Who is HP Lovecraft?

  • Posted on: 7 June 2014
  • By: Shawn DeWolfe
HP Lovecraft was born on August 20, 1890 in his home at 194 Angell Street in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the only child of Winfield Scott Lovecraft, a traveling salesman of precious things (like gold jewellery), and Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft, who could trace her ancestry to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1631. His parents married when they were in their thirties, unusually late in life for the time period. In 1893, when Lovecraft was three, his father became acutely psychotic in a Chicago hotel room while on a business trip. The elder Lovecraft was taken back to Providence and placed in the Butler Hospital, where he remained until his death in 1898.

The horror magazine Weird Tales bought some of Lovecraft's stories in 1923, giving him his first taste of literary success. "The Call of Cthulhu" came out in 1928 in Weird Tales as a clear demonstration of his brand of otherworldly type of terror.

Lovecraft introduced readers to the first of many supernatural beings that would wreck havoc on humankind. Elements of this story would reappear in other related tales collectively known by many as the "Cthulhu Mythos." These later stories reflected Lovecraft's own philosophical ideals. According to American Heritage magazine, Lovecraft once wrote, "all of my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and emotions have no validity or significance in the cosmos-at-large."

Lovecraft died on March 15, 1937 from a combination of malnutrition and intestinal cancer. He had written over 60 short stories, a few novels and novellas, including The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Lovecraft has earned much greater acclaim than he enjoyed during his lifetime. He has been seen as the inspiration to the likes of Peter Straub, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and countless others. Stephen King once said: "Now that time has given us some perspective on his work, I think it is beyond doubt that H.P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale."

Last updated date

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 16:41