Lovecraft (timeline)

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A biographical timeline of known events in Lovecraft's life:

Timeline

Juvenalia

A period of Lovecraft's troubled youth, marked by somewhat naive macabre tales of mystery and horror in imitation of e.g. Edgar Allan Poe. His interests in weird fiction, mythology and folklore, and science are precociously developed in this period.

  • 1880s and before
    • 1883 - Sonia Haft Shafirkin (Lovecraft's future wife) is borne in Ukraine.
    • 1886 - Adolphe de Castro, future Lovecraft collaborator, collaborates with Ambrose Bierce on the translation of a novel he claimed as his own; de Castro would later use this experience as the foundation for the autobiography and short story collection he would approach Lovecraft with.
  • 1890s
    • 1890 - (Aug 20) Lovecraft is born in his family home at 454 (then 194) Angell Street, Providence, RI
    • 1892? - Lovecraft's father, Winfield Scott Lovecraft, begins acting strangely and saying disturbing things.
    • 1893 - (Apr) Winfield Scott Lovecraft falls acutely insane in Chicago, Illinois during a business trip, and will spend the rest of his life institutionalized.
    • 1894? - Lovecraft is raised by his aunts and grandparents Robie and Whipple Van Buren Phillips in the family home until the grandfather's death. By all accounts, Lovecraft is a prodigy: reciting poetry and reading and writing by age 2.
    • 1896 - Lovecraft's maternal grandmother Robie Phillips dies, sending the family into "a gloom from which it never recovered". Lovecraft begins having nightmares about "Nightgaunts".
    • 1897 - Lovecraft writes "The Little Glass Bottle (fiction)"
    • 1897? - Lovecraft writes "The Noble Eavesdropper (fiction)" (lost, believed nonextant)
    • 1898 - Winfield Scott Lovecraft dies, diagnosed with general paresis (late stage syphilis).
    • 1898 - Young Lovecraft has discovered the sciences, and is particularly fascinated by chemistry and astronomy; his exploration of anatomy, and human sexuality, leaves him revolted by the subject.
    • 1898 - Young Lovecraft writes "The Mystery of the Grave-Yard (fiction)" and "The Secret Cave or John Lees Adventure (fiction)"
    • 1898-1902 - Young Lovecraft writes "The Haunted House (fiction)", "John, the Detective (fiction)", and "The Secret of the Grave (fiction)" (all lost, believed nonextant)
    • 1899 - Sonia Haft Shafirkin marries Samuel Greene, reputedly a "brutish" character.
  • 1900s
    • 1890s-1900s? - Lovecraft's health is reputedly shaky, leaving him absent from school through much of his childhood. Lovecraft does seem to enjoy school, and does have close friends, with whom he is said to have played games of Arabian Nights (in which he would take the name "Abdul Alhazred"), and cops and robbers (in which Lovecraft apparently played with a real - unloaded - revolver). Acquaintances of the family describe Lovecraft's mother as overprotective and overindulgent.
    • 1900 - Whipple's businesses begin to suffer, perhaps due in part to Whipple's depression and declining health. Whipple is forced to begin dismissing servants.
    • 1902 - Young Lovecraft, fascinated by astronomy, makes his first exploration into the world of amateur journalism, publishing articles in his own self-published astronomy newsletter.
    • 1902 - Young Lovecraft writes "The Mysterious Ship (fiction)"
    • 1902 - Florence Carol Greene (later Carol Weld), Lovecraft's step-daughter, is borne.
    • 1904 - Whipple's businesses, already struggling, suffer catastrophic failures. Whipple Van Buren Phillips dies, and the family, discovering the extent of the estate's mismanagement, is forced to move to a cheaper house down the street to 598 Angell Street. Lovecraft would later describe this as one of the darkest times of his life, a point where he saw no use in living any more.
    • 1904-1908 - Lovecraft continues to report health problems that prevent him from attending high school regularly, though he claims to enjoy school, and reportedly has a group of close friends. Lovecraft would resume amateur journalism, self-publishing journals of astronomy and chemistry.
    • 1905 - Lovecraft writes "The Beast in the Cave (fiction)"
    • 1907 - Lovecraft writes "The Picture (fiction)" (lost, believed nonextant)
    • 1908 - Lovecraft writes "The Alchemist (fiction)"

Teenage Breakdown and Recovery

Lovecraft's doesn't write much fiction in this period, but instead appears to be struggling to maintain some grip on normality following a strange nervous breakdown and withdrawal from society; he seems to turn to amateur journalism and editorial writing as a long-distance substitute for social contact. The majority of Lovecraft's social contact during this period seems to be either within his family - especially with his mother and aunts - or through the distance of editorial correspondence. Lovecraft's writing during this period seems to have taken on a marked, self-conscious, aggressive, stridently xenophobic and "conservative" - or more accurately reactionary - character.

