Originally Posted by Ningauble
To be fair to Lovecraft, that ending probably originated in the original draft that he was revising, according to the surviving story notes -- but I'm sure he had no problem with it.
Indeed, it would appear so, given his detailed notes (though we no longer have the original material sent him for revision or ghost-writing). And, given his note there ("woman revealed as vampire, lamia, &c. &c. -- & unmistakably (surprise to reader as in original text) a negress" -- Collected Essays Vol. 5: Philosophy, Autobiography & Miscellany, for those interested in looking these up), to be just in his handling of such, he did manage to make it a surprise, though there are subtle hints enough throughout the text.
As for his having no problem with it -- well, to be honest, while I find it a gratuitous and distasteful touch, I'm afraid I'm not as disconcerted by this as many, simply because such is far from unusual even with the advanced thinkers of HPL's day; it was gradually becoming something other than the norm, but it was still quite common, even among writers not overly given to ethnic prejudice (cf. Asimov's comments on P. Schuyler Miller's "Tetrahedra from Space" in Before the Golden Age
as a good example of how prevalent it still was). My complaint with it is that it does seem to be gratuitous and unnecessary; it is "gilding the lily" (if such a phrase may be used in conjunction with such a theme); not because of the sentiments expressed. To be quite
so disturbed by such from a writer of his time (rather than ours, where it is
looked on disparagingly) is to attempt to make that writer's views of our
time, not his
(or hers). Distasteful and unpleasant as it may be to us, if we held such against writers, there's scarcely a handful throughout history who would escape censure....