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Lovecraft’s Friends
and Acquaintances

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Lovecraft had a large number of friends and acquaintances, most of whom he engaged with in extensive correspondence.

Forrest J Ackerman (1916–2008), young science fiction fan, agent, and editor and sporadic correspondent with Lovecraft. He, Lovecraft, Robert H. Barlow, and others engaged in a bitter feud over the merits of Clark Ashton Smith’s work in the “Boiling Point” column of the Fantasy Fan (1933–1934).

William Frederick Anger (b. 1921), weird fiction fan and late correspondent of Lovecraft.

Victor E. Bacon (1905–1997), amateur journalist and editor of Bacon’s Essays, which published work by Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, and Official Editor of the United Amateur Press Association (1925–1926).

Edwin Baird (1886–1957), first editor of Weird Tales (March 1923–April 1924), who accepted Lovecraft’s first submissions to the magazine. Also editor of Real Detective Stories.

F[ranklin] Lee Baldwin (1913–1987), weird fiction fan who came into epistolary contact with Lovecraft in 1933. He wrote an early biography, “H.P. Lovecraft: A Biographical Sketch” (Fantasy Magazine, April 1935).

Robert H[ayward] Barlow (1918–1951), author and collector. As a teenager he corresponded with Lovecraft and acted as his host during two long visits to Florida in the summers of 1934 and 1935. In the 1930s he wrote several works of weird and fantasy fiction, some in collaboration with Lovecraft. Lovecraft appointed him his literary executor. He assisted August Derleth and Donald Wandrei in preparing the early Lovecraft volumes for Arkham House. In the 1940s he went to Mexico and became a distinguished anthropologist. He died by suicide.

Harry [Hiram Gilmore] Bates III (1900–1981), editor of Strange Tales and Astounding Stories. Lovecraft repeatedly submitted stories to him, but all were rejected because they did not contain a sufficiency of “action”.

Zealia Brown (Reed) Bishop (1897–1968), Lovecraft’s revision client. Lovecraft ghostwrote “The Curse of Yig” (1928), “The Mound” (1929–1930), and “Medusa’s Coil” (1930) for her based on her slim plot synopses.

Robert Bloch (1917–1994), author of weird and suspense fiction who came into correspondence with Lovecraft in 1933. Lovecraft tutored him in the craft of writing during their four-year association. [The Bat is My Brother is dedicated to Bloch and his writings.]

Hyman Bradofsky (1906–2002), amateur journalist, editor of the Californian, and president (1935–1936) and official editor (1936) of the National Amateur Press Association.

Harry K[ern] Brobst (1909–2010), late associate of Lovecraft who moved to Providence in 1932, becoming a psychiatric nurse at Butler Hospital and seeing Lovecraft regularly thereafter.

(Rev.) David Van Bush (1882–1959), prolific author of inspirational verse and popular psychology manuals, many of them revised by Lovecraft.

Hugh B[arnett] Cave (1910–2004), prolific author of stories for the pulp magazines. He lived for a time near Lovecraft in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. They corresponded briefly but never met.

Walter J[ohn] Coates (1880–1941), friend of W. Paul Cook and editor of the Vermont magazine Driftwind.

Edward H[arold] Cole (1892–1966), longtime amateur associate of Lovecraft, living in the Boston area. Editor of the Olympian.

Willis [Clark] Conover, Jr. (1920–1996), young weird fiction fan who edited the Science-Fantasy Correspondent (1936–1937) and was a late correspondent of Lovecraft. He fashioned his brief correspondence with Lovecraft into a splendid book, Lovecraft at Last (1975).

W[illiam] Paul Cook (1881–1948), publisher of the Monadnock Monthly, the Vagrant, and other amateur journals; a longtime amateur journalist, printer, and life-long friend of Lovecraft. In 1927 Cook issued the Recluse, containing Lovecraft’s “Supernatural Horror in Literature”.

