August Derleth

August William Derleth (1909 - 1971)

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August William Derleth
Born in Sauk City Wisconsinmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
Died in Sauk City Wisconsinmap
Profile last modified | Created 28 Oct 2018 | Last significant change: 26 Nov 2018
02:30: Mark Johnson edited the Biography for August William Derleth (1909-1971). [Thank Mark for this]
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August Derleth was a prolific and varied author who saw success in multiple genres. Teenage series books, horror stories, mystery/detective, historic fiction, historic non-fiction, and biography were all areas where Derleth excelled.

Its difficult to assess which work he is best known for because of the widely different audiences he appealed to. Certainly his Sac Prairie writings are among his best and most famous including such titles as Evening In Spring, Country Growth, and Walden West. "Sac Prairie" is a fictionalized representation of Sauk City Wisconsin and its sister town Praire du Sac which together are commonly referred to as Sauk Prairie.

He was one of the first and most important supporters of the work of H. P. Lovecraft ( and through his company Arkham House was the first publisher for many of Lovecraft's horror stories.

Derleth's ten books featuring Steve Grendon and Sim Jones, known by fans as The Mill Creek Irregulars, is a classic of juvenile series books, forming a junior component of his multi-faceted Sac Prairie Saga.

For fans of Sherlock Holmes Derleth is best known for his skillful series of detective stories starring Solar Pons whose name and career closely echoed that of Arthur Conan Doyle's famous sleuth.

Derleth was an admirer of Henry David Thoreau and in 1962 he released Concord Rebel one of several biographies geared toward young readers.

Derleth also published several books of poetry, edited several magazines and amassed an impressive collection of comics. Briefly married in the 1950's and father of two children, August William Derleth died in 1971 of a heart attack.

Partial bibliography:

  • 1935 Place of Hawks
  • 1937 Still Is The Summer Night
  • 1938 Wind Over Wisconsin
  • 1940 Bright Journey
  • 1940 Country Growth
  • 1941 Evening In Spring
  • 1941 Village Year
  • 1943 Shadow of Night
  • 1947 Village Daybook
  • 1948 Sac Prairie People
  • 1953 The House Of Moonlight
  • 1954 Land Of Gray Gold
  • 1958 The House On The Mound
  • 1958 The Moon Tenders
  • 1959 The Mill Creek Irregulars
  • 1960 The Pinkertons Ride Again
  • 1961 Walden West
  • 1961 The Ghost Of Black Hawk Island
  • 1961 Wisconsin In Their Bones
  • 1962 Concord Rebel
  • 1963 The Tent Show Summer
  • 1963 The Shadow In The Glass
  • 1964 The Irregulars Strike Again
  • 1965 Wisconsin Country
  • 1965 The House By The River
  • 1966 The Watcher On The Heights
  • 1968 Wisconsin Murders
  • 1968 The Prince Goes West
  • 1968 The Beast In Holger's Woods
  • 1969 The Wind Leans West
  • 1970 The Three Straw Men


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Memories: 1

On 19 Nov 2018 Mark Johnson wrote:

I regard August Derleth as a kindred spirit that despite our different locations along the space time continuum links us as certainly as if we were neighbors or friends. I am frequently struck by how well he describes feeling and mood and the universal human condition. Having observed in my own experience momentary and wispy flashes from another time of my life I was gratified to see that on page 36 of his book Village Daybook, Derleth wrote "Thus it is, I reflected, that many times aspects of earth and sky, or even expressions of feature or the tonal quality of a voice may establish a bond to memory and recreate briefly an emotion or an experience long thought lost in past time."

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No known carriers of August's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 1
August W. Derleth
August W. Derleth


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