Ten Things You Should Know About HP Lovecraft

This post by Sian Cain originally appeared on The Guardian Books Blog on 8/20/14.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born on this day in 1890. We celebrate his birthday with 10 titbits about the father of weird and wonderful horror

1. Both his mother and father were separately committed to the same mental institution

Winfield Scott Lovecraft was committed to Butler Hospital after being diagnosed with psychosis when HP Lovecraft was only three years old. He died in 1898, when HP was eight. To this day, rumours persist that Winfield had syphilis, but neither HP nor his mother ever displayed symptoms.

Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft was later committed to Butler in 1919. She remained in close correspondence with her son for two years, until she died of complications after surgery.


2. He wanted to be a professional astronomer but never finished high school

As a sickly child, Lovecraft only attended school sporadically and was essentially self-educated. He was drawn to astronomy and chemistry, and the writings of gothic authors such as Edgar Allan Poe. Due to what he termed a “nervous breakdown”, Lovecraft never finished high school and instead only dabbled informally in his passions.


3. He rarely went out in public during daylight


Click here to read the full post on The Guardian Books Blog.