[Harold] Hart Crane (1899–1932), eminent American poet who met Lovecraft sporadically in Cleveland (1922) and New York (1924–1926, 1930). Lovecraft admired his work, especially The Bridge (1930), on which Lovecraft saw him at work in 1924. He died by suicide. [Modern American Poetry includes a biography of Crane and several of his works.]

William L[evy] Crawford (1911–1984), editor of Marvel Tales and Unusual Stories and publisher of the Visionary Publishing Company, which issued Lovecraft’s The Shadow over Innsmouth (1936).

Anna Helen Crofts (1889–1975), amateur writer and collaborator with Lovecraft. She collaborated with Lovecraft on the story “Poetry and the Gods”, published as by "Anna Helen Crofts and Henry Paget-Lowe”.

Edward F. Daas (1879–1962), amateur journalist who recruited Lovecraft into the movement in 1914.

Edgar J. Davis, young amateur journalist with whom Lovecraft explored Newburyport and other locales in New England.

Adolphe de Castro (1859–1959), formerly Gustav Adolphe Danziger, author, co-translator with Ambrose Bierce of Richard Voss’s The Monk and the Hangman’s Daughter, and correspondent of Lovecraft. Lovecraft revised his “The Last Test” and “The Electric Executioner”.

August [William] Derleth (1909–1971), author of weird tales and also a long series of regional and historical works set in his native Wisconsin. After Lovecraft’s death, he and Donald Wandrei founded the publishing firm of Arkham House to preserve Lovecraft’s work in book form. [The August Derleth Society is dedicated to preserving the memory of Derleth, Wisconsin’s most prolific author.]

William J. Dowdell (1898–1953), amateur journalist who abruptly resigned as president of the National Amateur Press Assocation in late 1922, leading the executive judges to appoint Lovecraft as interim president.

Bernard Austin Dwyer (1897–1943), weird fiction fan and would-be writer and artist, living in West Shokan, NY; correspondent of Lovecraft.

C[lifford] M[artin] Eddy, Jr. (1896–1967), pulp fiction writer for whom Lovecraft revised several stories in 1923–1924 and who also worked with Lovecraft on ghostwriting work for Harry Houdini in 1926.

Ernest A[rthur] Edkins (1867–1946), longtime amateur journalist with whom Lovecraft began corresponding in 1932. Lovecraft persuaded him to rejoin the amateur journalism movement, and Edkins subsequently edited several issues of the journal Causerie.

Lloyd Arthur Eshbach (1910–2003), science fiction writer and publisher who edited the Galleon and published some of Lovecraft’s poems and stories in the magazine.

Harold S. Farnese (1885–1945), composer who set some of Lovecraft’s poems to music. He corresponded sporadically with Lovecraft from 1932 to 1933. It was he who provided August Derleth with the spurious “Black Magic” quotation attributed to Lovecraft.

Virgil [Warden] Finlay (1914–1971), one of the great weird artists of his time and a prolific contributor of artwork to the pulps; late correspondent of Lovecraft. [A Virgil Finlay Bibliography features much of Finlay’s art.]

Alfred Galpin (1901–1983) amateur journalist, French scholar, composer, and protégé, then longtime friend, of Lovecraft. He lived in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Hugo Gernsback (1884–1967), editor of Amazing Stories, Wonder Stories, and other pioneering science fiction pulps.

Arthur [Henry] Goodenough (1871–1936), amateur poet who resided in Brattleboro, Vermont. Lovecraft visited him there on several occasions.

Sonia Haft Greene (1883–1972), Russian Jewish immigrant and amateur journalist who became Lovecraft’s wife in 1924. When Lovecraft returned to Providence in 1926, she continued to work in the millinery trade in New York. In early 1929 she forced Lovecraft to pursue divorce proceedings. Some years later she moved to California and married Nathaniel Davis. Her memoir of Lovecraft, first published in 1948, has been published in its complete form as The Private Life of H. P. Lovecraft (1985).

