Pseudonyms, Lovecraft’s

   HPL used pseudonyms frequently, but almost exclusively during his years in amateur journalism and mostly for poems. In part, the pseudonyms were a means of disguising the fact that HPL was contributing more than one item to a given issue of a paper; in other cases (e.g., the religious poem “Wisdom”), HPL may have been wishing to conceal his identity in a work whose subject matter would have been considered anomalous for readers who knew his work. Some pseudonyms (e.g., Henry Paget-Lowe, Ward Phillips) did not well conceal his identity. His first pseudonym was “Isaac Bickerstaffe,” used in late 1914; and this Augustan nom de plumepaved the way for numerous other pseudonyms derivative or suggestive of eighteenth-century poetry. HPL never used pseudonyms for his major works of weird fiction. Below is an alphabetical list of HPL’s pseudonyms and the works under which they appeared in his lifetime (listed chronologically), followed by brief explanations of their use or origin.
   • “Lawrence Appleton” was used for the poems “Hylas and Myrrha: A Tale” ( Tryout,May 1919) and “Myrrha and Strephon” ( Tryout,July 1919). The name reflects the college where Alfred Galpin studied (Lawrence College in Appleton, Wis.), as these poems deal whimsically with Galpin’s schoolboy romances.
   For the use of Winifred Virginia Jackson’s pseudonym “Elizabeth Berkeley” for HPL’s poems “The Unknown” ( Conservative,December 1916) and “The Peace Advocate” ( Tryout,May 1917), see entry for Jackson.
   • “Isaac Bickerstaffe, Jr.” was used for HPL’s satirical attacks on the astrologer J.F.Hartmann in the [Providence] Evening News:“Astrology and the Future” (October 13, 1914), “Delavan’s Comet and Astrology” (October 26, 1914), [letter to the editor] (December 21, 1914). For the name see Astrology, Articles on.
   • “Jeremy Bishop” was used for the poem “Medusa: A Portrait” ( Tryout,December 1921). Alexander Ferguson Blair” was used for “North and South Britons” ( Tryout,May 1919), a poem urging unity between England and Scotland, hence the Scottish-sounding pseudonym. “El Imparcial” (“the impartial one”) was used for the essays “What Is Amateur Journalism?” ( Lake Breeze,March 1915), “Consolidation’s Autopsy” ( Lake Breeze,April 1915), “New Department Proposed: Instruction for the Recruit” ( Lake Breeze,June 1915), “Little Journeys to the Homes of Prominent Amateurs” ( United Amateur,October 1915 and July 1917), “Among the New-Comers” ( United Amateur,May 1916), and “Winifred Virginia Jordan: Associate Editor” ( Silver Clarion,April 1919), all on amateur subjects. Of the two “Little Journeys” articles, the first is a biography of Andrew Francis Lockhart (who had previously written a “Little Journeys” biography of HPL) and the second is a biography of Eleanor J.Barnhart.
   • “John J.Jones” was used for the self-parodic poem “The Dead Bookworm” ( United Amateur, September 1919).
   • “Humphry Littlewit” was used for the story “A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson” ( United Amateur,November 1917), the poem-cycle “Perverted Poesie or Modern Metre” ( O-Wash-Ta-Nong, December 1937; including the poems “The Introduction,” “Unda; or, The Bride of the Sea,” “The Peace Advocate,” and “A Summer Sunset and Evening”), and possibly for the unlocated newspaper publication of the satiric poem “Waste Paper” (the manuscript has the Littlewit pseudonym affixed to it). The name is suggestive of eighteenth-century satire (cf. the line in “He”: “look, ye puling lackwit!”).
   • “Archibald Maynwaring” was used for the poems “The Pensive Swain” ( Tryout,October 1919), “To the Eighth of November” ( Tryout,November 1919), and “Wisdom” ( Silver Clarion,November 1919). The name is probably derived from Arthur Mainwaring, one of the translators of Sir Samuel Garth’s edition of Ovid’s Metamorphoses(1717), which HPL read as a boy (see SL1.7).
   • “Michael Ormonde O’Reilly” was used for the juvenile poem “To Pan” ( Tryout,April 1919; as “Pan”). “Henry [or H.] Paget-Lowe” was used for the poems “January” ( Silver Clarion,January 1920), “On Religion” ( Tryout,August 1920), “On a Grecian Colonnade in a Park” ( Tryout,September 1920), and “October” ( Tryout,October 1920), and the collaborative story “Poetry and the Gods” ( United Amateur,September 1920), with Anna Helen Crofts.
   • “Ward Phillips” was used for the essay “Ward Phillips Replies” ( Conservative,July 1918; containing the poem “Grace”), the poems “Astrophobos” ( United Amateur,January 1918), “The Eidolon” ( Tryout,October 1918), “Ambition” ( United Co-operative,December 1918), “In Memoriam: J.E.T.D.” ( Tryout,March 1919), “The City” ( Vagrant,October 1919), “Bells” ( Tryout,December 1919), “The House” ( Philosopher,December 1920), “Sir Thomas Tryout” ( Tryout,December 1921), and “To Mr. Hoag, on His Ninetieth Birthday” ( Tryout,February 1921), and a letter to the Bureau of Critics published in the National Amateur(January 1919) as by “Ned Softly and Ward Phillips.” The name seems used chiefly for HPL’s weird poetry. Phillips is also a character in “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” (1932–33).
   • “Richard Raleigh” was used for the poem “To a Youth” ( Tryout,February 1921). In a ms. of the poem (JHL), HPL notes: “How is this for an Elizabethan pseudonym?” HPL refers to the celebrated Elizabethan courtier Sir Walter Ralegh (1554?–1618), formerly spelled “Raleigh.