  • 1900s
    • 1908-1913 - Not much is known about this period of Lovecraft's life. Acquaintances of the family say that Lovecraft's mother Susie describes young Lovecraft as "so hideous that he hid from everyone and did not like to walk upon the streets where people could gaze on him." Lovecraft claims to the contrary that she is "a positive marvel of consideration", but would also later describe her as a "touch-me-not mother" who avoided physical contact with him through much of his childhood, while his wife Sonia seems to have gotten the impression that Lovecraft's mother simultaneously overbearing/suffocating and "touch-me-not"; one acquaintance of the Lovecrafts in this era claims that what might seem like loud nocturnal quarrels between mother and son were actually reenactments of scenes from Shakespeare, which the Lovecrafts apparently enjoyed together. Susie apparently would be frequently seen riding through Providence by streetcar, and seems to have attended women's suffrage meetings during this period.
    • 1908-1913? - Lovecraft meets C.M. Eddy through their mothers' mutual acquaintanceship at Women's Suffrage meetings?
    • 1908 - Lovecraft suffers a nervous breakdown and withdraws from school, his hopes of attending Brown University dashed. The exact nature of the breakdown is unknown, but a combination of depression and physical illness are believed likely.
  • 1910s
    • 1911 - Lovecraft takes an interest in pulp literature and criticism, an interest that appears to have pulled Lovecraft back into the public. His letters to editors begin appearing in pulp magazines such as Argosy.
    • 1912 - Lovecraft's first professionally published poem, "Providence in 2000 A.D.", is written and published. Lovecraft's writing in this period seems to have taken an Anglophilic and xenophobic turn.
    • 1913 - Lovecraft begins a protracted "flame war" in the Argosy editorial page in which Lovecraft appears to have enjoyed "trolling" then prominent writer Fred Jackson and his supporters, particularly enjoying exchanges with John Russell, who would write rebuttals to Lovecraft in verse.
    • 1914 - Lovecraft's editorials attract the attention of the United Amateur Press Association (UAPA), which invites Lovecraft to join; Lovecraft accepts the invitation. Lovecraft in this period develops a taste for "Amateur Publication" vs. "Commercial Publication", and Lovecraft's xenophobia heavily influences his criticism of "low-brow" literature, slang, and Americanisms in writing, in favor of classical forms of British English.
    • 1915 - Lovecraft meets Winifred Virginia Jackson in the UAPA. Over time, the two grow close, and there are rumors of a (perhaps platonic) romance between them.
    • 1915 - Lovecraft is elected to first vice-president of the UAPA.
    • 1916 - Samuel Greene dies, apparently by suicide. Sonia Green joins the independent middle class as a successful milliner.
    • 1916 - "The Alchemist" is published in an amateur journal.
    • 1917 - Lovecraft writes "A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson (fiction)"
    • 1917 - Lovecraft writes "Sweet Ermengarde (fiction)"
    • 1917 - Lovecraft writes "The Tomb (fiction)" and "Dagon (fiction)"
    • 1917 - Lovecraft's critical/editorial writing has taken a political turn with the beginning of World War I, and he begins criticizing American reluctance to join the war in support of England. Lovecraft attempts to join the Army, and passes the physical requirements, but his mother Susie intervenes.
  • 1917-1918, Winifred V. Jackson serves as Lovecraft's second Vice-President of the UAPA.
    • 1918 - Lovecraft writes "The Mystery of Murdon Grange (fiction)" (lost, believed nonextant)
    • 1918 - (May?) Lovecraft writes "Polaris (fiction)"
    • 1918 - Lovecraft's term as vice-president at UAPA ends, and Lovecraft begins a position as Chairman of the Department of Public Criticism for the organization.
    • 1918+? - Lovecraft's future step-daughter Carol Weld eventually becomes a successful journalist, marries, and drifts out of Sonia Greene's life after a tense relationship; Sonia Greene would rarely mention her.
    • Before 1920? - Lovecraft appears to met Anna Helen Crofts through the UAPA, but details of this meeting or their relationship are a mystery.

