August 20th marks the 128th birthday of Howard Philips Lovecraft, better known as H.P. Lovecraft, one of the most important horror writers of the 20th century. He was born in 1890, the only child of Winfield Scott Lovecraft and Sarah (Susie) Philips Lovecraft, in Providence, Rhode Island.
When he was around 9 years old his father died, leaving his mother too grief stricken to care for him on her own. They then moved in with his maternal grandparents and two aunts. Lovecraft became extremely close with his grandfather, Whipple, often writing to him while he was away on business. In 1904, when his grandfather died, his mother was forced to move them into a small duplex. Lovecraft referred to this time as the darkest period in his life.
Lovecraft started his career as a journalist in 1914. The following year he launched his self-published magazine, The Conservative. For this magazine, he wrote several essays and other pieces. Around 1917, he began to seriously write stories. The horror magazine, Weird Tales, bought some of Lovecraft's stories in 1923, giving him his first taste of literary success.
As he got older, Lovecraft and his mother remained close, until her sudden death in 1921. Not long after his mother's death, Lovecraft met Sonia Greene and they married on March 3, 1924. The couple lived together in New York for two years before splitting up. He returned to Rhode Island and began writing some of his best work. In 1928, Weird Tales again purchased his work when they bought his story, "The Call of Cthulhu". Barely able to support himself, Lovecraft took some editing and ghost writing work to make ends meet in his final years. H.P. Lovecraft died of cancer at the age of 47 on March 15, 1937, in Providence, Rhode Island.
In honor of H.P. Lovecraft's birthday, here's a list of chilling tales in the Lovecraftian style.
Horror titles reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft