Lockhart, Andrew F[rancis]


Lockhart, Andrew F[rancis]
   (1890–1964)
   amateur journalist from Milbank, South Dakota, and author of the first article on HPL, “Little Journeys to the Homes of Prominent Amateurs” ( United Amateur,September 1915), a biographical sketch; the information for it was surely derived exclusively from correspondence with HPL. HPL responded with a biographical sketch of Lockhart in the series, “Little Journeys to the Homes of Prominent Amateurs” ( United Amateur,October 1915), written under the pseudonym “El Impartial.” Lockhart edited the professional temperance journal Chain Lightning,which HPL wrote about in “More Chain Lightning” ( United Official Quarterly,October 1915). HPL also wrote the poem, “To Mr. Lockhart, On His Poetry” ( Tryout,March 1917); its appearance in a South Dakota newspaper has not been located. Long, Frank Belknap, Jr. (1901–1994).
   American short story writer, novelist, and poet, and one of HPL’s closest friends. Long, a lifelong New Yorker, was not quite nineteen when he first came in touch with HPL in early 1920; he was about to enter New York University to study journalism but would later transfer to Columbia, leaving without a degree. His father was a prosperous dentist, and the family resided at 823 West End Avenue in Manhattan. Long developed an interest in the weird by reading the Oz books, Jules Verne, and H.G.Wells in youth, and he exercised his talents both in prose and in poetry. He discovered amateur journalism when he won a prize from The Boy’s Worldand received an invitation to join the UAPA; he seems to have done so around the end of 1919. His first published tale was “Dr. Whitlock’s Price” ( United Amateur,March 1920), a mediocre mad scientist story. It was followed by a powerful prosepoetic tale, “The Eye Above the Mantel” ( United Amateur,March 1921). HPL found Long a stimulating correspondent, especially in regard to his aesthetic tastes, focusing on the Italian Renaissance and French literature. HPL published some of Long’s work in his Conservative (e.g., “Felis: A Prose Poem” [July 1923], about Long’s pet cat) and paid tribute to Long in a flattering article, “The Work of Frank Belknap Long, Jun.,” published anonymously in the United Amateur(May 1924) but clearly by HPL. HPL also wrote a birthday poem to Long: “To Endymion” ( Tryout, September 1923). (HPL wrongly believed that Long was born in 1902; Long himself in later years gave his birth year as 1903, but Peter Cannon’s consultation of New York City birth records confirm that his year of birth was 1901.) They first met when HPL visited New York in April 1922. In the summer of 1923 Long did HPL the great favor of introducing him to the work of Arthur Machen, which profoundly influenced HPL’s later tales. He may have been a significant influence in HPL’s adoption of a “Decadent” aesthetic in the early 1920s, which represented a major shift in his previous classicist aesthetic. The two authors met with great frequency during HPL’s stay in Brooklyn (1924–26), at which time they were the chief members of the Kalem Club. Long contributed to stories to early issues of WT,notably “Death Waters” (December 1924) and “The Ocean Leech” (January 1925), both of which convey Long’s fascination with the sea.
   Perceiving the depression and despair HPL was feeling in New York, Long apparently wrote to HPL’s aunts in Providence in early 1926, recommending that they invite HPL to return home. (Long has supplied varying accounts of this incident; in one version he states that he himself wrote the letter, in another he claims that his mother did so.) In 1926 W.Paul Cook published Long’s first book of poetry, A Man from Genoa. In 1927 Long wrote the story, “The Space-Eaters,” in which HPL is featured as a character (referred to only as “Howard”; the other major character is named “Frank”). The story contains, as an epigraph, a quotation from the Necronomiconas translated by Dr. John Dee (the epigraph was omitted in the story’s first appearance in WT,July 1928); it constitutes the first “addition” to HPL’s pseudomythology. A year later Long (whose family had moved to 230 West 97th Street) wrote “The Hounds of Tindalos” ( WT, March 1929), an explicit imitation of HPL and a brief preface to the stillborn edition of HPL’s The Shunned House (1928). HPL, in turn, ghostwrote for Long the preface to Mrs. William B.Symmes’s Old World Footprints(W.Paul Cook/The Recluse Press, 1928), a slim poetry collection by Long’s aunt.
