H.P. Lovecraft, born on August 20, 1890, took a leap of faith as a would-be journalist. His story-writing journey became serious in 1917 under the influences of Lord Dunsany and Edgar Allan Poe. He’s the author of the widely known tale, “The Call of Cthulhu,” which is known today as the “Cthulhu Mythos.” He introduced the concept of cosmic horror and is undoubtedly the 20th century’s most influential writer. From his childhood, his destiny in writing was set. We will help you take this moment to celebrate his special day in remembrance of his life and talented works.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft, popularly known as H.P. Lovecraft, was born in Providence, Rhode Island. His mother, Susan Phillips, was not so much a good parental figure to him; she lacked affection and would call her son “hideous.” His father, Winfield Scott Lovecraft, was a traveling salesman who later passed away due to a mental disorder caused by untreated syphilis. Lovecraft was an only child and grew up under the influence and guidance of his grandfather, Whipple Van Buren Phillips, after the passing of his father.
Lovecraft started writing as a child and later attended Hope High School, where he eventually dropped out due to a nervous breakdown and financial issues. He published several articles and an amateur scientific journal. Lovecraft became a member of the United Amateur Press Association in 1914. Later in 1917, he became serious about writing stories after being influenced by the works of his favorite writers Edgar Allan Poe and Lord Dunsany. In 1921, his mother passed away, and Lovecraft suffered a nervous breakdown again but was able to come out of it and continued writing and attending amateur writing conventions. In 1928 he published the famously known story “The Call of Cthulhu,” which introduced readers to supernatural beings that would devastate humankind.
He met his wife, Siona Greene, in 1921, and they married in 1924. They later divorced in 1926, but the divorce wasn’t finalized on paper, so they remained legally married. Greene was an independent businesswoman and supported Lovecraft financially when they were together.
He publishes a poem titled "Providence in 2000 A.D.," which outlines his fear of anyone different from him in terms of culture, color, and economic background.
He launches his magazine titled “The Conservative,” in which he writes short essays and other pieces, and this magazine is self-published.
After struggling to earn a living with his publications, some of his stories are bought by “Weird Tales,” a horror magazine.
Lovecraft moves back to Providence after undergoing financial strain during his separation from his wife.
He publishes "At the Mountain of Madness," his most famous and most reprinted novel, which is set in his “Cthulhu Mythos.”
During his gradual downfall and declining sales of previous novels, he releases his last publication, “The Haunter of the Dark.”
Why We Love HP Lovecraft
He was creative and unique
Lovecraft did not have everything going for him for a long time, and despite not being able to follow his passion, he was able to give people something out of the ordinary. He created the concept of cosmic horror, which is still in use today. He grew up having night terrors and was able to bring his dreams to life through his writings which still continue.
He never gave up
Despite his mother not being so kind to him, the passing away of his parents, and the nervous breakdowns he suffered, Lovecraft was able to pull himself out of that and make the best of what he had. He didn’t graduate from school, nor was he able to follow his first passion, but he went on to write stories that are still being told today.
He was honest about himself
He was honest about his fear of anyone different from him, which he wrote about in "Providence in 2000 A.D." Lovecraft took what made him weird and unique and embraced it until everyone did the same; he didn't shy away from who he was.
5 Surprising Facts
He would have been an astronomer
As a result of not being able to finish his schooling due to financial issues coupled with his nervous breakdown, Lovecraft was unable to pursue his dream and had to settle for writing.
He rarely went out in daylight
He would spend his days indoors sleeping, and would only go out in public after sunset.
He suffered night terrors
As a child, he had dreams of ‘nightgaunts,’ black and faceless humanoids as described in one of his books, which would attack him into submission.
He’s the inspiration behind Batman
He inspired the fictional city, Arkham Asylum, where Batman puts away criminals, and Cthulhu also appeared in an episode of South Park.
He wrote thousands of letters
It was discovered that he constantly wrote letters to family, friends, and amateur writers, which summed up to 100,000, making him second to Voltaire.
HP Lovecraft FAQs
What was H.P. Lovecraft afraid of?
He was afraid of invertebrates, marine life, and caves.
How did H.P. Lovecraft die?
Lovecraft died after being afflicted by cancer.
How many works did H.P. Lovecraft write?
He wrote over 100 stories, which include novels, short stories, and poems.
HP Lovecraft’s birthday dates