Aug 20, 1890
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H. P. Lovecraft born at
On March 3, 1924, H.P. Lovecraft married Sonia Haft Green, a successful milliner, pulp fiction writer and an amateur publisher. She was seven years senior to him and kept an apartment in Brooklyn. After the wedding, they settled down there; but trouble erupted soon after.
Green lost her shop and also became ill. Lovecraft tried to find a job, but no one was willing to hire a 34 year old man without job experience. Ultimately Green left New York with a job while he hired another joint in the then-working class Brooklyn Heights, struggling to make ends meet.
On April 17, 1926, H.P. Lovecraft returned alone to Providence and put up with his aunts. Green also wanted to settle down there and open a shop. But his aunts would not allow that and so ultimately they decided to go for mutual divorce; but it never took place.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born on August 20, 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island. His father, Winfield Scott Lovecraft, a traveling salesman of jewelry and precious metal, worked for Gorham & Co. Her mother, Sarah Susan nee Phillips, was the daughter of Whipple Van Buren Phillips, a noted businessman.
In 1893, when Howard was three years old, his father went to Chicago and there in a hotel room, he suffered a nervous breakdown, possibly from untreated syphilis. Subsequently, he was placed in Butler Hospital, a psychiatric and substance-abuse hospital in Providence, where he lived until his death in 1898.
Howard was his parents’ only child. After his father was hospitalized, he moved with his mother into his maternal grandfather’s family home. Here, he lived with his mother, grandparents and his two aunts, Lillian Delora Phillips and Annie Emeline Phillips.
His maternal grandfather, Whipple Phillips, has had great influence on young Howard and instilled in him a great appreciation of classical literature and poetry. He encouraged his reading, supplying him with classics and also telling him off-the-cuff horror stories in the Gothic mode, thus stirring his interest in the weird.
Born a prodigy, Howard is said to have started reciting whole poetries by the age of two and reading by the age of three. By five, he had completed ‘The Arabian Night’ and took up the pseudonym of ‘Abdul Alhazred’.
In 1913, a chance incident led H. P. Lovecraft out of this seclusion, helping him to take up writing as his career. Some Fred Jackson wrote a series of insipid love stories in a pulp magazine called ‘Argosy’. Reading them, he became so infuriated that he wrote a letter attacking Jackson.
Written in verse, the letter evoked angry response from Jackson’s fans, giving rise to a heated debate between Lovecraft and Jackson’s defenders. Lovecraft’s letters soon caught the attention of Edward F. Daas, President of the United Amateur Press Association (UAPA).
In 1914, Lovecraft joined UAPA on the invitation of Daas, launching his own paper, ‘The Conservative’ in 1915. He ran thirteen issues of it, concurrently contributing large number of poems and essays in other journals like ‘The Providence Evening News’ and ‘The Asheville (N.C.) Gazette-News’.
Slowly coming out of his seclusion, Lovecraft submitted ‘The Alchemist’, a short story he had written in 1908 before he entered his reclusion, to ‘United Amateur’. It was published in the November 1916 issue of the journal. It was also his first published short story.
Sometime now he came in contact with W. Paul Cook, a leading figure in the tradition of amateur journalism. He not only widened Lovecraft’s knowledge of supernatural literature by supplying him with books, but also encouraged him to undertake systematic study in the subject and write more fictions.
H.P. Lovecraft is most celebrated for his 1926 short story, ‘The Call of Cthulhu’. Although he himself regarded it as "rather middling - not as bad as the worst", scholars like Peter Canon had hailed it “for its dense and subtle narrative in which the horror gradually builds to cosmic proportions.”
’The Shadow over Innsmouth’ is another of his major creation. Written in November-December 1931 and published in April 1936, this novel is the only Lovecraft creation to be published in book form during his lifetime.