   In 1929 Long wrote the short novel, The Horror from the Hills( WT,January and February-March 1931; published in book form 1963), which incorporates verbatim a letter by HPL recounting his great “Roman dream” of Halloween 1927. At this time Long—who had teamed with HPL in a revision service (an advertisement for this service appeared in WT,August 1928)—was working with Zealia Bishop and also Adolphe de Castro, whose memoir Portrait of Ambrose Bierce(Century Co., 1929) Long revised after HPL refused to do so; it contains a preface, signed “Belknap Long.” Long’s parents frequently brought HPL on various motor trips: to various spots in upstate New York and Connecticut in April 1928; to Kingston, New York, in May 1929; to Cape Cod in August 1929, August 1930, and July 1933; and to Asbury Park, N.J., in July 1930. The Longs’ spacious apartment also served as HPL’s base of operations during his Christmas visits to New York in 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, and 1935–36.
   By the early 1930s Long had turned to science fiction or science fantasy, writing voluminously for Astounding Storiesand other pulps. HPL began to feel that Long had sold himself out (see SL5.400). At this same time, paradoxically, Long was espousing Bolshevism, engendering vigorous debates in their letters. His most notable story, “Second Night Out” (originally published as “The Black, Dead Thing”), appeared in WT (October 1933). In 1935 HPL participated in the round-robin story “The Challenge from Beyond,” persuading Long to write the final segment after he had left the project. When visiting R.H.Barlow that summer in Florida, HPL helped set type for Long’s second poetry collection, The Goblin Tower(Dragonfly Press, 1935), correcting some of Long’s faulty meter in the process. HPL’s letters to Long are among the richest and most wide-ranging of all his correspondence; however, the letters after April 1931 have been lost, and even the letters up to that date exist primarily in transcriptions prepared by Arkham House.
   Long learned of HPL’s death when he read the brief obituary in the New York Timeson March 16, 1937. He wrote only three times about HPL, aside from brief letters published in magazines: “Random Memories of H.P.L.” (in Marginalia;rpt. LR), “H.P.L. in Red Hook” (in The Occult Lovecraft, ed. Anthony Raven [1975]), and Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Dreamer on the Nightside(Arkham House, 1975). The book-length memoir was written in considerable haste as a direct result of Long’s reading of the manuscript of L.Sprague de Camp’s Lovecraft: A Biography (1975), which Long felt to be a biased portrait of HPL; it was exhaustively revised by Arkham House’s editor, James Turner. Long also wrote a brief preface to a collection of HPL’s tales, The Colour out of Space(Jove, 1978 [inadvertently omitted from the first printing]). His introduction to The Early Long(Doubleday, 1975), a collection of his best stories, provides illumination on his own life and work, as does his brief Autobiographical Memoir (Necronomicon Press, 1985). In his later years he lived in great poverty with his wife, Lyda, in an apartment in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.
   Long wrote prolifically in the fields of horror and science fiction. His best tales are collected in two Arkham House volumes, The Hounds of Tindalos (1946) and The Rim of the Unknown (1972). Among his science fiction tales, the most notable are John Carstairs, Space Detective (1949) and Mars Is My Destination (1949). Odd Science Fiction (1964) contains The Horror from the Hills and two other tales. The best of his poetry, as selected by himself, was gathered in In May an Splendor (Arkham House, 1977); his uncollected poetry has been assembled by Perry M.Grayson in The Darkling Tide (Tsathoggua Press, 1995).
   See Tom Collins, “Frank Belknap Long on Literature, Lovecraft, and the Golden Age of ‘Weird Tales,’” Twilight Zone1, No. 10 (January 1982): 13–19; Ben P.Indick, “In Memoriam: Frank Belknap Long,” LS No. 30 (Spring 1994): 3–4; Peter Cannon, Long Memories: Recollections of Frank Belknap Long (British Fantasy Society, 1997); S.T.Joshi, “Things from the Sea: The Early Weird Fiction of Frank Belknap Long,” Studies in Weird FictionNo. 25 (Summer 2001): 33–40.

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.