Mother's Breakdown and Death, Sonia

The impact of his mother's breakdown and death at first appears to be devastating, but Lovecraft almost immediately seems to recover from it, emerging from isolation to travel, and make new friends outside of the local, aristocratic, "white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant" social comfort zone one imagines his parents, maternal grandparents, and aunts to have encouraged and imposed. Lovecraft's new friends in this period following his mother's death would include many people his aunts would likely not have approved of: immigrants from places like Ukraine and Hungary, women, anarchists, Jews, homosexuals, eccentric intellectuals, etc. Lovecraft would meet and very quickly marry Sonia Greene Lovecraft, a Ukrainian Jew several years older then himself, who had already been married once, already had a daughter with whom she seems to have grown distant, and who also seems to have had a rather strong will and personality, suggesting perhaps a replacement for a domineering mother. Lovecraft would move immediately into Sonia's Brooklyn apartment, seeming at first to look forward to the new city, but within a few years clearly growing disenchanted with the city and with the marriage. This appears to be the first period of Lovecraft's Dreamlands tales, largely replacing the more macabre early horror stories in this era, developing more sophisticated hints of a "weird" and "cosmic" theme in one of the first of Lovecraft's bursts of creativity.


Dreamlands stories, are published in Weird Tales.


Troubled Marriage and New York

This was a time of notable trouble in Lovecraft's adult life: his marriage is disintegrating, Sonia has lost her middle-class security and is forced to move out to follow work, Lovecraft seems unwilling to move from New England to join her or to accept job offers outside of New York, the couple's financial situation is dire and their health is deteriorating, and Lovecraft loses everythign but the clothing he was wearing in a break-in at his Red Hook apartment. Lovecraft produces little fiction in this era, and what fiction he does produce takes on a bitter, xenophobic cast.

  • 1920s
    • 1924? - Sonia loses her financial assets in a bank failure, loses her shop, falls ill, and the Lovecrafts fall on financial difficulties.
    • 1925 - (Jan 1) Sonia moves to Cincinnati OH and then Cleveland OH for new employment, and would soon work on the road, rarely returning to New York. Lovecraft, unable to find work and barely able to afford food, moves into a tiny, cheap apartment at 169 Clinton Street, Brooklyn NY on the edge of Red Hook; shortly after his arrival, Lovecraft returns to his apartment to discover a robbery leaving him only the clothes he was wearing, fueling Lovecraft's resentment of New York. Lovecraft would spend the remainder of his time in New York supported by the remnants of a small inheritance and a small weekly allowance from Sonia, barely sufficient to avoid starvation; Sonia would spend a night or two every month with Lovecraft. The marriage has begun disintegrating by this time.
    • 1925 Lovecraft meets Wilfred Blanch Talman through the amateur press. Talman would later collaborate with Lovecraft on a story, and design Lovecraft's personal bookplate.
    • 1925 (Aug 1-2) Lovecraft writes "The Horror at Red Hook (fiction)"
    • 1925 (Aug 11) Lovecraft writes "He (fiction)"
    • 1925 (Sep 18) Lovecraft writes "In the Vault (fiction)"
    • 1926? - Lovecraft is believed to have written "The Descendant (fragment)"
    • 1926 - (Mar) Lovecraft writes "Cool Air (fiction)"
    • 1926 - Harry Houdini contacts Lovecraft with plans for Lovecraft and C.M. Eddy to ghost-write a treatise on superstition, The Cancer of Superstition (essay), which would have provided some much-needed income for Lovecraft. Lovecraft and Eddy begin work on the manuscript.

Return to Providence

By this time, Lovecraft seems to have abandoned his experiment with New York and with marriage, returning to Providence. Lovecraft again seems to have taken up travel, and visiting with correspondents he'd previously only written to. Lovecraft's writing takes on a far more cosmic character at this time (perhaps inspired by both Lovecraft's evolving perspective, and his discovery of a Theosophical book from which Lovecraft, who regarded it as balderdash, seems to have nevertheless found inspirational in its ludicrous but imaginative hyper-human scope in time and space, leading to one of Lovecraft's most creative and productive periods of writing; however, Lovecraft seems to suffer from a lack of motivation and encouragement during this period for actually publishing anything, withdrawing at the slightest hint of criticism, and failing to even try submitting some of his finer and more imaginative stories for consideration for publication.