Edmond Hamilton (1904–1977), prolific author of weird and science fiction tales for the pulp magazines. Lovecraft admired his story “The Monster-God of Mamurth” (Weird Tales, August 1926), but little else.

Ida C. Haughton (d. 1935?), amateur journalist with whom Lovecraft had a bitter feud in the early 1920s. He directed the pungent satirical poem “Medusa: A Portrait” (1922) at her.

Hazel Heald (1896–1961), revision client of Lovecraft, living in Somerville, Massachusetts. Lovecraft revised five stories for her—“The Man of Stone”, “Winged Death”, “The Horror in the Museum”, “Out of the Aeons”, and “The Horror in the Burying-Ground”—most of them in 1932–1933.

J[acob] C[lark] Henneberger (1890–1969), founder of College Humor (1922f.) and the original publisher of Weird Tales.

Jonathan E[than] Hoag (1831–1927), amateur poet for whom Lovecraft regularly wrote birthday poems from 1918 to 1927; upon Hoag’s death he wrote the elegy “Ave atque Vale”. Lovecraft was the chief editor of The Poetical Works of Jonathan E. Hoag (1923).

Charles D[erwin] Hornig (1916–1999), youthful editor of the Fantasy Fan (1933–1935). He was hired by Hugo Gernsback to edit Wonder Stories in 1933.

Harry Houdini (stage name of Ehrich Weiss, 1874–1926), celebrated escape artist and opponent of spiritualism for whom Lovecraft ghostwrote the story “Under the Pyramids” (1924; published as “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs”) and for whom he did other revisory work in 1926, just prior to Houdini’s death. [The Life of Harry Houdini provides a brief and attractive overview of Houdini’s life.]

George Julian Houtain (1884–1945), amateur journalist who established the semi-professional humor magazine Home Brew, for which he commissioned Lovecraft to write “Herbert West—Reanimator” (1921–1922) and “The Lurking Fear” (1922).

Robert E[rvin] Howard (1906–1936), prolific Texas author of weird and adventure tales for Weird Tales and other pulp magazines; creator of the adventure hero Conan the Barbarian. He and Lovecraft corresponded voluminously from 1930 to 1936. He committed suicide when he heard of his mother’s impending death. [The Robert E. Howard Foundation was “organized to foster understanding of the life and works of Robert E. Howard”.]

Winifred Virginia Jackson (1876–1959), poet and amateur journalist who worked extensively with Lovecraft (1918–1921); she was rumored to have amorous designs on Lovecraft.

George [Willard] Kirk (1898–1962), member of the Kalem Club. He published Twenty-one Letters of Ambrose Bierce (1922) and ran the Chelsea Bookshop in New York.

Rheinhart Kleiner (1892–1949), amateur poet and longtime friend of Lovecraft. He visited Lovecraft in Providence in 1918, 1919, and 1920, and met him frequently during the heyday of the Kalem Club (1924–1926).

H[erman] C[harles] Koenig (1893–1959), late associate of Lovecraft who spearheaded the rediscovery of the work of William Hope Hodgson.

Henry Kuttner (1915–1958), prolific author of science fiction and horror tales for the pulps and a late correspondent of Lovecraft (1936–1937). Lovecraft introduced him to C.L. Moore, whom he would later marry.

Horace L. Lawson, amateur journalist and editor of the Wolverine, which published several of Lovecraft’s stories and also some installments of the pseudonymous column “The Vivisector” (as by “Zoilus”).

Edward J. Lazare (1904–1991), friend of Hart Crane and Samuel Loveman; he later became a longtime editor of American Book-Prices Current (1940–1965).

Arthur Leeds (1882–1952?), an associate of Lovecraft in New York and member of the Kalem Club. He was the author (with J. Berg Esenwein) of Writing the Photoplay (Springfield, MA: The Home Correspondence School, 1913; rev. ed. 1919).

