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100posts11This marks the 100th posting on the William Hope Hodgson Blog!

Back when I started this blog, several people questioned if there would be enough material to keep it going.  It wasn’t an entirely unjustified question.  After all, Hodgson doesn’t have as much devoted to him as, say, Lovecraft does.  But I felt that, whatever material I did have was important enough to present.

WHHHodgson is kind of the underdog in weird literature.  Doesn’t get a lot of press.  Guillermo del Toro isn’t lining up to direct a move based on THE NIGHT LAND.  There isn’t a convention devoted to Hodgson taking place in Blackburn.  There aren’t even any comic books doing “Hodgsonian” tales.

When I was a small press publisher back in the 1990s, I had a table at a local convention/show where I was selling my Hodgson reprints as well as a couple of Machen books and others.  The convention’s GOH was Neil Gaiman who was kind enough to stop by the table and talk a bit.  We chatted about Machen for a few minutes and gave him complimentary copies of my Machen books but, when I tried to interest him in the Hodgson, he wasn’t biting.  He just wasn’t all that keen on WHH…even when I was trying to give him FREE copies.  I’ve gotten that reaction a lot.

I guess that kind of stuck with me over the years as an example of Hodgson being the “Rodney Dangerfield” of weird fiction.  “He don’t get no respect!”

Through the years, that has always been one of the driving forces behind my efforts.  I want Hodgson to get more respect both from the readers and the literary circles.  WHH will never reach the stature of a Poe or Lovecraft (nor would even I say he deserves to be elevated so far) but there is much in WHH to enjoy and study.

This staged photo of WHH at a ship's wheel was used in his lectures about life at sea.

This staged photo of WHH at a ship’s wheel was used in his lectures about life at sea.

That was one of the reasons why I started this blog because there was no place on the internet to get a lot of this information.  You might get a bit here and there but it wasn’t centralized.  I wanted there to be a place where everyone could come to get old and new material and find out what’s going on in the world of Hodgson.

I hope that I have succeeded in that endeavor.

As we enter 2013, there are already new things in store for Hodgson and his fans.  Some new books are scheduled to come out and WHH is finally getting some of that critical attention that has been denied him for so long.

Hopefully, this year will see the publication of a new collection of Hodgson criticism and studies edited by Massimo Berruti and published by Hippocampus Press called VOICES FROM THE BORDERLAND.  It is an anthology of some old pieces and a lot of new ones as well.  I am happy to say that I will be represented in this volume by several articles and am honored to be included.

One of the most important items in VOICES FROM THE BORDERLAND will hopefully be the long-awaited Hodgson Bibliography which S. T. Joshi, Mike Ashley and I have been working on for well over 10 years now.  It is already over 100 pages long and covers international appearances as well as English.  It has been an invaluable resource in my own work and I look forward to sharing it with others.

A early photo of WHH.  I am not sure of the year but probably roughly around 1903 or so.

A early photo of WHH. I am not sure of the year but probably roughly around 1903 or so.

Already this year we have seen a new paperback of Hodgson stories from Night Shade Books called THE GHOST PIRATES AND OTHERS edited by Jeremy Lassen.  This has marked the first appearance by WHH in an inexpensive, mass produced paperback in several years.  Hodgson also was mentioned in S.T. Joshi’s two volume history of weird literature; UNUTTERABLE HORROR.

Later this year, Centipede Press will be releasing a collection of Hodgson stories compiled by S. T. Joshi.  I do not know the full contents of this book yet but I do know that it will contain the text of the original edition of THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND.  Unfortunately, given the tendency of Centipede Press to produce expensive items, I fear it will not be cheap but I am sure that it will be a very attractively pro1 sargassoduced book.

In addition, 2013 will see the first issue of SARGASSO: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies.  This will be a yearly publication highlighting new articles about Hodgson as well as Hodgson inspired art and stories.  I’ve already gotten a number of submissions and am expecting new articles by some of the biggest names in Hodgson criticism.

carnackiAnother project which I’m putting together is a special, 100th anniversary edition of CARNACKI.  This will be a deluxe edition, reprinting the original texts along with annotations.  With luck, I hope to have it available by November.  Going along with that, I would like to announce a collection of all-new Carnacki tales!  I’m opening this up to submissions today, with this post, in the hopes that everyone will spread the word!  I am looking for new tales of Carnacki in the Hodgson tradition so I encourage all of our writers out there to submit a story.  Details are still being negotiated so keep watching the blog for more announcements.

