Talk:The King in Yellow

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Following the heading is the complete text of King in Yellow, which i have changed to a redirect to this article. --Jerzy(t) 05:41, 2004 Apr 20

The other article[edit]

The King in Yellow is a fictional play from the works of Robert W. Chambers's collection of horror stories by that name. In Chambers's book, those who read the King in Yellow go mad or meet horrible dooms.

After H. P. Lovecraft read the book in 1926, he incorporated it into the Cthulhu Mythos through The Whisperer in Darkness, one of the seminal Mythos stories. August Derleth further developed this conection and tied the King in Yellow to Hastur. In later Mythos materials, the King is an avatar of Hastur, so named from his appearence as a thin, floating man covered in tattered yellow robes.

External links:[edit]

*The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

End of other article[edit]

Copy of history[edit]

For convenience, the following is the history of the former article duplcating this article:

  • (cur) (last) . . 05:36, 2004 Apr 20 . . Jerzy (#REDIRECT The King in Yellow (the overwritten article's text has been moved to Talk:The King in Yellow for merging into The King in Yellow))
  • (cur) (last) . . 21:38, 2004 Mar 31 . .
  • (cur) (last) . . m 06:09, 2004 Mar 18 . . Ddama
  • (cur) (last) . . m 04:23, 2004 Mar 15 . . Ddama
  • (cur) (last) . . 04:19, 2004 Mar 15 . . Ddama
  • (cur) (last) . . m 00:29, 2004 Mar 10 . . Chris Roy (H.P. Lovecraft->H. P. Lovecraft)
  • (cur) (last) . . m 06:43, 2004 Feb 28 . . Dcoetzee (msg stub)
  • (cur) (last) . . 06:41, 2004 Feb 17 . . Dysprosia (fmt)
  • (cur) (last) . . 06:40, 2004 Feb 17 . .
  • (cur) (last) . . 06:40, 2004 Feb 17 . .
  • (cur) (last) . . 06:38, 2004 Feb 17 . .
  • (cur) (last) . . 20:24, 2003 Dec 14 . . (typo)
  • (cur) (last) . . m 15:23, 2003 Dec 10 . . AlexPlank (This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.)
  • (cur) (last) . . 15:12, 2003 Dec 10 . . (Definition of The King in Yellow)

--Jerzy(t) 05:41, 2004 Apr 20

Sequence of merging[edit]

  • 1st 'graph above merged with 1st of this article, and struck out here. --Jerzy(t) 06:16, 2004 Apr 20 (UTC)
  • HPL 'graph combined with this article. --Jerzy(t) 06:16, 2004 Apr 20 (UTC)
  • External link sections merged --Jerzy(t) 06:23, 2004 Apr 20 (UTC)

HPL 'graphs[edit]

IMO, the 'graphs on HPL from the two articles are neither consistent with each other, nor very far from being consistent. But IMO, the harmonizing of them should be by someone knowing about the subect matter. --Jerzy(t) 06:32, 2004 Apr 20 (UTC)

King in Yellow - Play or Book?[edit]

I checked my copy of Chambers - he quotes scenes and acts, and talks of it as a play. I think Lovecraft and others may have simply referred to it as a book, but the source has it as a play. I've changed the article accordingly. --Rayray 08:20, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Lovecraft et al probably referred to it as a book because while it is a play, none of the characters ever see it played, only read it. --Maru (talk) Contribs 05:10, 9 November 2005 (UTC)


Attention needed[edit]

The appearance of this article could be improved by dividing it into sections.
RlyehRising 01:48, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
— Done! RlyehRising 03:15, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

I am concerned that this article contains original research. Can anyone cite some secondary sources?
-,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 03:24, 3 February 2006 (UTC)


Also, the section on H. P. Lovecraft contains contradictory information. Did he read the book in 1926 or 1927? (And don't think I didn't miss the use of "cited by some"—yet another reference to those nameless, faceless, omniscient sources that know all yet are known to none.)
-,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 03:24, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I have removed that 2nd paragraph for now based on its weasel word attribution ish ness. 19:44, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I recovered the paragraph in question. It reads as follows:

    The book is cited by some as influencing Lovecraft to create his own fictional and dangerous texts like the Necronomicon, although it is now believed that Lovecraft did not actually read Chambers until 1927.

