Interesting snippet about the post-Lovecraft activity of Winifred Virginia Jackson (1876-1959), a Lovecraft collaborator and amateur journalism colleague from 1918-21. In 1924 Jackson was…

“[William Stanley] Braithwaite’s partner and treasurer in the [publishing] house of Brimmer” (George Hutchinson, The Harlem Renaissance in Black and White, Harvard University Press, p.359).

Braithwaite was… “a self educated black man” (Hutchinson p.360) and editor-in-chief and founder of his publishing imprint of B. J. Brimmer (c.1922-1927).

One early Brimmer book that Lovecraft may have especially noted was Arthur H. Hayward’s Colonial Lighting (1923), since Lovecraft was fascinated by the history of the lamps of the Colonial era. However, Lovecraft may not have had his attention drawn to the book by Jackson herself, as An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia states… “there is no evidence HPL met or corresponded with her after July 1921”.

The Brimmer book-list appears to have been rather uncommercial. Braithwaite was apparently persuaded to include books by Virginia herself, her sister-in-law Elizabeth Rhodes Jackson (who had “married a Boston architect”, presumably Winifred’s brother), and other now long-forgotten Boston authors and poets. After about 1925 Brimmer appears to have struggled to keep going. If Lovecraft had been romantically involved the the older and glamorous Winifred Virginia Jackson (as some rather fancifully surmise) and had followed through, it’s amusing to think that he could have ended up having his first book published by a black man. Who was, apparently, also Winifred’s lover — like Lovecraft’s friend James F. Morton she appears to have had a strong attraction to blacks.

I also found possible evidence of her activity during the time she knew Lovecraft. An advert in Printer’s Ink for 14th Oct 1920 suggests that Jackson may, if the same Winifred Jackson, have been involved in a New York copywriting agency some years before Lovecraft arrived in the city…

pink1920

Advertisements