History



 
Here is a timeline of H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction, covering the period 1916 through 1944, including work that was published posthumously.  (Lovecraft died in 1937.)  Publication dates of his various works of fiction are juxtaposed with the work of some of his contemporaries, as well as some important historical or cultural events from the same time period. 

The listings cannot be exhaustive—so much was happening in the country at this point in history.  We can only speculate about factors which may have influenced Lovecraft and his career in weird fiction.  Hopefully this table will provide some context for readers interested in his writing .

I hope to update this timeline with additional detail or corrections as they become available.  If you know of significant literary, cultural or historical material that I have overlooked, I would be happy to include it here.



Year
H.P. Lovecraft
Contemporaries
Current Events
1916
The Alchemist
Tales of Wonder
By Lord Dunsany
World War I in progress,
stainless steel invented,
end of Progressive Era

1917
A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson
The Son of Tarzan
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
Woodrow Wilson’s second term,
Women’s Suffrage,
zipper is patented
1918
The Beast in the Cave
The Poe-ets Nightmare
The Moon Pool
By Abraham Merritt
The Decline of the West
By Oswald Spengler
Influenza epidemic,
World War I ends,
first fortune cookies
1919
Memory
Despair
The Picture in the House
Beyond the Wall of Sleep
Psychopompos: A Tale in Rhyme
The White Ship
The House
The Nightmare Lake
Dagon
Unseen—Unfeared
By Francis Stevens
In the Penal Colony
By Franz Kafka
RCA is founded,
pop up toasters invented,
soldiers return from the Great War
1920
Poetry and the Gods
Nyarlathotep
Polaris
The Street
The Statement of Randolph Carter
The Doom That Came to Sarnath
The Cats of Ulthar
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
( film)
The Golem
(film)
Swanee
Sung by Al Jolsen
Babe Ruth sold to the Yankees,
Prohibition,
labor unions struggle

1921
Ex Oblivione
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
To A Dreamer
The Nameless City
The Crawling Chaos
The Terrible Old Man
The Tree
Tarzan the Terrible
By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Emergence of Hitler and Mussolini,
Ku Klux Klan active, first robot,
lie detector is invented,
first religious service broadcast by radio
1922
The Tomb
Celephaïs
Herbert West—Reanimator
The Music of Eric Zahn
Negotium Perambulans
By E.F. Benson
Nosferatu
(film)
The Wasteland
By T.S. Eliot
Ulysses
By James Joyce
USSR forms,
insulin developed
1923
Hypnos
What the Moon Brings
The Horror at Martin’s Beach
The Invisible Monster
The Lurking Fear
First issue of Weird Tales
The Thing From Outside
By George Allen England
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (film)
R.U.R.
By Karol Capek
First traffic signals,
primitive TV
(cathode ray invented),
frozen food appears
1924
The Hound
The Rats in the Walls
Under the Pyramids
(aka Imprisoned with the Pharaohs)
The Amulet of Hell
By Robert Leonard Russell
Rhapsody in Blue
By George Gershwin
Dinosaur bones found in Gobi Desert,
Calvin Coolidge is president,
Will Rogers,
spiral notebooks,
loudspeakers
1925
The Festival
The Temple
The Unnamable
In the Vault
Lukundoo
By Edward Lucas White
A Warning to the Curious
By M.R. James
The Lost World
(film)
The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Surrealism in Art,  Realism,
Art Deco
1926
Hallowe’en in a Suburb
The Moon Bog
He
Festival (aka Yule Horror)
The Outsider
Winnie the Pooh
By A.A. Milne
The Woman of the Wood
By A. Merritt
Liquid fueled rockets
1927
The Green Meadow
Nathicana
Two Black Bottles
The Horror at Red Hook
The Colour Out of Space
Pickman’s Model
Supernatural Horror in Literature (Essay)

The Villa Désirée,
By May Sinclair
The Jazz Singer, (film)
Showboat
(musical)
Lindbergh flies the “Spirit of St. Louis” monoplane
1928
The Last Test
The Call of Cthulhu
Cool Air
The Shunned House

