I emphasize this is sheer speculation, but a few things are curious about the mental and health collapse of Lovecraft's father. Just a cursory look at 21st century posts on syphillis shows three stages of the disease. The forst shows a sore that appaeras withing 3 weeks, and then it disappears only to appear sporadically off and on for up to 30 years. These are pronounced sores, often on the face.
In ST Joshi's invaluable HPL: A Life, we read the medical report (p. 13) ... for the past year he has shown obscure symptoms of mental disease ...
This is precisely the time that Susan and Howard were secluded at Guiney's. Were they not just waiting for a real estate transaction as they planned a new house, but a bit of safety as Winfield traveled on sales calls?
The effects of tertiary syphillis are incredible and horrific. Sometimes soft, tumor-like balls of inflammation appear as big as billiard balls. (16% of reported patients). I won't reproduce those shocking images, but they are easily googled if you wish to check them.
One famous case of syphillis was Al Capone, who contracted the disease as a young man, and it is considered that his anger and out of control behavior grew as the disease progressed, despite the other members of "the business" wanting a lower profile.
At the end of his life he often raved on about Communists, foreigners, and George Moran, who he was convinced was still plotting to kill him from his Ohio prison cell.
Compare this to the paranoid rantings reported by Winfield.
Now, we move to the famous and amazing declaration by Susan (reported by Clara Hess), years later, about Howard who often had ingrown hairs (p. 85): "...Mrs. Lovecraft talked continuously of her unfortunate son who was so hideous that he hid from everyone ... when I protested that she was exagerating ... she looked at me ... as though I didn't undersatnd about it ...".
This incident is undated, but as Clara would have known HPL from High School and would have noticed something odd, this must have been past 1908 and before Susan being hospitalized before March 1919. Unfortunately this spans a decade, but could this have been (again sheer speculation) a vivid remembrance of the shock of Winfield's last days?
- ► 2012 (17)
- ► 2011 (114)
- Record rainfalls in Providence (2010)
- Lewis Theobald (not Junior)
- Dr Franklin Chase Clark Obituary
- Lovecraft and Santa Claus
- "The Science Year Book" Described
- Technical Problem with Ronald Upham's Reported Add...
- Blurb on "Owyhee Land and Irrigation"
- Lovecraft Celebration: 25 March 2010
- Whipple V Phillips, Public Servant
- Whipple Phillips' Court Case Against Tillinghast
- Whipple V Phillips: Gas Mogul? (1882)
- Whipple Phillips: Youthful Banker !!
- Whipple Phillips Starts a New Church !!
- Whipple V Phillips in Greene, Rhode Island
- Brief Blurb on Owyhee Land and Irrigation Co (1898...
- Get some Chrispy in - - Dark Recesses
- Death Disbursement to Estate of Whipple V Phillips...
- Whipple V Phillips: Patent Holder
- Nancy O. Greene Review: Lovecraft Unbound !
- Robie A Phillips: Taxes (1891)
- Whipple V Phillips: Banker (1890 - 1904?)
- Breaking News! Jellyfish Live Forever!
- 19 March 1896 - Fire !
- Whipple V Phillips and Eureka Zinc Mining Company
- Whipple Van Buren Phillips: Mason (1886)
- More Controversy: 1902 School Changes !
- Controversy! The 1898 Providence School System
- Slater Avenue School in 1898
- Is there a doctor in the house?
- In Search of ... Mrs. Wilhelm Nauck, violin teache...
- A pause for speculation
- More on Winslow Upton (obituary)
- Lovecraft's Will (Wikisource)
- Scene near Providence Post Office (1912)
- The Other Side of Providence: Knight Street
- The Other Side of Providence: Spruce Street
- The Other Side of Providence, Republican Street: 1...
- HPL Typescripts
- Criticism of His Chemistry Text Book?
- The Other Side of Providence (1914)
- Lovecraft's High School Chemistry Text
- Lovecraft Typescripts
- Trivial remarks for 1904
- Weather reports: Procedures of 1903-1904
- Trivial Notes of 1904
- Lovecraft's inheritance
- Lovecraft's Ancestry
- In Search of ... "The Detective"
- Lovecraft and Poikilothermia Syndrome
- 454 Angell Street (1899)
- Lovecraft Ancestry Comment
- List of Mayors of Providence: Lovecraft's Lifetime...
- Scarlet Fever Plague in 1906 Providence
- Black Sabbath (1970) Behind the Wall of Sleep
- Bookseller, circa 1895
- Winfield S Lovecraft (1872)
- Edward Francis Gamwell
- Brief Technical Note on "Winged Death"
- Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon
- Ad for Rhode Island Hospital
- ▼ March (61)
- ► 2009 (586)
- ► 2008 (550)
- ► 2007 (627)
- ► 2006 (388)