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This subject is written on a topic in the real world and reflects factual information. This subject contains information from the "Lovecraft Circle" Myth Cycles, and while guided by HPL are not based on his work alone. This subject contains information from the Derleth Cthulhu Mythos, and not based on H.P. Lovecraft's works directly. 𝓦𝐓 August Derleth (February 24 1909 - July 4 1971) was an American writer and anthologist. Though best remembered as Howard Phillips Lovecraft's literary executor and for his own contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos genre of horror, Derleth was a prolific writer in several genres, including historical fiction and detective fiction.


The son of William Julius Derleth and his wife Rose Louise Volk, he grew up in Sauk City, Wisconsin. At the age of 16, he sold his first story to Weird Tales magazine. Derleth wrote all throughout his four years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received a B.A. in 1930. During this time he served briefly as editor of Mystic Magazine.

In the mid-1930s he organised a Ranger's Club for young people, served as clerk and president of the local Board of Education, served as a parole officer, organised a local Men's Club and a Parent-Teacher Association. He also lectured in American Regional Literature at the University of Wisconsin.

Derleth was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 1938 for his Sac Prairie Saga, a series of novels focused on Wisconsin history.[1] His sponsors included the novelist Sinclair Lewis and the poet Edgar Lee Masters.

In 1941 he became literary editor of The Capital Times newspaper in Madison, a post he held until his resignation in 1960.

Derleth was married April 6, 1953, to Sandra Evelyn Winters; he was 44 and she was 18 at the time. When the couple divorced six years later in 1959, Derleth retained custody of their two children, April Rose and Walden William. In 1960, Derleth began editing and publishing a magazine called Hawk and Whippoorwill, dedicated to poems of man and nature.

He died on July 4, 1971, and is buried in St. Aloysius Cemetery in Sauk City.


Mister derelth

Derleth was a contemporary and friend of H. P. Lovecraft — when Lovecraft wrote about "le Comte d'Erlette" in his fiction, it was in homage to Derleth. Derleth invented the term Cthulhu Mythos to describe the fictional universe described in the series of stories shared by Lovecraft and other writers in his circle. Derleth's own writing emphasized the struggle between good and evil, in line with his own Christian worldview and in contrast with Lovecraft's depiction of an amoral universe. Derleth also treated Lovecraft's Old Ones as representatives of elemental forces, creating new entities to flesh out this framework.

When Lovecraft died in 1937, Derleth and Donald Wandrei put together a collection of that author's stories and tried to get them published. With existing publishers showing little interest, they founded Arkham House in 1939 to do it themselves. The name of the company comes from Lovecraft's fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts, which featured in many of his stories.

Following Lovecraft's death, Derleth wrote a number of stories based on fragments and notes left by Lovecraft. These were published in Weird Tales and later in book form, under the byline "H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth", with Derleth calling himself a "posthumous collaborator". He also undertook a "posthumous collaboration" with Robert E. Howard's "The House in the Oaks".

In 1939 Arkham House published The Outsider and Others, a huge collection that contained most of Lovecraft's short stories then known to exist. Derleth and Wandrei soon decided to expand Arkham House and began a regular publishing schedule after its second book, Someone in the Dark in 1941, a collection of some of Derleth's own horror stories.

A significant number of H. P. Lovecraft fans find themselves dissatisfied with Derleth's invention of the term "Cthulhu Mythos" and his belief that Lovecraft's fiction has an overall pattern, influenced by Derleth's Christianity. Other complaints deal with the "posthumous collaborations". Still there is little but praise for Derleth for his founding of Arkham House and for successful effort to rescue Lovecraft from literary obscurity.

Other writing[]

Derleth wrote more than 150 short stories and more than 100 books during his lifetime. Included among that number were several novels about a Sherlock Holmes-like British detective named Solar Pons. His other series included the Sac Prairie Saga, the Wisconsin Saga, and the Judge Peck series.

He also wrote introductions to several collections of classic early 20th century comics such as Buster Brown, Little Nemo in Slumberland, and Katzenjammer Kids, as well as a book of children's poetry entitled A Boy's Way. He also wrote under the pseudonyms Stephen Grendon, Kenyon Holmes, and Tally Mason.

Derleth's papers and comic book collection were donated to the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison. They have been organized by the State Archives there.