    I suppose my comment about nameless sources sounded a bit gruff; however, if there is a flesh-and-blood reliable source out there who can back this up, please cite it in the article. (I may be able to find this myself; I just haven't gotten around to it.) Though, I hope we can resolve once and for all when Lovecraft read The King in Yellow.
    -,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 20:19, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
    • Update! Please see next section.
      -,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 00:25, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

--Regarding people who cite THE KING IN YELLOW as an influence on Lovecraft.. Page 177 of THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FANTASY edited by John Clute and John Grant (ISBN 0-312-15897-1) 1997 QUOTE:

This novel (TKINY) likely suggested to Cleveland Moffett (1863-1927) his engimatic THE MYSTERIOUS CARD and certainly influenced many writers of of RWC's and the next generation, especially H.P. Lovecraft.

Hope that helpsLisapollison 15:23, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Removed from article[edit]

I removed the following from the article and rewrote the relevant section (incorporating a reference):

After H. P. Lovecraft read the book in 1926, he incorporated it into the Cthulhu mythos through "The Whisperer in Darkness", one of his seminal mythos stories.

One problem is that the passage claims that Lovecraft read The King in Yellow in 1926; however, my source (The Lovecraft Lexicon) says that he read it "in youth". This would seem to make more sense. Lovecraft was exceptionally well-read as a young man, so it seems unlikely that he would wait some 30 years to read Chambers! Since Chamber's book was first published in 1895, no doubt it would have been readily available to a youthful Lovecraft. (However, can anyone cite some other credible reference that disputes this?)
-,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 00:23, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Update. I finally got hold of a reliable source that says that Lovecraft read Chambers in early 1927 (Joshi & Schultz, "Chambers, Robert William", An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia, pp. 38). Hopefully this will finally put the issue to rest.
    -,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 21:47, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Significance of the color Yellow[edit]

I moved down the section about yellow--it didn't seem to fit at the top anyway. I believe that the source for that discussion is Price in the Hastur Cycle--if I don't find it there, I'll cut it. The preceeding unsigned comment by Nareek 07:03, 28 February 2006

  • I'll have to take a look at Robert M. Price's essay in The Hastur Cycle. I'm not disputing the accuracy of the information, it's just that it needs a verifiable source to establish its authenticity. I usually leave information alone if it looks like a conclusion that any reader would reach after reading the work. But in this case, it attempts to explain the meaning of the material using specialized knowledge. That's why a reference is needed; so that it doesn't look like original research.
    -,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 19:41, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely--it needs a source if it's to stay. Sorry about the forgotten sig. Nareek 19:50, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Infuence of Sympbolism[edit]

Given Chambers' Parisian sejour at the end of the XIXth, and the French setting of some of the stories of the KiY, maybe the article should mention Symbolism ?

That Wasn't the First Edition[edit]

The image previously on this page was identified here as the first edition, but it does not match my copy, dated 1895. Furthermore, on its main page that image was merely identified as "cover", and not as any particular edition. I think my image is a nicer picture, also. Artemis-Arethusa 23:56, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Really? Can I buy your copy, by any chance? The one with a yellow cloth cover looks more authentic though, even if it's not. 19:55, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

The first edition has a green cloth cover with a lizard on the front. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:11, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

The featured cover illustration is supposed to be Chambers' work. It was used in the first British edition of Chatto & Windus. Whitespeck (talk) 00:31, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Two notes...[edit]

Regarding: "The color yellow signifies the decadent and aesthetic attitudes that were fashionable at the turn of the 19th century, typified by such publications as The Yellow Book[1], a literary journal associated with Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley."