   • “Ames Dorrance Rowley” was used for the poems “Laeta; a Lament” ( Tryout,February 1918), “The Volunteer” ( Tryout,April 1918), “To Maj.-Gen. Omar Bundy, U.S.A.” ( Tryout,January 1919), and “To the Old Pagan Religion” ( Tryout,April 1919; as “The Last Pagan Speaks”). The name is a parody of the amateur poet James Laurence Crowley. Only one of the poems (“Laeta; a Lament”) is itself satirical, and does not appear to be a parody of any poem by Crowley.
   • “Edward Softly” was used for the poems “Damon and Delia, a Pastoral” ( Tryout,August 1918), “To Delia, Avoiding Damon” ( Tryout,September 1918), “Ode to Selene or Diana” ( Tryout,April 1919; as “To Selene”), “Tryout’s Lament for the Vanished Spider” ( Tryout,January 1920), “The Dream” ( Tryout,September 1920), “Christmas” ( Tryout,November 1920), and “Chloris and Damon” (Tryout, June 1923). The name is probably meant to augment the satirical intent of the several poems here that spoof romantic love poetry. See also “Ward Phillips” above.
   • “Lewis Theobald, Jun.,” HPL’s most frequently used pseudonym, was used for the two stories cowritten with Winifred Virginia Jackson, “The Crawling Chaos” (United Co-operative,April 1921) and “The Green Meadow” (Vagrant,[Spring 1927]), the essays “The Convention” (Tryout, July 1930 [as by “Theobald”]) “Some Causes of Self-immolation,” and the poems “Unda; or, The Bride of the Sea” (Providence Amateur,February 1916; as “The Bride of the Sea”), “Ye Ballade of Patrick von Flynn” (Conservative,April 1916), “Inspiration” ( Conservative,October 1916), “Brotherhood” ( Tryout, December 1916), “The Rutted Road” ( Tryout,January 1917), “The Nymph’s Reply to the Modern Business Man” ( Tryout,February 1917), “Pacifist War Song” ( Tryout,March 1917) “Sonnet on Myself ( Tryout,July 1918), “Damon—a Monody” ( United Amateur,May 1919 [as “Theobaldus Senectissimus”]), “Monody on the Late King Alcohol” ( Tryout,August 1919), “To Mistress Sophia Simple, Queen of the Cinema” ( United Amateur,November 1919), “To Phillis” ( Tryout,January 1920), “Cindy: Scrub-Lady in a State Street Skyscraper” ( Tryout,June 1920), “The Poet’s Rash Excuse” ( Tryout,July 1920), “Ex-Poet’s Reply” ( Epgephi,September 1920), “To Alfred Galpin, Esq.” ( Tryout,December 1920), “On the Return of Maurice Winter Moe, Esq., to the Pedagogical Profession” ( Wolverine,June 1921), “To Mr. Galpin, upon His 20th Birthday” ( Tryout,December 1921), “On a Poet’s Ninety-first Birthday” ( Tryout,March 1922), “To Rheinhart Kleiner, Esq., upon His Town Fables and Elegies” ( Tryout,April 1923), “To Damon” ( Tryout,August 1923), “To Endymion” ( Tryout,September 1923), “To J.E.Hoag, Esq.: On His Ninety-second Birthday” ( Tryout,November 1923), and “The Wood” ( Tryout,January 1929). A brief biography of Theobald appeared in “News Notes” ( United Amateur,March 1918); it is unsigned, but is presumably by the Official Editor of the UAPA at the time, Verna McGeoch. The name is derived from Lewis Theobald (1688–1744), the Shakespearean scholar whom Alexander Pope made the “hero” of the first version of his satirical poem, The Dunciad(1728). (See R.Boerem, “The First Lewis Theobald,” in Discovering H.P.Lovecraft,ed. Darrell Schweitzer [1987].) HPL’s use of the name cannot be entirely systematized, but it appears that he used it most frequently for poems written to friends (Alfred Galpin, Rheinhart Kleiner, Maurice W.Moe, Jonathan E.Hoag, Frank Belknap Long), or other personal poems. HPL pronounced it in the eighteenth-century manner, as a dissyllable (TIB-uld), and frequently referred to himself in correspondence as “Grandpa Theobald.
   For “Albert Frederick Willie,” used for the poem “Nathicana” ( Vagrant,[Spring 1927]), see the entry on Alfred Galpin.
   For “Zoilus” see “The Vivisector.
   • “Augustus T.Swift” was formerly thought to be a pseudonym of HPL’s for two letters (one of which contains lavish praise of the pulp writer Francis Stevens) published in the Argosy(November 15, 1919, and May 22, 1920); but recent research has ascertained that Swift was a real individual living in Providence. See S.T.Joshi, ed., H.P.Lovecraft in the Argosy(Necronomicon Press, 1994). Some have mistaken “Perrin Holmes Lowrey” to be a pseudonym of HPL’s because of the initials of his name, but he is an actual person—an amateur journalist of HPL’s day. HPL’s sonnet “St. Toad’s” appeared in WT(Canadian; September 1945) as by “J.H.Brownlow,” but this is not a pseudonymn.
   See Willametta Keffer, “Howard P(seudonym) Lovecraft: The Many Names of HPL,” Fossil No. 158 (July 1958): 82–84; George T.Wetzel, “The Pseudonymous Lovecraft,” Xenophile 3, No. 4 (November 1976): 3–5, 73; S.T. Joshi, “The Rationale of Lovecraft’s Pseudonyms,” Crypt No. 80 (Eastertide 1992): 15–24, 29.

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