There’s another new biographical book about the Lovecraft Circle in New York, hot on the heels of my biographical book on Everett McNeil. So Many Lovely Days is by Mara Kirk Hart, daughter of George and Lucy Kirk. Her book tells the story of Kirk’s Chelsea Book Shop, 1927-1939.

lovely

By August 1925 the shop operated for about four months from Kirk’s rooms at 317 West 14th Street in Manhattan (the inspiration for the setting of Lovecraft’s “Cool Air”). Kirk also sold book by printed catalogue. Then the shop moved to retail premises at 365 West 15th Street. In late January 1927 Kirk took out a new shop lease at 58 West Eighth Street (“the south side of Eighth Street near Sixth Avenue”) where…

“He [Kirk] had a circulating library, mainly, but he was also interested in first editions and remainders. His shop [at 58 West Eighth] was taken over by somebody who could pay four times as much rent — that was in the days just when Eighth Street was starting to boom — either Marboro [Marlboro cigarettes?] or some other kind of shop took over his place and paid some fantastic rent, which he could not possibly touch. So he had to go out of business. And it was just at that time when I put my brother into the [book] auction business, and George became his partner.” (from New York City Bookshops in the 1930s and 1940s: The Recollections of Walter Goldwater).

Samuel Loveman of the Lovecraft circle wrote two poems “For the Chelsea Book-Shop” of which this is one…

loveman-chelsea

  [ Hat-tip: Hippocampus, and The Tippler for the picture. ]

Advertisements