Lovecraft: A Biography
Dust-jacket for Lovecraft: A Biography
|Author||L. Sprague de Camp|
|Cover artist||Nicholas Gaetano|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
|Pages||xvi, 480 pp|
|LC Class||PS3523.O833 Z59|
Lovecraft: A Biography is a 1975 biography of the writer H. P. Lovecraft by science-fiction writer L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardcover by Doubleday in February 1975. A later hardcover edition was issued by Barnes & Noble in January 1996. The first paperback edition, corrected and abridged by the author, was published by Ballantine Books in August 1976. The first British edition was published by New English Library in 1976. An E-book edition of the Ballantine version of the work was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form. The book has also been translated into German, Russian, and several other languages.
The biography, a warts-and-all examination of the famous horror and science-fiction writer, was the first major independent biography of Lovecraft. De Camp's approach has been called frank and judicious by some, unflattering and unbalanced by others. For instance, de Camp criticized Lovecraft's resolutely non-commercial attitude to his writing, whereas Lovecraft deliberately maintained his stance that his writing was for his own amusement only.
De Camp himself considered some of the criticism of his book as expressed in reviews of the hardcover had merit, and accordingly altered the text in the paperback edition to take account of these criticisms. Altogether, de Camp cut about 13,000-16,000 "repetitions, digressions and speculative obiter dicta" from the paperback edition. On the requirement of the publisher he also "eliminated the notes section, bibliography and index," an excision he was reportedly unhappy about.
Relation to other works
De Camp's Lovecraft biography has been largely superseded by S.T. Joshi's more comprehensive treatment, I Am Providence (Hippocampus Press, 2 vols, 2010) (first published in abridged form by Necronomicon Press, 1996, as H. P. Lovecraft: A Life).
- Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller. p. 78.
- Lovecraft: A Biography title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Orion Publishing Group's L. Sprague de Camp webpage
- Amazon.com entry for e-book edition
- De Camp, L. Sprague (2008). Лавкрафт :биография. Санкт-Петербург: "Амфора".