Though written in 1927, H.P. Lovecraft’s horror novel, THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD, was not published until many years after his passing. Being somewhat disappointed with the work, Lovecraft did little to publish it. And when he came down with cancer, the work would be put further on the back burner. However, in 1941, the story was released as a two part anthology in WEIRD TALES and only to be fully published in 1943 from Arkham House Press by Lovecraft’s friends, fellow authors August Derleth and Donald Wandrei.
The year is 1928. The young bourgeois Charles Dexter Ward discovers in his family tree the existence of a less savory character on his mother’s side of the family. The ancestor, Joseph Curwen, who’s origins came from Salem, Massachusetts, died mysteriously in a torch-and-pitchfork attack upon his property in 1771 in Providence, Rhode Island. While researching the history behind the black sheep of his family, Charles soon finds a dark secret that will change his life forever.
Being one of his largest works, THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD is often overlooked by the casual reader since it usually isn’t included in his short story collections. But it may actually be his greatest work. The same length as Stephen King’s CARRIE, the novel shows a more interesting side of Lovecraft more known for his lengthy short stories. Dark Discussions takes a look at this magnificent work and gives their thoughts.