August Derleth Mythos Fiction
Title Co-Author Drafted Outlet Published Genre
"The Thing That Walked on the Wind" 1931 Strange Tales 1933 Cthulhu Mythos
"Something From Out There" 1931 Weird Tales 1951 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Horror From the Depths" Mark Schorer 1931 Strange Stories 1940 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Lair of the Star-Spawn" Mark Schorer 1931 Weird Tales 1932 Cthulhu Mythos
"Spawn of the Maelstrom" Mark Schorer 1931 Weird Tales 1939 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Return of Hastur 1932 Weird Tales 1939 Cthulhu Mythose
"Those Who Seek" 1932 Weird Tales 1932 Mythos-Adjacent
"The Passing of Eric Holm" 1933 Strange Stories 1939 Cthulhu Mythos
"Ithaqua" 1933 Strange Stories 1941 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Sandwin Compact" 1935 Weird Tales 1940 Cthulhu Mythos
"Beyond the Threshold" 1941 Weird Tales 1941 Cthulhu Mythos
"The House on Curwen Street" 1943 Weird Tales 1944 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Dweller in Darkness" 1944 Weird Tales 1944 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Watcher from the Sky" 1944 Weird Tales 1945 Cthulhu Mythos
The Lurker at the Threshold "H. P. Lovecraft" 1944 The Lurker at the Threshold 1945 Cthulhu Mythos
"The God-Box" 1945 Weird Tales 1945 Mythos-Adjacent
"The Gorge Beyond Salapunco" 1946 Weird Tales 1949 Cthulhu Mythos
"Something in Wood" 1946 Weird Tales 1948 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Whippoorwills in the Hills" 1947 Weird Tales 1948 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Keeper of the Key" 1951 Weird Tales 1951 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Black Island" 1951 Weird Tales 1952 Cthulhu Mythos
"The House in the Valley" 1953 Weird Tales 1953 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Survivor" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1953 Weird Tales 1954 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Gable Window" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1953 The Survivor 1957 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Seal of R'lyeh" 1954 The Mask of Cthulhu 1957 Cthulhu Mythos
"Wentworth’s Day" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1954 The Survivor 1957 Mythos-Adjacent
"The Peabody Heritage" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1954 The Survivor 1957 Mythos-Adjacent
"The Ancestor" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1954 The Survivor 1957 Mythos-Adjacent
"The Shadow Out of Space" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1957 The Survivor 1957 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Lamp of Alhazred" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1957 The Survivor 1957 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Shuttered Room" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1958 The Shuttered Room 1959 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Fisherman of Falcon Point" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1958 The Shuttered Room 1959 Cthulhu Mythos
"Witches’ Hollow" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1962 Dark Mind, Dark Heart 1962 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Shadow in the Attic" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1964 Over the Edge 1964 Mythos-Adjacent
"The Dark Brotherhood" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1966 The Dark Brotherhood 1966 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Horror from the Middle Span" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1967 Travellers by Night 1967 Cthulhu Mythos
"Innsmouth Clay" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1971 Dark Things 1971 Cthulhu Mythos
"The House in the Oaks" "Robert E. Howard" 1971 Dark Things 1971 Cthulhu Mythos
"The Watchers Out of Time" "H. P. Lovecraft" 1971 The Watchers Out of Time 1974 Cthulhu Mythos

"The Adventure of the Six Silver Spiders" is a crossover between the Cthulhu Mythos and Derleth's Solar Pons series, a Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Derleth wrote many Solar Pons stories, and the vast majority have no Lovecraftian connection, although later authors have also crossed Pons with elements of the Mythos.


As Editor[]

From Arkham House's founding till his death, Derleth acted as editorial director, approving of which story or not was to be published and therefore part of the Derleth Mythos. Some were posthumous and he was assisted by his Arkham House co-founder Donald Wandrei.

Cthulhu Mythos Anthologies/Collections[]

Other Anthologies[]


  • Bleiler, Everett F. (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature Chicago: Shasta Publishers, p. 98.
  • Derleth, August (1962). 100 Books by August Derleth Sauk City, WI: Arkham House.
  • Jaffery, Sheldon (1989). The Arkham House Companion Mercer Island, WA: Starmont House, Inc.
  • Chalker, Jack L. & Owings, Mark (1998). The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998 Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd.
  • Nielsen, Leon (2004). Arkham House Books: A Collector's Guide Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland & Company, Inc.


  1. Guggenheim Foundation, "August William Derleth".