  • 1920s
    • 1926 - Lovecraft abandons New York, returning to Providence to move with his aunt Lillian Clark to 10 Barnes Street Providence RI until 1933, at Lillian's suggestion. It seems that Sonia Greene Lovecraft would have moved with Lovecraft, except there was some disagreement with Lovecraft's aunts, either over Sonia's independent career as anything other than housewife (apparently "scandalous" to Lovecraft's aunts and their friends), or perhaps over the fact of Sonia's Jewish ancestry (apparently even more "scandalous" to Lovecraft's aunts and their friends). Whatever the case, Sonia was not welcomed to move in with Lovecraft, and Lovecraft's aunts thus appear to have played a large part in driving a further and final wedge between the couple, while there seems to have been little or no evidence that Lovecraft himself had ever done much contradict his aunts' wishes in the matter.
    • 1926 - (Jun 16) Lovecraft's first reference to Theosophy appears in a letter to Clark Ashton Smith: "I've also been digesting something of vast interest as background or source material--which has belatedly introduced me to a cycle of myth with which I have reason to believe you are particularly familiar--i.e., the Atlantis-Lemuria tales, as developed by modern occultists & theosophical charlatans. Really, some of these hints about the lost "City of the Golden Gates" & the shapeless monsters of archaic Lemuria are ineffably pregnant with fantastic suggestion; & I only wish I could get hold of more of the stuff. What I have read is The Story of Atlantis & the Lost Lemuria, by W. Scott Elliot." (SL2.58)
    • 1926 - Lovecraft begins correspondence with Donald Wandrei, sparking a lengthy friendship.
    • 1926 - Lovecraft begins correspondence with August Derleth, who had written a fan letter to Lovecraft regarding a bit of history and criticism on an obscure work of Weird fiction, sparking a lengthy friendship.
    • 1926 - (Summer) Lovecraft writes "The Call of Cthulhu (fiction)"
    • 1926 - (Jul-Oct) Lovecraft writes "Two Black Bottles (fiction)" with Wilfred Blanch Talman
    • 1926 - (Oct 31) Harry Houdini dies. Houdini's widow does not wish to pursue the project, and Lovecraft abandons it; the manuscript is presumed lost.
    • 1926 - Lovecraft writes "Pickman's Model (fiction)"
    • 1926 - Lovecraft writes "The Silver Key (fiction)"
    • 1926 - (Nov 9) Lovecraft writes "The Strange High House in the Mist (fiction)"
    • 1926-1927? - (Autumn? 1926–22 January 1927) Lovecraft writes "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (fiction)"
    • 1927? - Adolphe De Castro approaches Lovecraft for ghost-writing services with a rough collection of short stories and a (mostly fictitious) autobiographical account of de Castro's collaboration with Ambrose Bierce, offering to pay Lovecraft later after the stories are sold.
    • 1927 - (early) Zealia Bishop is introduced to Lovecraft by Samuel Loveman after she asks Loveman for writing advice on romance fiction; Lovecraft's advice is awkward, at best, until Bishop tries her hand at weird fiction.
    • 1927 Donald Wandrei visits Lovecraft in Providence.
    • 1927 - Lovecraft writes "History of the Necronomicon (fiction)"
    • 1927 - (Jan-Mar) Lovecraft writes "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (fiction)"
    • 1927 - (Mar) Lovecraft writes "The Colour out of Space (fiction)"
    • 1927 - Lovecraft writes a fragment of "The Thing in the Moonlight (fiction)" in a letter to Donald Wandrei; the fragment would be "completed" with a short framing device by J. Chapman Miske in 1941.
    • 1927 - (Nov 2) Lovecraft writes "The Very Old Folk (fragment)"
    • 1927 - Lovecraft writes "The Last Test (fiction)" with Adolphe de Castro , who cheats Lovecraft on the fee, prompting an angry letter from Lovecraft.
    • 1928? - Lovecraft writes "Ibid (fiction)"
    • 1928 - Lovecraft writes "The Curse of Yig (fiction)" with Zealia Bishop
    • 1928 - (Summer) Lovecraft writes "The Dunwich Horror (fiction)"
    • 1928 - Lovecraft travels to Brooklyn to meet Sonia and attempt to mend the failing marriage (perhaps at her request?), but this attempt appears to have gone nowhere.
    • 1929 - (mid) Lovecraft writes "The Electric Executioner (fiction)" with Adolphe de Castro , this time getting paid in full in advance for his work.
    • 1929 - At Sonia's insistence, Lovecraft agrees to an amicable separation; Sonia files for divorce. Lovecraft would fail to sign the papers making the divorce legal.
    • 1929 - (Oct) The stock market crashes, and the Dust Bowl ecological disaster (roughly 1930-1939) and Great Depression economic disaster (roughly 1930-1939) begin, and would last the rest of Lovecraft's life.
    • 1929-1930 - (Dec-early) Lovecraft writes "The Mound (fiction)" with Zealia Bishop
  • 1930s
    • 1930s? - Young R.H. Barlowe, a fan of fantasy literature and especially of Clark Ashton Smith, begins correspondence with Lovecraft, beginning a life-long (though tragically brief) friendship.
