Hart, Bertrand K[elton]


Hart, Bertrand K[elton]
   (1892–1941)
   Literary editor of the Providence Journal who briefly corresponded with HPL. In his column in the Journal,“The Sideshow,” in mid-November 1929, Hart printed a list of what a colleague had recommended as the ten greatest horror stories ever written. HPL found the list so tame that he submitted his own list, published in Hart’s column for November 23; Hart called the list “a little masterpiece of comparative criticism.” Other lists, by August Derleth and Frank Belknap Long, were published in the column for November 25. Hart then stumbled upon HPL’s “The Call of Cthulhu” in Harre’s Beware After Dark!,and professed to be outraged at the fact that the artist Wilcox’s home was given as 7 Thomas Street, where Hart himself had once resided. In the column for November 30 he threatened to send a ghost to HPL’s doorstep at 3 A.M. that night. At 3:07 A.M. HPL wrote the sonnet “The Messenger” and sent it to Hart, who published it in his column for December 3. Hart printed a letter by HPL in his column for March 18, 1930. Some of Hart’s columns discussing HPL were gathered in The Sideshow of B.K.Hart,ed. Philomela Hart (1941). Although Hart repeatedly expressed a wish to meet HPL, he never did so; possibly HPL, with his typically exaggerated modesty, felt himself too insignificant to meet so recognized a figure in local journalism.

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .

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