Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2/24/1909 August Derleth arrives

February 24, 1909.  August Derleth was born on this day in Sauk City, Wisconsin.  He is probably best remembered today as H.P. Lovecraft's number one fanboy, being the first to publish the horror master's works in books, and also the first to carry on the Cthulu Mythos.  He founded Arkham House (named after the fictional city where much of Lovecraft's horrors took place), which became the major publisher opf horror.

But our main interest in him is through the creation of Solar Pons, a consulting detective who lived in London with a physician friend who narrated his cases.   In short, the Pons stories were pastiches of Sherlock Holmes  - as close as Derleth could get to writing about the Master without incurring the rather of Arthur Conan Doyle's estate.  (In 1946 the family tried to stop him anyway.  They failed.)

Derleth's stories were considered by many, including Ellery Queen, to be among the best of pseudo-Sherlock.

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