Original Lovecraft Obituary

Saturday, March 15, 2008

As most readers know, H.P. Lovecraft died on March 15, 1937, after a grueling battle with stomach cancer and renal failure. Lovecraft's death went mostly unnoticed by the world over seventy years ago. It mainly registered on the radar of the small circle of friends and correspondents HPL had knitted together through his letters and literary works over the years. Of course, as subsequent history proved, these colleagues were instrumental in saving Lovecraft from a temporary obscurity in world literature. Personally, this blogger agrees with S.T. Joshi's notion elsewhere: Lovecraft would've burst onto the scene of speculative fiction in some fashion, sooner or later. Yet, Arkham House, formed only a few years after his death, ensured no rediscovery of the weird writings were necessary. The publisher helped thoroughly propel Lovecraft to his current status in literature, unthinkable even a few decades ago.

Even though Lovecraft languished in the shadows of cheap pulps and less than cult status throughout his life, his death attracted some small notice. Below is the original obituary placed in the local paper shortly after H.P. Lovecraft's demise. Unfortunately, it contains little more than passing mention of his fiction, and mostly mentions his local activities in younger years, like the astronomical columns and amateur journals he produced. Oddly, the obituary mentions a journal or set of observations Lovecraft kept while he was dying, though it's unclear what ever became of this. Despite searching, I have found no other mention of it in the thorough biographical scholarship by Mr. Joshi.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Lovecraft.

-Grim Blogger


Magister July 13, 2008 at 10:03 AM  

The "Death Diary" has been mentioned by Joshi -- see the penultimate chapter of H. P. Lovecraft: A Life. Unfortunately, it was kept by R. H. Barlow, who used to carry it around with him (!) -- quite morbid, I'd say. After Barlow died, it disappeared. It survives only as a summary that Barlow wrote out for August Derleth (included in Collected Essays 5.

avessell March 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM  

On pg 6 of Derleth's "Some Notes on Lovecraft" in the section discussing the myth that Lovecraft committed suicide, Derleth states, "Fortuntely, the records of the Jane Brown Memorial Hospital contain all the necessary details sustantiating the facts of Lovecraft's death. Further, Lovecraft set down his own spidery script, as well as he was able to do so, clinical details about the experiences of his terminal illness." Perhap's Joshi never mentioned it, but Derleth did!

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