Off the Ancient Track (1990)

Off the Ancient Track (1987 originally, 1990 for this revised second edition) is probably the apex of Jason Eckhardt’s Lovecraftiana—a guide book to important locations from Lovecraft’s life and stories in New York and New England. There are maps and architectural drawings and little historical vignettes. Its a great little booklet and a nice companion to Lovecraft’s Providence and Adjacent Parts, an earlier, longer book dedicated to Lovecraft’s hometown by Henry Beckwith.

I really love the cover of this one, picturing the antiquarian “Robert Olmstead” (technically, the narrator is unnamed in the published story, but Lovecraft referred to him by that name in his notes) getting into Joe Sargent’s “bus” in the opening moments of “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” A delightfully ominous image for a tour guide!

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