    • 1930 - Lovecraft meets and befriends Henry S. Whitehead.
    • 1930 Lovecraft writes "Medusa's Coil (fiction)" with Zealia Bishop ; Lovecraft's collaboration with Bishop may have been strained by this point, due to Depression-era financial troubles that presented difficulties with Bishop's ability to publish the previous revision, and pay Lovecraft for his work.
    • 1930 - (Spring) Lovecraft visits Frank Belknap Long in New York.
    • 1930 - (Apr-May) Lovecraft visits South Carolina.
    • 1930 - (Spring) Lovecraft visits the newly-opened Nicholas Roerich museum in New York.
    • 1930 - (May 21) Lovecraft mentions his experience at the Nicholas Roerich museum in a letter to Lillian D. Clark; his admiration for the artist's work is apparently a topic he has brought up various times already as something he has "long held".
    • 1930 - (early Sep) Lovecraft visits Quebec for the first time.
    • 1930 - (Feb-Sep) Lovecraft writes "The Whisperer in Darkness (fiction)"
    • 1930 - (Aug) Robert E. Howard writes a fan letter praising a reprint of Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls", beginning a friendship that would last the rest of REH's life.
    • 1931 - Lovecraft visits Quebec a second time.
    • 1931 - (Feb-Mar) Lovecraft writes At the Mountains of Madness (fiction)
    • 1931 - (summer) Lovecraft visits Henry S. Whitehead for three weeks in Florida, and begins work on collaboration.
    • 1931 - (late) Lovecraft writes "The Trap (fiction)" with Henry S. Whitehead
    • 1931 - (Nov-Dec) Lovecraft writes "The Shadow over Innsmouth (fiction)"
    • 1932 - (Jan–Feb) Lovecraft writes "The Dreams in the Witch House (fiction)"
    • 1932 - (mid) Lovecraft is contacted by Hazel Heald for ghost-writing service. Heald apparently tries unsuccessfully to flirt with Lovecraft.
    • 1932 - (mid) Lovecraft writes "The Man of Stone (fiction)" with Hazel Heald
    • 1932 - (mid) Lovecraft writes "Winged Death (fiction)" with Hazel Heald
    • 1932 - (Jul) Eccentric composer Harold Farnese contacts Lovecraft for the purpose of adapting some sonnets from "Fungi from Yuggoth (poem)" to music. Sporadic correspondence over the following months, ending shortly after the end of the year, would amount to a handful of letters and postcards, discussing Lovecraft's fiction and the subject of black magic (Farnese's questions and interest in the subject were apparently taken out of context by August Derleth to inspire the infamous "black magic (mis)quote".)
    • 1932 Donald Wandrei visits Lovecraft in Providence.
    • 1932 - Lovecraft visits New Orleans, LA and on the recommendation of Robert E. Howard meets E. Hoffman Price, a long-time follower of Lovecraft in the amateur press, beginning a lengthy correspondence.
    • 1932-1933 - (July-Jan) Harold Farnese discusses with Lovecraft a collaboration on an operetta to be called Yurregarth and Yannimaid, or The Swamp City, or Fen River, apparently set on Yuggoth, about the characters Yurregarth and Yannimaid, and the sinister figure of Nickelman; this may have been identical with, or an extension to Farnese's adaptation at the same time of "Fungi from Yuggoth", and Lovecraft was meant to write a prose Libretto for the Operetta while Farnese composed the music; Lovecraft seems to have shown little enthusiasm for participation, citing his own weakness in writing dialogue and in breathing life into characters. The "Fungi from Yuggoth" adaptation seems to have produced two completed songs, based on the "Mirage" and "The Elder Pharos" sonnets, but an adaptation of the entire work would never be completed, and the existing sheet music would vanish, long be considered lost, until resurfacing decades later. (It's possible that fragments of Lovecraft's part of the unfinished project might have survived in the form of "The Book (fragment)" and perhaps "The Descendant (fragment)"?)
    • 1932 - (early Sep) Lovecraft visits Quebec for this third (and final) time.
    • 1932 - (Oct) Lovecraft writes "The Horror in the Museum (fiction)" with Hazel Heald
    • 1932 - Lovecraft's aunt Lillian Clark dies.
    • 1932 - (nov) Henry S. Whitehead dies while Lovecraft is collaborating on "The Bruise (fiction)"; it's possible that, between this and the death of Lovecraft's aunt Lillian the same year, and the original text seeming to have been lost, that this story might never have been actually started; a purported version of the story matching the description of the original is produced many later by August Derleth in his "posthumous collaboration" era, perhaps the original or perhaps the original as finished by Derleth, but some scholars suggest the story as published was entirely Derleth's.
    • 1932-1933 - (Oct-Apr) Lovecraft writes "Through the Gates of the Silver Key (fiction)" with E. Hoffmann Price
    • 1932-1933 - E. Hoffman Price and/or Lovecraft propose an extended collaboration, but nothing ever comes of it.
    • 1932-1933 - Lovecraft begins correspondence with Duane W. Rimel.
    • 1933 - Sonia moves to California.