"[T]urn of the 19th century" would imply the very early 1800s. Suggested correction would read "end of the 19th century." Also, rather than differentiating between "the decadent and aesthetic attitudes" in play, it should be understood that the Decadent Movement is a distinct aesthetic commonly associated the the period in question (note the mention of both Wilde and Beardsley in the article linked). Anyone take issue? Λόγος 06:56, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Settings Paris/New York[edit]

While I'm no resident in either, and might have missed something, "the Yellow Sign" seems to refer to New York in it's description with washington square, and mentions the Garibaldi statue supposedly replaced in "the Repairer of Reputations". Musn't that place "the Yellow Sign" in New York? Ttias (talk) 14:14, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I've re-read it a couple of times, and can't find anything placing all three following stories in Paris. Since noone replied I removed it. If I'm just stupid or missing something, please ad a quote and remove my edit. --Ttias (talk) 18:39, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Arkham Horror errors[edit]

In "Other Appearances - Other," it says:

The King in Yellow is the title of an expansion to the Lovecraft-themed Arkham Horror adventure board game, involving a troupe of actors who intend to perform the eponymous play. The King himself does not appear, but if the play is performed to its conclusion, it drives the entire population of Arkham insane.

Part of this is false; the King does appear. The King in Yellow expansion includes the herald The King in Yellow and a number of mythos cards, some of which involve the King in Yellow. For instance, one card causes all investigators in the street to be devoured as the King stalks the streets. Arkham Wiki for the herald.

Also, in the Arkham Horror board game (the original, not an expansion), there was a unique item called The King in Yellow, which was a tome. Arkham Wiki for the item. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:04, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Re: Dead Milkmen[edit]

For whatever it's worth, I think that the Dead Milkmen far exceed Anaal Nathrakh, Ancient Rites and Toyah (three of the four rock bands listed in the article's IPC section) in terms of WP:IPC notability. In fact, as far as I can tell, those latter three groups hardly satisfy any of the terms stated, whereas the Dead Milkmen satisfy several. I know that anon IP additions seem suspect by nature, but it's funny to see editors shutting out (what seems to me to be) comparatively notable content from an article with such arcane references. Colinclarksmith (talk) 04:02, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Hey, I'm all for a wholesale cleanup of the IPC section of this article, removing everything that doesn't have a reference. I suspect that would be an unpopular choice, however. Regarding the Dead Milkmen, so far the attempts to add the reference here have been on the lines of "the Dead Milkmen have an album named The King in Yellow". The added text didn't even establish that this album title is more than a coincidence, let alone meeting any of the items at WP:IPC that distinguish a reference from mere trivia. These edits [1][2] are pure trivia. The Anaal Nathrakh, Ancient Rites, and Toyah entries at least establish a clear link back to The King in Yellow, even if they are weak elsewhere. Besides, it's the same principle as WP:Other stuff exists: The fact that these other entries exist is not sufficient justification for adding more entries that clearly don't meet WP:IPC. // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 02:52, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, you make a very good point: those edits were not at all successful in proving the notability of their content in and of themselves. Sometimes it's hard (for me at least) to distinguish the subject of an edit from the content of an edit. Anyway, this is a good article, I didn't mean to give you a hard time, and I'll let you guys handle all the pop culture crap as you see fit. Cheers, Colinclarksmith (talk) 04:14, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I've been looking, and so far I haven't found a reliable source that states that the Dead Milkmen album is in any way related to the book. // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 03:07, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Addition of ISBN from Wikidata[edit]

Please note that this article's infobox is retrieving an ISBN from Wikidata currently. This is the result of a change made to {{Infobox book}} as a result of this RfC. It would be appreciated if an editor took some time to review this ISBN to ensure it is appropriate for the infobox. If it is not, you could consider either correcting the ISBN on Wikidata (preferred) or introducing a blank ISBN parameter in the infobox to block the retrieval from Wikidata. If you do review the ISBN, please respond here so other editors don't duplicate your work. This is an automated message to address concerns that this change did not show up on watchlists. ~ RobTalk 01:24, 15 May 2016 (UTC)