Visit Rhode Island has a new page, “Sci-Fi + RI = H.P. Lovecraft” promoting Lovecraft tourism for 2019. Although it repeats the questionable local claim about the… “Providence Athenaeum, where Lovecraft frequented”. The Athenaeum claim appears to be slowly becoming one of those dubious ‘Claims That Will Not Die’ which are often to be found in a city’s marketing to unknowing tourists. He included it on the whirlwind tour of Providence he gave friends, due to the Poe connection, but so far as I know that was the extent to which he “frequented” it.

Perhaps the wider tourism industry needs a recognisable brand-mark/stamp for tourism materials: “All Claims Vetted For Authenticity by an Independent Panel of Local Historians”? Although that would be the whole of Stratford-upon-Avon kaput, as only Mary Arden’s House (located a few miles outside Stratford) has any real claim to a provable connection to Shakespeare.

If you’re travelling to Providence and New England in 2019, perhaps for research or for NecronomiCon 2019, here are a couple of handy and authoritative guide-books you might find useful. Which it’s possible you might not be able to pick up locally, not even in the Arts & Sciences Council shop to be seen in the above Visit Rhode Island article.

* Henry Beckwith’s Lovecraft’s Providence & Adjacent Parts (second edition, revised and enlarged). Paper only, about $50 used. Unless someone has a garage full of paper copies still to shift, this could probably use a $6 ebook edition in time for NecronomiCon 2019. Anyone care to contact the copyright holder about doing that?

* Off the Ancient Track: A Lovecraftian Guide to New-England & Adjacent New-York (2013, revised and enlarged). Paper only, but a very reasonable $10 from Necronomicon Press.

You may also want my free map of Lovecraft’s Providence.

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