Fritz [Reuter] Leiber, Jr. (1910–1992), late associate of Lovecraft who became one of the leading figures in science fiction and fantasy from the 1940s onward. He and his wife, Jonquil, corresponded separately with Lovecraft during the last few months of the latter’s life.

Frank Belknap Long, Jr. (1901–1994), poet, prolific writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction tales for the pulps, and one of Lovecraft’s closest friends and correspondents. Late in life he wrote the memoir, Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Dreamer on the Nightside (1975).

Samuel E. Loveman (1887–1976), poet, bookseller, member of the Kalem Club, and longtime friend of Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Donald Wandrei as well as of Ambrose Bierce, Hart Crane, and George Sterling. Author of The Hermaphrodite (1926) and other works.

William Lumley (1880–1960), eccentric late associate of Lovecraft for whom Lovecraft ghostwrote “The Diary of Alonzo Typer” (1935).

[Henry] Everett McNeil (1862–1929), prolific author of historical and adventure novels for boys; member of the Kalem Club.

A[braham] Merritt (1884–1943), writer of fantasy and horror tales for the pulps. His work was much admired by Lovecraft in spite of its concessions to pulp formulae. His late novel, Dwellers in the Mirage (1932), may have been influenced by Lovecraft.

Edith [May Dowe] Miniter (1867–1934), amateur author who also professionally published a novel, Our Natupski Neighbors (1916), and many short stories. Lovecraft was guest at her home in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, in the summer of 1928.

Maurice W[inter] Moe (1882–1940), amateur journalist, English teacher, and longtime friend and correspondent of Lovecraft. He lived successively in Appleton and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

C[atherine] L[ucile] Moore (1911–1987), late associate of Lovecraft who later married Henry Kuttner and became a leading figure in science fiction and fantasy.

Richard Ely Morse (1909–1986), poet, librarian at Princeton University, and late correspondent of Lovecraft.

James F[erdinand] Morton, Jr. (1870–1941), amateur journalist, author of many tracts on race prejudice, free thought, and taxation, and longtime friend of Lovecraft.

H[arold] Warner Munn (1903–1981), friend of Lovecraft and W. Paul Cook and author of horror and adventure tales for the pulps, notably “The Werewolf of Ponkert” (Weird Tales, July 1925) and its several sequels. Lovecraft met him frequently at his home in Athol, Massachusetts.

[Kenneth] Vrest [Teachout] Orton (1897–1986), a late member of the Kalem Club. He was for a time an editor at the Saturday Review and later the founder of the Vermont Country Store. He compiled an early bibliography of Dreiser, Dreiseriana (1929).

Emil Petaja (1915–2000), science fiction fan and late associate of Lovecraft’s; later a prolific author and editor.

E[dgar] Hoffmann Price (1898–1988), prolific pulp writer of weird and adventure tales. Lovecraft met him in New Orleans in 1932 and corresponded extensively with him thereafter.

Seabury [Grandin] Quinn (1889–1969), prolific author of weird and detective tales to the pulps, notably a series of tales involving the psychic detective Jules de Grandin. He also edited Casket and Sunnyside and other trade publications for morticians.

Anne (Vyne) Tillery Renshaw, prolific amateur journalist and professor. She commissioned Lovecraft to revise a textbook of English usage, Well Bred Speech (1936), although much of the work Lovecraft did for it was excised and remains unpublished.

Duane W[eldon] Rimel (1915–1996), weird fiction fan and late associate of Lovecraft, who revised some of his early tales.

Albert A. Sandusky (d. 1934?), amateur journalist whose use of slang captivated Lovecraft. Lovecraft met him frequently during trips to the Boston area.

Julius Schwartz (1915–2004), youthful editor of Fantasy Magazine who acted as Lovecraft’s agent in marketing At the Mountains of Madness to Astounding Stories. He later enjoyed a long and successful career at DC Comics.

Richard F[ranklyn] Searight (1902–1975), sporadic contributor of weird and science fiction tales to the pulp magazines. He corresponded with Lovecraft from 1933 to 1937.

