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Dates for the Events of The Thing on the Doorstep

lynnfredricks

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#1
Does anyone know if HPL documented an actual year to anchor the events of The Thing on the Doorstep? The story does a good job of measuring the passage of time by mentioning Upton & Derby's ages, and I would expect it all occurs prior to the events of Dunwich Horror and The Shadow Over Innsmouth, but no actual mention of a year.

The best guess I have is based on Upton's involvement in WWI as an American - but is there anything exact?
 

w h pugmire esq

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#2
This got me looking for my copy of Peter Cannon's THE CHRONOLOGY OUT OF TIME: DATES IN THE FICTION OF H. P. LOVECRAFT--and my copy seems to have been misplac'd, as it isn't in my box of Necronomicon Press chapbooks. Copies are selling on Amazon for sky-high prices, so it isn't something I'll be able to replace.
 

lynnfredricks

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#3
This got me looking for my copy of Peter Cannon's THE CHRONOLOGY OUT OF TIME: DATES IN THE FICTION OF H. P. LOVECRAFT--and my copy seems to have been misplac'd, as it isn't in my box of Necronomicon Press chapbooks. Copies are selling on Amazon for sky-high prices, so it isn't something I'll be able to replace.
I have been working on a chronology myself that came about because of another project.

The only item I have come across so far is Daniel Upton's participation in WWI. The US took several months in 1917 to get the first draft going (after declaring war on Germany), then it came to an end in November 1918. Edward Derby tried to join but couldn't. So they'd both need to be a roughly compatible age to join (esp if Upton is young and fit enough to join). My assumption, based on joining rather than being subject to the draft, and Upton serving within the US, is that he'd do so sooner rather than later, in 1917 rather than 1918.
 

w h pugmire esq

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#4
found Peter's book of dates:
1932 (?) August--Upton takes a whole day of feverish jolting through fantastic and forbidding scenery to get to Chesuncook in a car. He finds Derby in a cell at the town farm, vacillating between frenzy and apathy.
1932 (?) mid-October--One evening Upton hears the familiar three-and-two ring at the front door. He finds Edward on the steps, and sees in a moment that his personality is the old one which he has not encountered since the day of his ravings on that terrible ride from Chesuncook.
1932 (?) December--The old Derby house is ready, yet Edward constantly puts off moving.
1932 (?) December--About Christmas Derby breaks down one evening while calling on Upton.
1933 (?) Late January--One morning the sanitarium telephones to report that Edward's reason had suddenly come back.
1933 (?) Early February--Stark, utter horror bursts over Upton and weighs his spirit with a black, clutching panic from which it can never break free.
 

Ningauble

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#5
There is also

1926 Justin Geoffrey dies screaming in a madhouse after a visit to a sinister, ill-regarded village in Hungary.
1929? Marriage of Edward Derby and Asenath Waite
 

lynnfredricks

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#6
I think where I am getting hung up on this chronology is that the appearance of this line

"When the war came both health and ingrained timidity kept him at home. I went to Plattsburg for a commission, but never got overseas."

occurs after Edward Derby is identified as being 25, implying at least to me that in 1917 or 1918, Derby is at least 25 and not 22 as this chronology seems to suggest. Am I miscalculating?
 

lynnfredricks

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#7
Ill share the passage I am talking about...

"By the time he was twenty-five Edward Derby was a prodigiously learned man and a fairly well-known poet and fantaisiste, though his lack of contacts and responsibilities had slowed down his literary growth by making his products derivative and overbookish. I was perhaps his closest friend—finding him an inexhaustible mine of vital theoretical topics, while he relied on me for advice in whatever matters he did not wish to refer to his parents. He remained single—more through shyness, inertia, and parental protectiveness than through inclination—and moved in society only to the slightest and most perfunctory extent. When the war came both health and ingrained timidity kept him at home. I went to Plattsburg for a commission, but never got overseas."

Am I over-reading this, or does this seem to imply that Derby was at least 25 when the war came along?
 

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