Between 1908 and 1911, HPL took a correspondence course. This was not "fluff", but a serious course of work to which thousands of young men were subscribing.
As we see so often, Lovecraft did not live "in a vaccuum", but he responded to stimuli in magazines he read, and got diseases that other people caught, and responded uniquely to customs, mores, and historical trends.
(above: One of these men might have graded Lovecraft's chemistry papers.)
(above: Started to help educate mining engineers, by 1894 it had 25 offices and 55 instructors. By 1899 it had moved into the new Finch building, now on the National Register)
* Scranton By Cheryl A. Kashuba, Darlene Miller-Lanning, Alan Sweeney, 2005.
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