The Red Lodge,
By H.R. Wakefield
The Beast With Five Fingers,
By William Fryer Harvey
First Mickey Mouse films
Charlie Chaplin
Gershwin’s “An American in Paris”
Maurice Ravel composes “Bolero”
Color TV invented
Geiger Counter invented
Black Friday—U.S. Stock Exchange Collapses
1929
The Wood
The Silver Key
The Dunwich Horror
The Deserted Garden,
By August Derleth
Alfred Hitchcock directs “Blackmail”
Einstein’s Unified Field Theory
St Valentine’s Day Massacre
“Singing in the Rain”
1930
The Electric Executioner
The Ancient Track
Fungi From Yuggoth  (various poems published throughout the 30s)
A Rose for Emily,
By William Faulkner
The Book,
By Margaret Irwin
Grant Woods painting of “American Gothic”
1931
The Whisperer in Darkness
The Strange High House in the Mist

Formation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
Nautilus submarine explores the Arctic Ocean
1932
The Trap

The Hunters From Beyond,
By Clark Ashton Smith
Famine in the USSR
Dashiell Hammett publishes “The Thin Man”
First Tarzan Film
“Brother Can You Spare a Dime”
1933
The Other Gods
The Dreams in the Witch House
The Double Shadow,
By Clark Ashton Smith
The Chadbourne Episode
By Henry S. Whitehead
White Zombie
By Vivian Meik
Hitler granted dictatorial powers
“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (film)
Byrd’s second Expedition to the South Pole
1934
From Beyond
Through the Gates of the Silver Key

Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes”
(musical)
FBI shoots John Dillinger, “Public Enemy #1”
1935
The Quest of Iranon
The Challenge from Beyond

Formation of AA
Radar to detect aircraft developed
1936
In a Sequester’d Providence Churchyard
      Where Poe Once Walk’d
At the Mountains of Madness
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
The Shadow Out of Time
The Haunter of the Dark
The Tarn,
By Hugh Walpole
Boulder Dam is built
“Pennies From Heaven”
Hitler and Mussolini form Rome-Berlin axis
1937
The Thing on the Doorstep
Notes on Writing Weird Fiction (Essay)
The Seeds From Outside,
By Edmond Hamilton
The Werewolf Snarls,
By Manley Wade Wellman
Picasso’s “Guernica”
Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”
First jet engine
Hindenburg disaster (dirigible)

Lovecraft died on March 15, 1937.


1938
History of the Necronomicon
Ibid
Azathoth
The Descendant
The Book
The Messenger
“Golden Age of Science Fiction” begins
Hollerbochen’s Dilemma, by Ray Bradbury, (first story published)
Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars
(film)
Universal Studios’ original line of movie monsters, (Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, etc.)
Mother of Toads, by Clark Ashton Smith

S.S. Queen Elizabeth launched
40-hour work week becomes law
Beginnings of World War II
1939
The Evil Clergyman
The Outsider and Others (Arkham anthology)
Ether Breather, by Theodore Sturgeon, (first story published).
Marooned Off Vesta, by Isaac Asimov, (first story published)
The Wizard of Oz (film)
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
First televised baseball game
Radar used in Britain to warn of air attack
Arkham House is founded.
1940
The Very Old Folk
Fantasia, (film)
Duke Ellington becomes well known jazz composer
“When You Wish Upon a Star” (song)
The Lesser Brethren Mourn, by Seabury Quinn
The Lascaux cave paintings are discovered in France
First successful helicopter
1941
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Thing in the Moonlight
The Wolf Man (film)
Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (film)
“Chattanooga Choo-Choo”, (song)
Evening Primrose, by John Collier
The Smoke Ghost, by Fritz
Leiber
U.S. enters World War II
Manhattan Project begins





1942
?
The Ghost of Frankenstein (film)
The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis
Mimic, by Donald A. Wollheim
Sugar, gasoline and coffee rationed in the U.S.
First jet airplane
1943
The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath
The Pigeon-Flyers
St. Toads
Expectancy
Evening Star
Beyond the Wall of Sleep (Arkham anthology)
Son of Dracula (film)
Casablanca, (film)
Oklahoma! (musical)
Frogfather, by Manly Wade Wellman
Baynter’s Imp, by August Derleth
Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper, by Robert Bloch
The Crowd, by Ray Bradbury
Race riots break out as African Americans move north into big cities
Rent, wage and price freezes; more extensive rationing of shoes, meat, cheese, fats, and canned goods
Penicillin and streptomycin discovered
1944
The Transition of Juan Romero
Marginalia (Arkham anthology)
The Mummy’s Curse (film)
The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, (play)
Appalachian Spring, by Aaron Copland, (symphony)
Cost of living increases 30%
Batman and Robin comic strip begins
D-Day
World’s largest circus tent catches fire







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