H. P Lovecraft (20th August 1890 – 15th March 1937) was an American author who shaped the horror genre that we know today. Largely unappreciated until after his death, Lovecraft’s influence on the horror genre is still felt today.
Virtually unknown, Lovecraft only saw his works published in pulp magazines and died in poverty, but is now considered to be one of the most significant authors of his genre. And here are eight more things you may not know about H.P Lovecraft.
Both Lovecraft’s parents were institutionalised
Lovecraft’s father, Winfield Scott Lovecraft was committed to Butler Hospital with psychosis when the author was just three years old. He died five years later. Lovecraft’s mother, Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft was later committed to the same hospital in 1919. She remained in close correspondence with her son and died two years later of complications after surgery.
Lovecraft influenced Batman
If you’re a fan of the Batman comics you’ll know that the superhero often sends his enemies to Arkham Asylum. What you might not know is that the setting was invented by Lovecraft and was the name of a fictional city in many of the author’s works.
Lovecraft had aims to be a professional astronomer
When a young boy, Lovecraft had dreamed of being a professional astronomer, but only attended school sporadically and never finished high school. Although a keen amateur astronomer during his life, he never pursued it further.
Lovecraft was a racist bastard
We don’t want to skate around this one, in Lovecraft’s correspondence he was a nasty, horrible, racist bastard. We make no excuses for this side of his personality, and the evidence is plentiful given that he wrote 100,000 letters in his lifetime.
Lovecraft preferred cats to dogs
Or at least he wrote an essay on the subject. However, when you read the essay it has the typical slant of Lovecraft’s other works, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
Lovecraft suffered from night terrors
And they inspired much of his work. From around six years old Lovecraft was plagued with uncontrollable night time fears, linked to the illnesses suffered by his parents.
Which could explain why he was nocturnal
Lovecraft was rarely seen outside during daylight hours, writing all day and leaving the house only after sunset, study astronomy and write. He routinely slept days away and considered himself a recluse.
Cthulhu is pronounced ‘khul-loo’
Because we know you’ve wondered!
“Andersen could not tell the world of his own homosexual love for the people of the world, but the original manuscripts showed his feelings clearly.”
Love, lust, and loss colour the story of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and Percy Shelley which resulted in the classic horror tale Frankenstein. Elle Fanning (Maleficent, Box Trolls) and Douglas Booth (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) star as Mary and Percy, and take us with them on their heart-rending journey.
Born in London, Herbert released his first novel, The Rats in 1974. This and many of his other works would go on to become major adaptations in their own right. He wrote and released work right up to w2012, just a year before his death and is said to be an inspiration to many other horror authors, including Stephen King, who described his writing as “like Mike Tyson in the ring, all brute force”. Read More
Many women have noticed how female characters can be so badly written, especially by men. It is almost as if those male writers don’t see women as people, with complex personalities and 3-dimensional lives. The strange and often nonsensical over-description of women’s bodies can be most irritating, and when a male writer has a female character narrating, it often becomes embarrassing for everyone involved.
Writer Gwen C. Katz noticed this happening again and again until one day, when faced with yet another ridiculous passage in a book she had begun reading, she tweeted a snippet from the book.
The discussion that followed prompted her fellow women readers and writers on Twitter to join in a game… Describe yourself as a male writer would.
The STKF has recently awarded a $50,000 grant that will be used to help with providing books and a literacy program in Portland elementary schools.
Spokeswoman Kate Snyder noted that Portland public schools’ Books and Literacy Resources program will certainly benefit from the award with the $50,000 used to build book collections to also celebrate culture and language differences.
Zola accrued many enemies during his life and thanks to a series of death threats always slept with his bedroom door firmly closed and locked. On 1st September 1902, Zola and his wife, Alexandrine returned from a trip to the country on a wet, cold night. They returned to their house on the rue de Bruxelles in Paris. After lighting a coal fire, the pair retired to bed, the window shut and door locked due to the death threats Emile Zola had received. Read More