- Bierce, Ambrose [Gwinnett]
- (1842–c. 1914).American short story writer and journalist. His best tales are collected in Tales of Soldiers and Civilians [In the Midst of Life](1891) and Can Such Things Be?(1893), the former containing his Civil War tales (many filled with moments of terror and grue) and tales of psychological horror, the latter his weird fiction. HPL first read Bierce (at the instigation of Samuel Loveman) in 1919. HPL discusses Bierce’s work in “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” where he quotes from Loveman’s preface to Bierce’s Twenty-one Letters of Ambrose Bierce (1922), published by HPL’s friend George Kirk. The invisible monster in “The Damned Thing” is a likely influence on “The Dunwich Horror.” Clark Ashton Smith felt that “In the Vault” had “the realistic grimness of Bierce” (letter to HPL, March 11, 1930; ms., JHL). HPL discusses the authorship of The Monk and the Hangman’s Daughter (cotranslated with Adolphe de Castro [later a client of HPL] from the German of Richard Voss) in SL 1.203–7. Frank Belknap Long revised de Castro’s Portrait of Ambrose Bierce (1929) after HPL declined.See Carey McWilliams, Ambrose Bierce: A Biography (A. & C. Boni, 1929); M.E.Grenander, Ambrose Bierce (Twayne, 1971); Roy Morris, Jr., Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company (Crown, 1995).
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.