Monday, April 19, 2010

Lovecraft Going to College

As virtually everyone who's read much about Lovecraft knows, he did not attend college. He apparently lied often about it. However, what if we made a different assumption? Just for theoretical and argument's sake?

He said he intended to matriculate - though he did not apparently have enough High School credits. He said his health collapsed. He said that math - algebra - was his downfall.


There seems to be some evidence that Lovecraft acquired a serious disease about the time that Providence had a pandemic that was renowned throughout many medical texts. We know that he was hell-bent for astronomical leather in 1906 scoring numerous milestones that were impressive. High School chemistry and physics - loaded with equations - were seemingly effortless to him. He did retake algebra, however. He says Geometry was little effort, and he frequently composed ad hoc star charts.

Before we can make any conclusions, Chrispy tracked down on Google the Brown University requirements for 1908 for entrance.

They are listed below.

In essence, all Lovecraft seemed to need was the principal of Hpe High School to give him a pass to take the entrance examinations on Thursday, 17 September 1908 at 8 AM in Wilson Hall.

So, what if the principal (It's assumed since he is listed on documents between 1902 and 1913, it was Charles Edward Dennis) gave him a pass? He would have been given credits for tutoring, and one supposes that someone with connections (Dr. Clark and Professor Winslow Upton), of elite status ('the grandson of Whipple Phillips'), might have got a pass to at least enter college and have a chance at advanced classes while catching up on requirements.

Documents exist that principal Dennis was 2nd Vice President of the Brown Univesity Teachers' Association (formed 1903). He and Upton would have known of each other, but this does not - of course - certify a conspiracy for Lovecraft to escape regimen and slip into college. But it at least allows for it, even if the probability is low.

So, maybe Lovecraft FAILED the test?

If he failed algebra, the whole plot would collapse. He would have to go back to High School, he would not be able to go to Brown University, and no amount of coercion by his defenders would be possible - not even the very politically powerful and former Dean of the Brown University, Winslow Upton.

OK, ok, it's all sheer speculation. Chrispy is sometimes the first to want to say Lovecraft lied or spun the truth, but time after time he is so blesse'd accurate when one checks the facts! Was he stating some form of the truth?

No comments:


Blog Archive


Google Analytics