Already I am looking forward to the future.  Within the last 20 years, Hodgson has made great strides in critical and reader popularity.  Virtually all of his major fiction is now available either through e-books, print-on-demand or free online sites.  The next steps are to increase availability of his poetry and non-fiction so that, for new readers, everything is available.  This is a major difference from just a few years ago when it was difficult to easily find even Hodgson’s novels.  Today, we can state that Hodgson is better known and read than ever before.

William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918)

William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918)

And there is still so much more to learn!  Genealogy research has barely been touched and there is a great need for more study about Hodgson’s own life, opinions and beliefs.  Plus Hodgson has suffered from one major disadvantage: there has yet to be a full, book-length critical study of his works.  I hope to change this in the future.

It’s been a great 100 posts and I hope everyone will still around for the next 100!!

(I’d like to thank everyone who has helped with this blog over the last 100 posts.  I could not have done it without your overwhelming support and I humbly thank you all.  Whether you have contributed materials, shared knowledge, spread the word or just read the blog regularly, you are why I keep going and posting week after week.  I may be the person behind the blog but it is really for all of you.)


Filed under Carnacki, Hodgson, William Hope Hodgson

An Index to the Blog!

I love indexes!  They’re just such wonderfully marvelous things!  One of the very first things I usually do when I get a new book is to flip to the back and check out the index and bibliography.  If I like them, I know I’ll like the book!

Given that this blog has now had 65 posts (believe it or not!), there are probably a lot of people who are just now discovering it and want to read more but who wants to wade through 65 posts looking for something?  Well, fear not, true believer! (I grew up on Stan Lee comics obviously.)  What follows is a clickable index of all of the posts so that you can jump to any of them from here.

I’ve also organized them by subjects so you can easily find more of what you’re interested in.


“A Life on the Borderland”

“Smile for the Camera, William Hope Hodgson”

“The Man Who Saved Hodgson”

“Sail on One of Hodgson’s Ships!”

“Meet Mrs. Hodgson!”

“William Hope Hodgson, This is Your Life!”

“A Hodgson Mystery”

“The Kernahan Letters, Part One”

“The Kernahan Letters, Part Two”

“The Kernahan Letters, Part Three”

“The Kernahan Letters, Part Four”

“The Kernahan Letters, Part Five”

“Hodgson Memorial”


“Mr. Hodgson, Second Mate”

“A Medal for Hodgson”


“Hodgson’s First Story”

“From the Tideless Sea”

“More News from the Homebird”

“The Baumoff Explosive”

“The Voice in the Night”


“Physical Culture: A Talk with an Expert”

“Why Am I Not At Sea?”

“The Calling of the Sea”


“Hodgson’s Publishing History”

“Writing Backwards: The Novels of William Hope Hodgson”

“A Brief History of Hodgson Studies”

“The First Literary Copernicus”

“WHH: Master of the Weird and Fantastic by H.C. Koenig”

“The Weird Work of William Hope Hodgson by H. P. Lovecraft”

“In Appreciation of William Hope Hodgson by Clark Ashton Smith”

“William Hope Hodgson by August Derleth”

“The Poetry of William Hope Hodgson by E. A. Edkins”

“William Hope Hodgson and the Detective Story by Ellery Queen”

“WHH: Writer of Supernatural Horror by Fritz Leiber, Jr.”

“An Appreciation”


“A Biographical Item”


“Free Hodgson”

“What’s That I Hear?”

“William Hope Hodgson and Arkham House”


“Canacki on the TV!”

“Hodgson on the Web!”


“The Dreamer in the Night Land”

“My First Hodgson”


“A Borderland Gallery”

“Why Carnacki?”

“E. A. Edkins and some Updates!”

“New Sargasso Sea Story”

“The REAL Sargasso Sea”

“A Carnacki Gallery”

“The Derelict of Death by Ford and Clark”

“The House on the Borderland by Corben and Revelstroke”

“Why I’m doing this…”

“Sign Here, Please”

“Announcing SARGASSO!!!”

“Updates and New Poll”

“A Curious Matter of Books”

“A Hodgson Parody”

“Odds and Ends”

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Filed under Carnacki, Hodgson, William Hope Hodgson

Odds and Ends

There’s a couple of items that people have sent me recently that I’d like to get off my desk before getting into more Hodgson work.  I appreciate all the feedback I get from everyone who reads this blog and I especially enjoy hearing about new and exciting Hodgsonian items!

The ever helpful Gene Biancheri sends along this photo of the Star of India which, as longtime readers of this blog will remember was actually a ship that Hodgson had sailed on when it was named the Euterpe.  This photo was taken in May of 1976 but the ship is still docked in San Francisco should anyone care to visit.  If it were not on the opposite coast from me, I would probably try to live on it if I could!  I am still amazed at the thought that it is possible to step aboard one of the actual ships that Hodgson served upon.

