Online eBooks

Howard Philip Lovecraft

Lovecraft wrote short stories where madness plays a vital role in the storyline. He imagined ancient aliens unveiled in forgotten cults. Meet a man who wrote on the edge of his own madness.

Lovecraft's family can be rooted back to 1630 - therefore one of the oldest American families. He was born on August 20th 1890, and was a precocious child, reading early, but also often ill. In 1893 his father suffers from parsis - a form of neurosyphilis, and is sent to hospital for five years before he passes away. Lovecraft grows up with his grand father, his mother and two aunts.

His grand father initiates him to books that will inspire his own writings - Arabian nights, the Greek Mythology, Ulysses. This will probably bring to life the idea that books are the doors to another world of knowledge wisdom - resulting in the "Necronomicon" of Abdul Al-Hazred.
portrait lovecraft

Related reviews

Related essays
Madness in Literature


Lovecraft was a lonely child, suffering from many (imaginary?) diseases and whose nights were full of weird dreams. He was not properly speaking mad but a size XL oddball, gifted or cursed with fertile imagination and disturbing visions.

lovecraft graveWhen his grand father dies in 1904 his family suffers a financial crisis, which forces them to move. His relationship with his mother is also going worse - until the age of 23 he finds a refuge in his hobbies, and only writes again at 27 (in 1917: Dagon, The Tomb). In 1921 his mother dies. The same year, on July 4th, he meets Sonia Haft Greene, who is at the time 7 years older than him.
They get married in 1924 but in 1925 she moves to Cleveland, while he stays in Brooklyn. In 1926 his aunts refuse her to move to Providence and he gives in (although they are married and he is 36!). They get a divorce in 1929, due to Sonia's poor health and financial trouble. He travels on the East Coast. In 1936 his good friend Robert E Howard (Conan) commits suicide, due to the death of his own mother. His own stomach cancer causes his own death on 15 March 1937.
A commemorative service is celebrated each year on March 15, at his grave in Providence. Note that on your left is the plaque that was purchased by his fans, not his actual grave.

At the time he had published only one book, The Shadow over Innsmouth. August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, his life long friends, decide to collect his writings and prevent the loss of his works. They also get "The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward" published. They found " Arkham House" in order to save his works from oblivion.

The Myth of Cthulhu is a tale spanning several short stories, which describes how the Elder Race, alien entities who used to dominate the Earth, but nearly vanished. Their last members now lie under the sea, underground, or in continuum folds. This relies on Lovecraft's early rejection of religion, and his view of "cosmicism", where human affairs have no importance.

>>> top of the page

| Home | Disclaimer | Feedback | Sitemap | Guestbook |

Hosting by WebRing.