I just reread Lovecraft’s The Shadow over Innsmouth. I last read this horror story in the Fordham University Rose Hill Library circa 1972. I would go there and wait for Erica to finish classes. Sometimes I’d do homework, but I found that the library had original first editions of the Arkham House Lovecraft books. (They are worth hundreds of dollars, now, even as ex-libris copies and have probably all been stolen.)
I read all that the library had then, but I developed an aversion to Lovecraft. This was a depressing time in my life, and the Lovecraft stories, which are anything by uplifting, contributed to my depression. I have not read Lovecraft except in fits and spurts since.
In 2010 I visited old HP’s grave in Providence and a week or so later I picked up a large collection of his stories at a garage sale. I decided this week that it was time to revisit Lovecraft and started reading. H.P. Lovecraft is, after all, an extremely important writer in Speculative Fiction.
As I read The Shadow Over Innsmouth, I began to wonder where the town was supposed to be. From hints in the story I decided that Innsmouth is above Cape Anne southeast of Newburyport within a few hours hike from Rowley. On the map this would be near Plum Island. Plum Island might refer to the reef described in the story. The name Innsmouth is similar to Ipswich, which is nearby, but not directly on the ocean as HP described. The location could be out on a settled piece of land called Great Neck, but that is too small to be the town described in Lovecraft’s Novella.
There is no town directly on the ocean with a deep water harbor on the lea side of Plum Island. Ipswich is similar in sound to Innsmouth, so it could be the place HP was describing, although he may never have been there.
I spend time every once in a while looking for a nice place to retire. I decided to search around Ipswich for a house with sea views and enough property to keep me separated from the strange degenerate alien inhabitants. There are some nice places. I have driven down route 1A from Portsmouth to 133 and over to Rockport for dinner on several occasions, and I like this area. Rockport is in a dry county so you have to go to Gloucester to buy a bottle of wine and bring it with you to the restaurant in Rockport.
The houses are not cheap, but I am finding a few nice places in the $400,000 range, and they don’t seem to be inhabited by degenerate half-frog aliens. I will try to talk Erica into spending a weekend checking a few of these out.
If we go, I just have to remember not to be caught outside alone at night and avoid locals with large lidless eyes.