You can read the original blog post about the Star of India here.

Another item comes from noted Hodgson scholar, Jane Frank, who writes in to remind me that WHH did receive the Royal Humane Society medal in 1898.  This is in reference to my earlier post regarding WHH’s posthumous medal which I wrote about in this blog post: “A Medal for Hodgson”.

Jane is, of course, absolutely correct and provides this citation from her book, THE WANDERING SOUL:


Hodgson, W.H. Ship’s Apprentice.   Case 29648

On the 28th March 1898, a man accidentally fell overboard from his ship in the harbour at Port Chalmers, New Zealand, the distance from shore 600 yards, and the water infested with sharks. Hodgson jumped after him, and kept him afloat for 25 minutes, when they were picked up by a boat half a mile from the ship.

This information may also be found online here.  Simply scroll down to the “H” and you will find Hodgson.  On the website for the Royal Humane Society, there is this description of the medal:

The Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal was introduced in 1837.

It is awarded to people who have put their own lives at great risk to save or attempt to save someone else.

It is accompanied by a Certificate signed by the Society’s President, HRH Princess Alexandra.

Hodgson was awarded the Bronze Medal of the Royal Humane Society and it would have looked like this:

Unfortunately, we have no idea where this medal might be today.  It is certainly likely that WHH’s widow, Bessie, kept this along with the posthumous medal she received.  However, she never remarried and had no children.  Perhaps, upon Bessie’s death, these medals might have been bequeathed to WHH’s sister, Lizzie, but I do not know.  Unless someone can provide a copy of Bessie’s (and/or Lizzie’s) will, this will remain an open question.  Even then, the wills may not provide an answer.

Hodgson collector par excellance, Dave Kurzman, provided the following photos of another unique volume.  This time it is Bessie Hodgson’s personal copy of WHH’s collection, THE LUCK OF THE STRONG.  Especially poignant is the death notice placed on the inside front cover.  Mrs. Hodgson’s name and address are on the front page.

Many thanks to Dave for sharing this very unique Hodgson item with us!

Not as many people have voted in the poll as I would have liked.  It is really a great help to me as it determines the type of material I post here on the blog.  If you’d still like to vote, you can do so here.

One of the interesting things about the votes so far is that the majority want to see more posts about Hodgson’s writing!  While that is certainly heartening to me, it is also a little taunting as those are the types of posts that take the longest time to do.  And, surprisingly enough, my days are not completely filled with Hodgson!  Still, I will attempt to fulfill that demand as often as possible.

One of the ways that I will be doing that is beginning a regular series focusing completely on the Carnacki stories.  I will be starting that series next Monday, November 12th, and will be examining all of the stories in full with the final article focusing on “The Hog” in which I will address the curious publishing history of the tale and also the persistent rumors that WHH did not write the story.  I hope you will all enjoy it.

Several people have remarked to me that this blog is specifically responsible for renewing their interest in Hodgson.  This makes me very happy as this is one of the biggest reasons I started this blog in the first place!  The more people who talk about WHH, the more people who will want to read WHH!  In some ways, it is like pushing a boulder up a hill.  It’s an enormous effort at first but, once you reach that crest, it’s amazing how quickly it will speed up.

Thanks again to everyone who takes the time to read and comment on the blog.  As WHH would say, “Here’s a hearty handshake on it!”


Filed under William Hope Hodgson


We’re coming up on the two month mark since I began this blog!  I’m thrilled at all the great response it’s received but also the amount of new information and items we’ve been able to bring to a wider public.  Because many might only now be discovering this blog, I present the following index to the previous posts for your convenience.  It will keep people from having to search through all of the entries.

