Image of H. P. Lovecraft


Lifetime: 1890 - 1937 Passed: ≈ 87 years ago


Short story writer, Editor, Novelist, Poet


United States

H. P. Lovecraft

Forbidden, dark, esoterically veiled knowledge is a central theme in many of Lovecraft's works. Many of his characters are driven by curiosity or scientific endeavor, and in many of his stories the knowledge they uncover proves Promethean in nature, either filling the seeker with regret for what they have learned, destroying them psychologically, or completely destroying the person who holds the knowledge.  Some critics argue that this theme is a reflection of Lovecraft's contempt of the world around him, causing him to search inwardly for knowledge and inspiration.

The awe and dread described by the characters in Lovecraft's weird fiction baffle them; they are stunned as their minds struggle to comprehend the alien things before them. They can only describe their own sensations in the presence of great horrors, such as the way the beings smell or what horrible sounds they make. The scientists of Lovecraft's stories usualy stumble while trying to describe the terrible shape of the beings - essentially failing at describing what they actually are.

Graham Harman, in a philosophical consideration of Lovecraft's work, calls Lovecraft's preferred method for expressing the indescribable "literacy cubism." According to Harman, this is a technique wherein "troubling features of a palpable thing are piled up in such excessive number that it becomes to combine allow of these facets neatly into a single object, thereby giving us the sense of a purely immanent object that is nonetheless distinct from any bundle of features." Harman also notes that Lovecraft also was fond of writing about objects that were ostensibly impossible to describe both in and of themselves, and on the level of their features, such as Azathoth.

Lovecraft was born in his family home on August 20, 1890, in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the only child of Winfield Scott Lovecraft and Sarah Susan [née Phillips] Lovecraft. Susie's family was of substantial means at the time of their marriage, her father, Whipple Van Buren Phillips, being involved in business ventures.

Due to his fear of doctors, Lovecraft was not examined until a mere month before his death. After seeing a doctor, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the small intestine. He remained hospitalized until he died. He lived in constant pain until his death on March 15, 1937, in Providence. In accordance with his lifelong scientific curiosity, he kept a diary of his illness until he was physically incapable of holding a pen.

Books by H. P. Lovecraft

Collected Public Domain Works of H. P. Lovecraft Cover image

Collected Public Domain Works of H. P. Lovecraft

Horror Fiction
Short Stories Supernatural Single Author Collections

H. P. Lovecraft’s name is synonymous with horror fiction. His major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally alien. This collection contains 24 Lovecraft...

Herbert West: Reanimator Cover image

Herbert West: Reanimator

Horror Fiction
Short Story Gothic Supernatural

"Herbert West–Reanimator" is a horror short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. It was written between October 1921 and June 1922. It was first serialized in February through July 1922 in the amateur publication Home Brew. The story was the bas...

The Dunwich Horror Cover image

The Dunwich Horror

Horror Fiction
Gothic Supernatural Short Works

"The Dunwich Horror" is a horror novella by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written in 1928, it was first published in the April 1929 issue of Weird Tales (pp. 481–508). It takes place in Dunwich, a fictional town in Massachusetts. It is considered...

The Call of Cthulhu Cover image

The Call of Cthulhu

Horror Novel
Mystery Action Ancient Classics Worship

It tells the tale of an ancient god-like creature known as Cthulhu, and the cult that worships it. First published in 1928, this story has become a classic of the horror genre and a defining work of Lovecraft's writing. Set in the early 1900s, the s...

The Colour Out of Space Cover image

The Colour Out of Space

Farm England Imagination Rural Supernatural Fiction Horror

It follows a surveyor who arrives in a small town to investigate a strange phenomenon that has been affecting the residents. He soon discovers that a meteorite has crashed into a local farm, unleashing a strange, otherworldly color that begins to tra...

At the Mountains of Madness Cover image

At the Mountains of Madness

Horror Science Fiction
Adventure Ancient Mythology Science Fiction Imagination Supernatural Fiction Secret Antarctica

It is a gripping and eerie tale that delves into the mysteries of the unknown. Written by the legendary author H.P. Lovecraft, this classic work of horror fiction has captivated readers since its publication. Originally written in 1931, At the Mounta...

Through the Gates of the Silver Key Cover image

Through the Gates of the Silver Key

Fantasy Fiction
Exploration Terrorism Perception Horror Secret Mysterious

In the mystic realm where dimensions blur and cosmic secrets beckon, "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" unveils an enigma that defies mortal comprehension. H.P. Lovecraft, the maestro of the macabre, beckons you into a universe teetering on the ed...

To the Old Pagan Religion Cover image

To the Old Pagan Religion

LibriVox volunteers bring you 17 recordings of To the Old Pagan Religion by H. P. Lovecraft. This was the fortnightly poetry project for February 8th, 2009.

Supernatural Horror in Literature Cover image

Supernatural Horror in Literature

In this essay Lovecraft traces the history of hair-raising fictional stories with a focus on things that go bump in the night, starting with the examples from the Antiquity and ending with a detailed discussion of the works of his contemporaries. -...

At the Mountains of Madness, Version 2 Cover image

At the Mountains of Madness, Version 2

A scientific expedition to Antartica discovers the ruins of a civilization millions of years old, built by the Elder Things, beings who came to Earth shortly after the formation of the Moon. But are the ancient Elder Things extinct, or do they still...

Shadow Over Innsmouth Cover image

Shadow Over Innsmouth

Unspeakable monstrousness overhung the crumbling, stench-cursed town of Innsmouth... and folks there had somehow got out of the idea of dying... - Summary by Weird Tales, January 1942