I’ve found a school yearbook photo and description for Myrta Alice Little, a friend and correspondent of H.P. Lovecraft at the start of the 1920s. She was born c.1888 in the ancestral home at east Hampstead, New Hampshire, a rural area about 5 miles NW of Haverhill. She went to college about sixty miles up the coast from Haverhill, at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Here is her photo and description from the School Annual 1908 Colby College, Waterville, Maine.


She took a B.A. there. She then went to Radcliffe College (1912) to take a Masters degree, and also took courses at Brown University and Clark University.

Her entry in An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia states that she was a former college lecturer by the time Lovecraft knew her in the Spring and Summer of 1921. Her biography in Career Women of America (1941) states she had taught in two high schools before becoming Head of English at Alfred University in New York from 1912-14. She then taught at the State Normal school in Providence 1914-15, before moving to Wheaton Seminary College, Mass. 1915-16. She then moved to Sacramento, California 1917-19, where she was Education Secretary of the YMCA (possibly this was war work, catering to the young specialist workers who were moved from the east coast to the west to make war materials?). In 1919 she started writing conventional short stories. She then returned to Hampstead, New Hampshire c.1920 and joined the amateur journalism movement, seeking to develop as a mainstream commercial story writer. She usually published in newspapers as “Myrta A. Little”, and about a dozen such conventional homely little stories can be found online in old newspapers by searching Google under that name. One of these, “A Queen Did It”, was anthologised in New England Short Stories.

Judging by her photo and description in the yearbook, she was obviously very tall and rather beautiful, and very intelligent with it. Lovecraft called her “learned and brilliant” in his report “The Haverhill Convention”. She was a keen book collector, and had joined the Brothers of the Book as early as 1913. Only one Lovecraft letter to her survives, given in Lovecraft Studies #26.

Could she have become Mrs Lovecraft? Who knows? She certainly met Lovecraft at a vulnerable moment, very shortly after his mother died, and she seems to have been looking for a husband. But she appears to have briefly been a Catholic in the mid 1910s, then a Seventh-day Baptist shortly thereafter, and a religious streak may have mitigated her other charms in Lovecraft’s eyes. In May 1922, the summer after she met Lovecraft, she married the Rev. Arthur R. Davies who appears to have been a Methodist preacher. After her marriage she contributed to magazines such as the Christian Herald.