The Dreamer in the Night Land (Intro to the blog)
A Life on the Borderland (A short bio of WHH)
Free Hodgson! (A listing of where to find WHH writings free online)
Hodgson’s First Story (A look at the first story WHH had professionally published)
My First Hodgson (Hints on what Hodgson new readers should start with)
Smile for the Camera, William Hope Hodgson!  (A gallery of WHH photos)
The Man Who Saved Hodgson! (A look at H. C. Koenig, WHH’s early champion)
Hodgson’s Publishing History (A Chronological listing of WHH’s publishing)
Sail on One of Hodgson’s Ships! (A look at a ship Hodgson sailed on that still exists today!)
Writing Backwards: The Novels of WHH (Important article on the order in which WHH wrote his novels)
A Brief History of Hodgson Studies (An overview of critical work on WHH)
Meet Mrs. Hodgson! (Article about WHH’s wife and the only known photo of her)
William Hope Hodgson, This is Your Life! (Chronology of WHH’s life)
What’s that I Hear? (List of audio adaptations)
“The First Literary Copernicus” (Reprint of important article about WHH’s cosmicism)
A Borderland Gallery (Gallery of covers of HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND)
Why Carnacki?  (Author William Meikle explains why he writes new Carnacki stories)
“WHH: Master of the Weird and Fantastic” (Important article by H.C. Koenig)
“The Weird Work of Willam Hope Hodgson” by H. P. Lovecraft (essay on Hodgson’s works by HPL)
“In Appreciation of William Hope Hodgson” by Clark Ashton Smith (essay by CAS)
“William Hope Hodgson” by August Derleth (Brief essay by co-founder of Arkham House)
“The Poetry of William Hope Hodgson” by E. A. Edkins (essay on WHH’s poetry)
“William Hope Hodgson and the Detective Story” by Ellery Queen (essay about Carnacki)
“WHH: Writer of Supernatural Horror” by Fritz Leiber (essay about WHH’s horror stories)
“An Appreciation” (portion of one of WHH’s obituaries)
E.A. Edkins and Some Updates!  (updating some previous items)
William Hope Hodgson and Arkham House (essay about the importance of AH in Hodgson’s career)
MATANGO!!!  (A look at the only film length adaptation of a WHH story)
New Sargasso Sea Story (presenting a new sea-horror tale by John B. Ford)

And that brings us up to date! Hard to believe how much we’ve covered and how much is left to do!  Next week, we’ll be looking at WHH’s Sargasso Sea stories as well as presenting the history behind that unique area.  Hope to “sea” you then!–Sam Gafford


Filed under Carnacki, Hodgson, William Hope Hodgson

Sail On One of Hodgson’s Ships!

The Euterpe in San Diego

It’s common knowledge that William Hope Hodgson spent many years of his young life at sea.  What you may not know is that one of the ships WHH sailed upon still exists and can be visited by people today!

In November, 1897, Hodgson signed aboard the Euterpe which was appropriately named after the Greek muse of music and poetry.  According to Jane Frank, Hodgson signed on in Glasgow as an ordinary seaman and left the ship at Dunedin, New Zealand on April 12, 1898.  Frank quotes that his total wages for the five months of brutal work was about “$1.50 ($35 today)” because, like indentured servants, their food and berths were deducted from their pay leaving a pitiful balance.

Hodgson’s time on the Euterpe would be included in his essay “Ten Months at Sea” which he often delivered as a lecture with his photographs as highlights.   Hodgson’s return journey, which took place on the Canterbury, made up the rest of the details of the essay and are also the subject of his “Ship’s Log” which Jane Frank reprinted in The Wandering Soul.

Frank provides this handy summary of the history of the Euterpe:

“The Euterpe, named after the Greek goddess of music, was built at Ramsey Shipyard on the Isle of Man in 1863—a fully rigged iron ship, with royal sails and double topsails—and sold in 1871 to Shaw, Savill & Co., London.  She was intended for passengers and freight on the New Zealand trade, and in those days would have been a rarity, since most ships were still built of wood.  While this shipping company specialized in the carriage of emigrants out to New Zealand, on this particular voyage the cargo was dynamite and explosives—which Hodgson detailed in his slide lecture.  The Euterpe made many a round trip from London/Glasgow to New Zealand for its owners, before it was sold to American owners J.J. Moore, Honolulu in 1898.  Hodgson also reported this newsworthy event in the lecture, and in his diary.” (Frank, 21)

A display showing some of the famous people who have sailed on the Euterpe. Recognize anyone?

Even before Hodgson came aboard, the Euterpe had suffered calamities.  During her maiden voyage to India in 1863, she suffered a collision which later led her crew to mutiny.  On the second trip, she was caught in a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, barely making port.  It was on this return journey that her captain, William John Storry, died and was buried at sea.

The Euterpe was later sold to the Alaska Packer’s Association in San Francisco which renamed her Star of India.  She was also trimmed down from a full-rigged ship into a barque.   In 1923, she was retired and put out of service.  Eventually, the Star of India was restored and is an attraction at the San Diego Maritime Museum where it is displayed as “the world’s oldest active sailing ship.”

If you want to get a taste of what Hodgson’s life at sea was like, make sure you take a trip to San Diego where you can walk the same deck that WHH strode over 100 years ago!

The website for the San Diego Maritime Museum is: http://www.sdmaritime.org/star-of-india/

(The pictures in this post are courtesy of Hodgsonian Darrell Schweitzer who also works to keep WHH’s legacy alive.  Thanks, Darrell!)


Frank, Jane.  The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life.  A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Tartarus Press: N. Yorkshire, UK.  2005.


Filed under William Hope Hodgson