Decline and Death

By this point of the 1930s, Lovecraft's separation from Sonia Lovecraft seems have been complete; perhaps just as important at this point is that his mother and one of his aunts have died as well, and, in spite of being forced to live with one or another of his aunts due to financial trouble, Lovecraft seems to have begun to test his independence from strong women at this point, with "The Thing on the Doorstep" reading suspiciously like a thinly-veiled and eye-raising autobiographical commentary on his own passive role in a marriage to a woman who seems to have felt obligated to take all of the initiative in every aspect of their marriage. Lovecraft's fiction continues its trend toward the cosmic during this time. This period would be short-lived and relatively unproductive, as Lovecraft's health had been failing by this point, and the author would be dead before the decade was over.


  • 1930s
  • 1940s and beyond
    • 1941 - (Jan) Annie Gamwell, Lovecraft's surviving aunt and heir, leaves the publishing rights to Lovecraft's fiction to her heirs Ethel Phillips Morrish and Edna Lewis in her will; they in turn gift publishing rights to Arkham House, but retain copyright. Morrish and Lewis would become increasingly less involved in control over the Lovecraft estate, and are believed to have allowed the copyright to lapse by failing to renew it though the 1950s and beyond.
    • 1940s - Arkham House (August Derleth and Donald Wandrei), having gained publishing control over the Lovecraft copyright from the "Morrish-Lewis Gift", aggressively defends that control over the "Cthulhu Mythos", threatening legal action against writers abusing Lovecraft's shared universe, as well as against pastiche writers and others using Lovecraft's creations in good faith without Arkham House approval (notably the latter included C. Hall Thompson, who was forced by Arkham House to stop writing well-regarded Lovecraft pastiches, at least under his own name, without approval from Derleth); a sample Arkham House letter of this era as described by Ramsey Campbell: "I should say at the outset that we had better see your pastiches of Lovecraft Mythos stories because a) the Lovecraft material is copyrighted and so protected and b) the approval of Arkham House is necessary before any copyrighted material can be released for publication. This is a necessary provision, of course, because if we did not enforce it scores of cheap imitations would flood the market, reflecting unfavorably on Lovecraft and his work. I do much prefer typed MSS., though your writing seems quite readable."
    • 1944 - Arkham House finally sells the last copy of The Outsider and Others, while Lovecraft's posthumous reputation begins to spread by word-of-mouth. During this time, Arkham House itself has begun printing new collections of Lovecraft stories, and collections of other weird fiction.
    • 1945 - Sonia hears of Lovecraft's death.
    • 1946 - Sonia's third husband dies. Sonia would eventually learn of Lovecraft's failure to sign the divorce papers, and discover to her horror that her third marriage was technically bigamous.
    • 1946 - "Bothon (fiction)" by Henry S. Whitehead and H.P. Lovecraft is published by Arkham House years after the death of both Whitehead and Lovecraft, allegedly after completion (or complete fabrication) by August Derleth.
    • 1947 - Weird Tales surrenders its control over copyright of the Lovecraft stories it had published to Arkham house, providing August Derleth and Donald Wandrei a legal claim to copyright over Lovecraft's stories.
    • 1947 - August Derleth begins publishing a series of "Posthumous Collaborations" attributed partly (or sometimes entirely) to Lovecraft as filler for Arkham House publications.
    • 1948 - (Mar 16) Arthur C. Clarke writes to Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany, and asks about Lovecraft's Dreamlands stories, presenting Dunsany with a copy of "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath"; this is the first known instance of Dunsany hearing of Lovecraft; Dunsany's response seems enthusiastic. (*)
