Lovecraft, Winfield Scott


Lovecraft, Winfield Scott
   (1853–1898).
   Father of HPL; the only son to survive to adulthood of George Lovecraft (c. 1818–1895) and Helen Allgood (1821–1881), of Rochester, N.Y. HPL states that his father attended a military school and made modern languages his specialty, but the identity of the school is unknown. Richard D.Squires has discovered that Winfield worked as a blacksmith from 1871 to 1873; thereafter he disappears from the record for more than fifteen years. He married Sarah Susan Phillips in Boston on June 12, 1889. He was apparently employed (as was his father for a time) as a “commercial traveler” (i.e., selling to the trade, not door-to-door), probably for Gorham & Co. (Silversmiths) of Providence. The only testimony for this employment comes from Sonia H.Davis’s 1948 memoir (in LR); presumably it was told to her by HPL. Winfield lived in the Boston metropolitan area in 1889–92. He made a business trip to Chicago in the spring of 1893 but had to be returned to Providence under restraint following an incident in his hotel room in which (as noted in his medical records) he claimed that the chambermaid had insulted him and that “certain men were outraging his wife” (who was back in Providence). He was admitted to Butler Hospital on April 25, 1893, remaining there for five years, until his death on July 19, 1898. Some scholars have conjectured that HPL visited his father in the hospital, but HPL repeatedly denies that he did so. He states that Winfield was “never conscious” ( SL 1.6) during his hospital stay, but that clearly was not so; possibly this was the reason HPL was given by his family to explain why he could not visit his father in the hospital. His death certificate lists “general paresis” as cause of death; he probably died of tertiary neurosyphilis, which he had probably been contracted as early as 1871 but no later than 1881, years before he met Sarah. (The negative result of the Wassermann test performed on HPL during his final illness at Rhode Island Hospital in 1937 makes it extremely unlikely that HPL suffered from congenital syphilis, as was once conjectured by David H.Keller.) Winfield left an estate of approximately $10,000. A family portrait, dating to 1892 (printed as the frontispiece to SR), is the only known photograph of Winfield. HPL had few memories of his father: he remembered slapping his father on the knee and saying, “Papa, you look just like a young man!” ( SL4.355) and said that his father warned him not to “fall into Americanisms of speech” ( SL3.362). HPL notes some of Winfield’s clothing—“his immaculate black morning-coat and vest, ascot tie, and striped grey trousers” (ibid.) and says that he wore some of the ascots and wing collars himself (the photograph of HPL on the cover of the September 1915 United Amateurshows him wearing these items). A family friend, Ella Sweeney, once called Winfield a “pompous Englishman.”
   See Kenneth W.Faig, Jr, The Parents of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (Necronomicon Press, 1990); M.Eileen McNamara, M.D., “Winfield Scott Lovecraft’s Final Illness,” LS No. 24 (Spring 1991): 14; “Medical Record of Winfield Scott Lovecraft,” LS No. 24 (Spring 1991): 15–17; Richard D.Squires, Stern Fathers ’Neath the Mould: The Lovecraft Family in Rochester (Necronomicon Press, 1995).

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .

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  • Lovecraft, Sarah Susan Phillips —    (1857–1921)    Mother of HPL; second daughter of Whipple V.Phillips and Robie A.Place Phillips, born in the PlaceBattey house on Moosup Valley Road in Foster, R.I. She spent one academic year at the Wheaton Seminary (Norton, Mass.) in 1871–72; …   An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia

  • Lovecraft Family —    HPL records an elaborate family history for his paternal ancestors, most of it deriving from records copied from his great aunt Sarah Allgood (d. 1908) in 1905. The Lovecraft family line in England as given by HPL in his letter to Frank… …   An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia

  • Lovecraft — mit seiner Frau (1924) Howard Phillips Lovecraft (* 20. August 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island; † 15. März 1937 ebenda) war ein US amerikanischer Schriftsteller. Er gilt als einer der weltweit einflussreichsten Autoren im Bereich der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lovecraft Remembered — Infobox Book name = Lovecraft Remembered title orig = translator = image caption = Dust jacket illustration by Jason C. Eckhardt for Lovecraft Remembered author = edited by Peter Cannon illustrator = cover artist = Jason C. Eckhardt country =… …   Wikipedia

  • Poetry, Lovecraft’s —    HPL wrote more than 250 poems from 1897 to 1936. The great majority of these were written in imitation of the occasional verse of Dryden and Pope, with extensive use of the heroic couplet. In 1914 HPL, responding to Maurice W.Moe’s urging to… …   An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia

  • Davis, Sonia H[aft Greene Lovecraft] —    (1883–1972).    HPL’s wife (1924–29). Born Sonia Haft Shafirkin in Ichnya (near Kiev), in the Ukraine, she came to Liverpool with her mother and brother around 1890; her mother, Racille, went on to New York and married Solomon H (last name… …   An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia

  • H.P. Lovecraft — Lovecraft mit seiner Frau (1924) Howard Phillips Lovecraft (* 20. August 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island; † 15. März 1937 ebenda) war ein US amerikanischer Schriftsteller. Er gilt als einer der weltweit einflussreichsten Autoren im Bereich der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Howard Phillips Lovecraft — Lovecraft mit seiner Frau (1924) Howard Phillips Lovecraft (* 20. August 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island; † 15. März 1937 ebenda) war ein US amerikanischer Schriftsteller. Er gilt als einer der weltweit einflussreichsten Autoren im Bereich der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Howard Phillips Lovecraft — Para otros usos de este término, véase H. P. Lovecraft (desambiguación). Howard Phillips Lovecraft Howard Phillips Lovecraft Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • H. P. Lovecraft — This article is about the author. For the rock group, see H. P. Lovecraft (band). H. P. Lovecraft H. P. Lovecraft, circa 1934. Born Howard Phillips Lovecraft August 20, 1890(1890 08 20) Providence, Rhode Island, United States …   Wikipedia


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