By L. Sprague de Camp
Dust Jacket Text
Few writers have had a more paradoxical, ironic life than Howard Phillips Lovecraft of Providence,
Rhode Island. He never had a book of stories published in his lifetime, but he became a
best-selling author after his death. Though he died in poverty and obscurity, utterly convinced
he was a complete failure, he is now hailed not only as the equal of Edgar Allan Poe, but as one
of the most important writers of the twentieth century. He was a self-proclaimed misanthrope,
yet he collected a circle of devoted friends who remember him as one of the kindest, most
delightful people they ever knew.
The son of parents who both died insane, Lovecraft became a powerful philosophical
thinker. A poseur who liked to fancy himself an eighteenth-century English gentleman, he
condemned poses and affectations in others. A political conservative, he became a Socialist and
a believer in the New Deal. A man who prided himself on reticence, he poured out his innermost
thoughts in over 100,000 letters, making him one of the best and most prolific letter writers in
Here is the story of his strange upbringing: his bizarre habits and preferences;
his tragicomic literary and martial careers; his key role in the development of science fiction;
and his posthumous triumph. Here also is how he transformed his nightmares and neuroses into the
stories that made him one of this century’s most important literary figures.
L. Sprague de Camp has written over one hundred books. These include historical
novels, science fiction, fantasy, verse, and biographies. He has written many hundreds of
stories and articles for magazines, newspapers, and encyclopedias. Among his books are
Ancient Ruins and The Ancient Engineers as well as the classic science-fiction
novels Lest Darkness Fall and Rogue Queen. L. Sprague de Camp lives with his wife,
the writer Catherine Crook de Camp in Plano, Texas.
H.P. Lovecraft: A Biography. By L. Sprague de Camp. New York: Barnes & Noble Books; 1996;
ISBN 1-56619-994-8; Hardcover.
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