Edward L[loyd] Sechrist (1873–1953), amateur journalist and beekeeper. Lovecraft met him on several occasions, especially during visits to Washington, DC.

J[oseph] Vernon Shea (1912–1981), young weird fiction fan from Pittsburgh who began corresponding with Lovecraft in 1931.

Wilson Shepherd (b. 1917), weird fiction editor and publisher who assisted Donald A. Wollheim in editing the Phantagraph and Fanciful Tales. He corresponded briefly with Lovecraft in 1936–1937. He published Lovecraft’s “A History of the Necronomicon” in 1937.

Charles W. (“Tryout”) Smith (1852–1940), longtime amateur journalist, editor of the Tryout, and friend and correspondent of Lovecraft.

Clark Ashton Smith (1893–1961), prolific California poet and writer of fantasy tales. He received a “fan” letter from Lovecraft in 1922 and continued to correspond with him until Lovecraft’s death. [The Eldritch Dark is an excellent site dedicated to Smith and includes a number of his writings and images of his art.]

[Charles] Vincent Starrett (1886–1974), American bookman who corresponded briefly with Lovecraft in 1927.

Kenneth J. Sterling (1920–1995), young science fiction fan who came into contact with Lovecraft in 1934. They collaborated on the science fiction story “In the Walls of Eryx” (1935). Sterling later became a distinguished physician.

Carl Ferdinand Strauch (1908–1989), friend of Harry Brobst and correspondent of Lovecraft. He later became a distinguished professor and critic.

Helen V. Sully (1904–1997), friend of Clark Ashton Smith who visited Lovecraft in Providence in 1933, then saw Donald Wandrei and others in New York.

Wilfred Blanch Talman (1904–1986), correspondent of Lovecraft and late member of the Kalem Club. Lovecraft assisted Talman on his story “Two Black Bottles” (1926). Late in life he wrote the memoir The Normal Lovecraft (1973).

Elizabeth [Anne] Toldridge (1861–1940), poet living in Washington, DC, who corresponded with Lovecraft from 1928 to 1937. Robert Barlow visited her while traveling from Florida to Providence.

Frank Utpatel (1905–1980), illustrator and late correspondent of Lovecraft (1936–1937). He produced several illustrations for the Visionary Press edition of Lovecraft’s The Shadow over Innsmouth (1936), and later illustrated a number of books published by Arkham House.

Donald [Albert] Wandrei (1908–1987), poet and fiction writer who began corresponding with Lovecraft in 1926. He visited Lovecraft in Providence in 1927 and 1932, and saw him frequently when Lovecraft visited New York in the 1930s. With August Derleth, he founded Arkham House to preserve Lovecraft’s work in book form.

Howard [Elmer] Wandrei (1909–1956), younger brother of Donald Wandrei, premier weird artist and prolific author of weird fiction, science fiction, and detective stories; correspondent of Lovecraft.

John J. Weir (1922–1977), late correspondent of Lovecraft and editor of the fanzine Fantasmagoria.

Henry George Weiss (1898–1946), Canadian-born poet and essayist who wrote weird fiction under the pseudonym “Francis Flagg”. He came into touch with Lovecraft in 1930; his communist leanings may have influenced Lovecraft’s leftward political shift in the 1930s.

Henry S[t. Clair] Whitehead (1882–1932), Episcopal clergyman and accomplished author of weird and adventure tales for the pulp magazines, many of them set in the Caribbean. Lovecraft corresponded with him and visited him in Dunedin, Florida, in 1931.

Donald A[llen] Wollheim (1914–1990), editor of the Phantagraph and Fanciful Tales and prolific author and editor in the science fiction field.

Farnsworth Wright (1888–1940), editor of Weird Tales (1924–1940). He rejected some of Lovecraft’s best work of the 1930s, only to publish it after Lovecraft’s death upon submittal by August Derleth.

 
 
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