History of the Necronomicon

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"History of the Necronomicon"
History of the Necronomicon.jpg
First page of the manuscript of History of the Necronomicon.
AuthorH. P. Lovecraft
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Horror short story
Publication date1938

"History of the Necronomicon" is a short text written by H. P. Lovecraft in 1927, and published in 1938.[1] It describes the origins of the fictional book of the same name: the occult grimoire Necronomicon, a now-famous element of some of his stories. The short text purports to be non-fiction, adding to the appearance of 'pseudo-authenticity' which Lovecraft valued in building his Cthulhu Mythos oeuvre. Accordingly, it supposes the history of the Necronomicon as the inspiration for Robert W. Chambers' The King in Yellow, which concerns a book that overthrows the minds of those who read it.


The text tells how the Necronomicon was penned by the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred under the title Al-Azif. Alhazred died after being devoured by invisible demons in front of a terrified crowd. His work was subsequently suppressed, though survived. No original Arabic copies survive, nor any Greek translations. Only five Greek to Latin translations (retitled The Necronomicon) are held in libraries (The British Museum, The Bibliothèque nationale de France, The University of Buenos Aires, Widener Library at Harvard University, and Miskatonic University, though private copies do exist.


  1. ^ Joshi, S.T.; Schultz, David E. (2004). An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia. Hippocampus Press. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-0974878911.

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