperman and disturber of the peace H. L. Mencken reveals how different he was from the HPL type: “I was born, in truth, without any natural taste for fairy tales, or, indeed, for any other writing of a fanciful and unearthly character.”






Thanks for reading the 4,925 words of The Criticaster (no 80; Esoteric Order of Dagon mailing 166 for Spring 2014); eventually published online as The Limbonaut (no. 51). Written by Steve Walker in Georgia font, sizes 9 through 11.


[1] Letter to Reinhardt Kleiner (25 June 1920), 120, Selected Letters I.

[2] Another version of the concept starts 10 million light years from the Earth.

[3] Were either story an actual news account, a sardonic editor might put the headline “Vegetable Bites Man”.

[4] See Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of our Worst Nightmares (Greenwood Press, 2007) edited by S. T. Joshi.

[5] For those who wish to dig further into the subject, there’s "The Lives of the Monster Plants: The Revenge of the Vegetable in the Age of Animal Studies" by T. S. Miller in The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 23.3 (2012): 460-479. For fiction there’s The Roots of Evil: Weird Stories of Supernatural Plants (Taplinger, 1976) edited by Michael Parry; Keller is represented, but by a different plant story, “The Ivy War”.

[6] In SHiL HPL singles out one story from the six-story collection that contains “Luella Miller”, but this wasn’t it.

[7] For a list of decadents, see

[8] The name “Castaigne” may be borrowed from André Castaigne, a French illustrator who was in Paris at the same time as Chambers. An earlier book by Chambers, In the Quarter (1894) is a romance about the life of an artist in Paris.

[9] Despite Aubrey Beardsley’s association with The Yellow Book, his iconic illustration of the Poe story came out for Tales of Mystery and Wonder (Stone and Kimball) the same year as The King in Yellow.

[10] If you have followed HBO’s True Detective, a villain uttered this phrase in episode 5. With its melding of the Gothic into the detective genre (somewhat like the movie 7), the series makes several allusions to The King in Yellow, a literary replacement for the Satanic mythos. The series has sent The King in Yellow to the Amazon bestseller list.

    Among TD’s Lovecraftian flourishes is the narration that begins after the action has taken place and the use of stick figures, whose genealogy may be more from The Blair Witch Project than Karl Edward Wagner’s “Sticks” and the drawings of Lee Brown Coye.

[11] “In December of 1896 … the president of Princeton told the undergraduates that Oscar Wilde was the vilest sinner since Nero… Wilde was mentioned by clergymen in at least nine hundred known sermons between 1895 and 1900.” Beer, Thomas. The Mauve Decade: American Life at the End of the Nineteenth Century. A. A. Knopf, 1926. 129. Later, Wilde is denied being the "yellow lord of hell's corruptions" (the quotes are in the Beer text).  131.

[12] Poe’s “Hop-Frog” may also be a source. A thinner possibility is an early nineteenth-century French satire magazine whose translated title is The Yellow Dwarf.

[13] Williams, Carolyn. Gilbert and Sullivan: Gender, Genre, Parody. Columbia University Press, 2011. 154. I have no idea about the importance, if any, of a cat in the play; or if it is a feline or, as in H.M.S. Pinafore, a short way of referring to a cat-o'-nine-tails.

[14] The review opened by comparing The King in Yellow with The Yellow Book, and goes on: “It is a drama such as Maeterlinck, Wilde and Ibsen, without the devil for a co-laborer, could hardly evolve between them. In it the depths of depravity are lifted up to the acme of art.” "More Yellowness." The Critic 26. 692 (25 May 1895): 379-380. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 41. Gale Research, 1991. Literature Resource Center. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

[15] Underwood, John Curtis. "Robert W. Chambers and Commercialism." Literature and Insurgency: Ten Studies in Racial Evolution. John Curtis Underwood. Mitchell Kennerley, 1914. 447-480. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 41. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991. Literature Resource Center. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. Underwood also calls him “the yellow peril of extreme commercialism in American literature”.

[16] Jay Monaghan, The Great Rascal: The Life and Adventures of Ned Buntline. Little, Brown, 1952. 242-243. Malaeska, be it noted, had been published decades earlier, but not as a dime novel.

[17] However, not without animosity its editors and publishers agreed that “the Yellow Book should be closed to Oscar Wilde.” Mix, Katherine Lyon. A Study in Yellow: The Yellow Book and Its Contributors. University of Kansas Press, 1960. 73

[18] Cf. “Yellow is sometimes associated with indecency, morbidity, decay, cowardice, and indecent sensationalism as in the case of ‘yellow journalism.’ Yellow is used to clothe various malign passions.”--Luckiesh, M. The Language of Color. Dodd, Mead, 1920. 112. When Wilde was arrested in April 1895--which meant there was no influence on Chambers’ work--a newspaper exclaimed that he had a "YELLOW BOOK UNDER HIS ARM”. See Cevasco, G. A. The Breviary of the Decadence: J.-K. Huysmans's A Rebours and English Literature. AMS Press, 2011.

[19] When asked if he had read The King in Yellow, the cousin of Castaigne--presumably heir to a throne-- replies “‘No, thank God! I don’t want to be driven crazy.’”

[20] Bloch, Robert N. “Wilde, Oscar.” Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia. Ed. S. T. Joshi and Stefan Dziemianowicz. Vol. 3. Greenwood Press, 2005. 1207. In what was to be the 1892 London debut of Salome “everyone on the stage was to be in yellow”; but the play was banned. Mix, 48

[21] In 1895 it was adapted as a play by the author and a collaborator.

[22] Oxford Latin Dictionary (Clarendon Press, 1982). A related meaning is “blonde”.