I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft
Publication date: November 2013
Digital Book format: ePub (DRM-Free)
You save: $1.00 (10%)
This new electronic edition of S. T. Joshi's monumental biography of H. P. Lovecraft includes the entire two-volume print edition in one file, providing the most detailed portrait of the life, work, and thought of the dreamer from Providence ever published. An expanded and updated edition restores the 150,000 words that Joshi omitted from its original publication and, in addition, updates the texts with new findings.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born to a well-to-do family in Providence, Rhode Island. As a child, he revealed remarkable precocity in literature and science, but ill-health rendering school attendance sporadic; in 1908 he experienced a nervous breakdown that rendered him a virtual recluse for several years. In 1914 he discovered the world of amateur journalism and began emerging from his hermitry. He wrote tremendous amounts of essays, poetry, and other work; in 1917, he resumed the writing of horror fiction, and his career as a dream-weaver began anew. In 1921 Lovecraft met his future wife, Sonia H. Greene, and began expanding his horizons, both geographical and intellectual: he traveled widely and he absorbed such literary and intellectual influences as Lord Dunsany, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Arthur Machen. In 1924 he and Sonia married, and Lovecraft moved to New York to pursue his literary fortune. But his metropolitan adventure would be bittersweet at best.
Now we find Lovecraft dwelling in misery in a one-room apartment in Brooklyn: his wife, Sonia, has had to move to the Midwest for work, and he must rely on the companionship of the Kalem Club, the informal band of friends in the New York area. In 1926 Lovecraft finally decided to return to his native Providence, Rhode Island, effectively ending his marriage. That return spurred the greatest spurt of literary creativity he would ever experience: in less than a year, such works as "The Call of Cthulhu," The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and "The Colour out of Space" would emerge from his pen, establishing Lovecraft as the leading weird fictionist of his generation. In spite of his increasing poverty, antiquarian travel occupied much of Lovecraft's time, and he gained an impressive knowledge of such oases of antiquity as Charleston, Quebec, St. Augustine, and Richmond. These voyages both renewed his connection with the past and infused his literary work, as such later tales as "The Whisperer in Darkness" and "The Shadow over Innsmouth" drew ever more profoundly upon his far-flung travels.
Intellectually, Lovecraft evolved as well. Recent developments in science confirmed his materialism and his atheism, and the onset of the Great Depression gradually caused him to reassess his political and economic theory; he emerged as a moderate socialist and advocate of the New Deal. Late in life he became a giant in the world of fantasy fandom-a development that foreshadowed his worldwide fame in the decades following his early death.