    • 1951 - Robert H. Barlow, fearing that one of his disgruntled students is about to publicize his homosexuality, commits suicide.
    • 1952 - (Mar 28) Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany writes to August Derleth, asking for more information about Lovecraft's Dreamlands stories, expressing a great deal of interest in reading more of them. (*)
    • 1961 - (Aug 14) Clark Ashton Smith dies.
    • 1963 - One of the first feature films based on Lovecraft's fiction, The Haunted Palace (1963 film), is finished and released by Roger Corman, who had run out of stories by Edgar Allan Poe to continue his wildly popular series of loose, low-budget Poe adaptations starring horror icon Vincent Price; because Lovecraft was still relatively unknown, the film's story is credited to "Edgar Allen Poe", and given a title taken from a poem by Poe, though the story itself is a loose adaptation of Lovecraft's "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward". The film's success and Lovecraft's growing reputation among horror fans would be followed in later decades by many more low-budget Lovecraft film adaptations of wildly varying quality.
    • 1971 - (Jul 4) August Derleth dies, and his attorney Forrest D. Hartmann assumes control of his estate and Arkham House, threatening legal force to uphold control over the Lovecraft copyrights in the name of Derleth's estate. Hartmann's claims would lead directly to conflict with Donald Wandrei over royalties, and Wandrei takes legal action, citing a 1955 agreement with Derleth that would transfer rights to the survivor upon the event of the other's death. The outcome of the legal battle would eventually hinge on the revelation that copyrights had never been renewed for the Lovecraft material.
    • 1972 - Sonia H. Davis dies in an LA rest home.
    • 1974 - Robert C. Harrall obtains from Albert A. Baker executorship of the Lovecraft estate in Providence RI, and claims that the estate includes a portion of Lovecraft's writings, letters, books, photographs, and other such materials; there appears to be no known evidence that Baker had ever renewed copyright of Lovecraft's fiction or letters.
    • 1975 - Chaosium, one of the first and oldest Role-Playing Game manufacturers, is founded.
    • 1980 - TSR, unaware of the Arkham House claims to the "Cthulhu Mythos" property and believing it to be public domain, publishes Deities & Demigods for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game in an edition that includes descriptions and game stats for some of Lovecraft's deity/demigod type creations. Arkham House responds with threats of legal action, but is willing to compromise if TSR adds a reference to Chaosium, to whom the RPG rights to the content had already been licensed.
    • 1981 - Chaosium, after commissioning game designer Sandy Petersen to work on a horror-themed Role-Playing Game, while Petersen was about to propose an expansion for Chaosium's Runequest RPG set in the Dreamlands and realizing the potential for a game based on Lovecraft's fiction, publishes the first edition of the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.
    • 1981 - TSR, no longer willing to credit its competition, drops the "Cthulhu Mythos" content from its 1981 edition.
    • 1985 - Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna collaborate on Reanimator (1985 film), starring Jeffrey Combs and Barbra Crampton, the first in a series of ultra-violent, low-budget gore black-comedy/horror films based on various Lovecraft stories, including two sequels to this popular entry in the series, made by the film-makers either as a team, or separately.
    • 1986-1987 - Donald Wandrei wins the last of a series of protracted court battles with the Derleth estate begun in 1971 over Arkham House royalties; much of the money awarded goes to court costs and attorneys' fees; Wandrei would die shortly afterward.

Notes