A HISTORY OF THE NECRONOMICON. Being a Short, but Complete Outline of the History of this Book, its Author, its Various Translations and Editions from the Time of Writing (A.D. 730) of the Necronomicon to the Present Day. With New Appendices Examining Evidence Related to the First Printed Edition.
[No Place]: Privately Printed. [No Date]. Octavo, printed wrappers, stapled at spine. 12 pp, printed letterpress. Issued in an edition of "several dozen copies". Of several noted variants, this copy measures 21 x 14 cm, is in self-wrappers (title page is front cover), and is printed on off-white (almost yellowish) laid paper, all edges trimmed. Copies also exist in printed wrappers, and printed on a finer quality (whiter) paper. Copies in wrappers come both stapled and sewn. A fine copy. Note: 16 copies of the finer 'white paper' issue were bound up with the 2020 Heavenly Monkey Edition of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth'; only a very few copies have ever been made available for sale. Item #312180
¶ A Note on THE HISTORY OF THE NECRONOMICON pamphlet. It is not listed in Owings' or Joshi's bibliographies and is, apparently, previously unknown. It is printed with the full original title from the 1937 edition, plus the lines "With New Appendices Examining / Evidence Related to the First Printed Edition." The first appendix is titled "Notice of a Fragment," excerpting a section from "Bibliographical Notes & News" in the April, 1939 edition of The London Mercury (a literary journal published from 1919 to 1939). The excerpt concerns a recently discovered printed fragment reported by the British Library, which might have been from a previously unrecorded Spanish incunable. A facsimile of the fragment (11 incomplete lines of Latin in a gothic type) is included. The second appendix is titled "Commentary on a Notice," and draws some connections between the fragment and Lovecraft's brief (and not entirely accurate) references to the printed editions of the Necronomicon. The entire pamphlet is 12 pages, issued in two variants (stapled in self-wraps, and printed on a finer grade of paper, untrimmed, in light brown printed paper wrappers). There is no indication of when it was produced, but the production (letterpress, all black, no color), and a few references in the text, suggest late 1960s or early 1970s.
Some copies of this pamphlet were trimmed and included in the 2020 collected edition of THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH published by Heavenly Monkey, of which only 16 copies were printed and bound. The colophon of that volume explains:
"Some years after publishing Innsmouth (the HM edition was originally issued in 2005 - ed), several dozen copies of the Necronomicon pamphlet were presented to HM, from the estate of the original printer, with the invitation to put them to some use. The family asked only that the person behind the publication remain anonymous. The exact print run is not known, but as it was done by an amateur printer for distribution to fellow enthusiasts (which the family confirmed), it cannot have been a large number. Apparently some flaw in the printing or text was discovered shortly after its production, and few copies were distributed."