Reading Order: Guide To What Lovecraft To Read Before Providence

1942 Weird Tales cover featuring Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” a key story to read before Moore and Burrows’ Providence – image source

Providence is one of Alan Moore’s most thickly-referential works. Though Providence works on a surface level, it is a much richer experience when the reader has some sense of the earlier H.P. Lovecraft stories that Moore and Burrows are referencing.

General Moore-Lovecraft reading order:

No matter what Lovecraft one reads, it is worth reading Moore and Burrows three Lovecraftian works in the order they came out:

  1. The Courtyard (text published 1995, comics adaptation published 2003)
  2. Neonomicon (published 2010-2011)
  3. Providence (published 2015-2017)

Neonomicon is a sequel to The Courtyard. Providence is both and prequel and sequel to both Courtyard and Neonomicon. This Facts website annotates Neonomicon and Providence. The Courtyard is annotated in Alan Moore’s The Courtyard Companion published by Avatar Press and available for purchase via the publisher’s website.

Below are three approaches for readers interested in familiarizing themselves with some of the original Lovecraft stories that Moore and Burrows reference throughout.


If readers have not read any Lovecraft, it is worth reading a few core short stories in advance. Before starting starting any of Moore and Burrows, read just The Shadow over Innsmouth and The Call of  Cthulhu. If those pique a reader’s interest, then go a little deeper with other Lovecraft  relatively central to Moore and Burrows’ Lovecraftian saga, reading also: The Horror at Red Hook, The Dunwich HorrorThe Dreams in the Witch-House, and The Haunter in the Dark. These are all short stories, available online (even audio versions via YouTube) and at bookstores.


If readers want just one main story before each issue, then use this list:


For readers wanting to a lot of background reading before each chapter, below is an extensive (though not exhaustive) list of prominent Lovecraft (and other writers’) stories that are referenced in each chapter. Thanks to Reddit user mangonebula for compiling a version of this list.