Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Louise Imogen Guiney

Guiney, Louise Imogen. LOVERS' SAINT RUTH'S AND THREE OTHER TALES. Boston: Copeland and Day, 1895. Small octavo, decorated mottled cream cloth. First edition, trade issue. This collection of four short stories, the author's only book of short fiction (she was primarily a poet), was not a commercial success. (This book: Gift inscription dated 28 December 1895 on front free endpaper, recipient's printed book label affixed to front paste-down. A bright, nearly fine copy.) Price: $150.00
This book is dated only a few years after HPL lived with Guiney.

Lovecraft says that Guiney (1861–1920) had been educated in Providence, where she met my mother years before. In addition, the infant Lovecraft stayed at Guiney's house for a short period with his mother. Guiney and her mother lived in Auburndale, a short distance from Boston.
It appears that Mr. de Camp made an error, though his research was excellent. He located a letter from Guiney referring to "heathen" staying as borders in June-July 1892. However, other researchers found these "heathen" to be European renters. Therefore, the apparent conflict deCamp wished to conjure was deflated.
Howard had long yellow curls (a normal event in those days*) at the time, and Guiney was alleged to call him "Little Sunshine". Lovecraft adored the family dog, a St. Bernard, Bronte, who was protective of the child.

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