Episode 27 – Ancient Evils

Good evening, and welcome back to the Darkly Lit Podcast. Tonight’s tale is one of my favorite in what I call Lovecraft’s “urban horror cycle, The Terrible Old Man. This ‘cycle’ consists of a number of stories he wrote that seem to have been inspired at least in part by his experiences in New York. Perhaps oddly, it was written at least four years before he moved to Brooklyn with his wife, which may help to explain why the racism inherent in the story is a little more toned down than it is in many of the other stories in the cycle, particularly The Horror at Red Hook

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Episode 26 – Tales by the Fire

First published in 1849, under the title “Hop Frog or: The Eight Chained Orangutans” is one of Poe’s infamous revenge tales, along with The Cask of Amontillado, which we read back in January. Hop Frog first appeared in The Flag of Our Union, a journal which Poe admitted was not respectable in a literary view, but paid well – something that painfully few of the journals Poe was published in could claim. As in Cask, there are rumors that Poe wrote Hop Frog almost as a sort of therapy, most analysts linking the tale to a pair of relationships Poe was developing late in his life, whether romantic or platonic, that were broken up by the gossip-mongering ways of a literary circle led by a woman (Elizabeth F. Eliet) whose own affections Poe had turned down….

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