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Photo of downtown Providence, Rhode Island

Providence by the Book: A Literary Walking Tour

Learn About Providence's Famous Authors

H.P. Lovecraft- one of the most significant supernatural horror fiction authors of the 20th century- wrote these words about his hometown of Providence. This tour discovers the author's traumatic upbringing, racism, and favorite haunts; guests also meet some of the fictional characters that Lovecraft wrote into the city's fabric.

But Lovecraft isn't the only famous author that ambled the city's centuries-old sidewalks: Sarah Helen Whitman, the poet who was briefly engaged to Edgar Allan Poe, also called the Creative Capital home. This tour explores her life and relives the couple's whirlwind- and doomed- romance.

Providence Athenaeum

"...the slanting sunlight touches the Market House and the ancient hill roofs and belfries with gold, and throws magic around the dreaming wharves...After a long look he would grow almost dizzy with a poet's love for the sight..." 

HP Lovecraft, Author

HP Lovecraft

Sights to See

  • The Providence Athenaeum, our nearly 200-year-old library which all Providence authors enjoyed (and continue to!)

  • Prospect Terrace Park, Lovecraft's favorite and the city's best view

  • Lovecraft's and Whitman's homes

  • 135 Benefit Street: the inspiration for Lovecraft's The Shunned House

  • The place where Poe first saw Whitman, later claiming "love at first sight"

  • 140 Prospect Street: Home of H.P. Lovecraft's character, Charles Dexter Ward

Tour Info

  • Meeting Point: Prospect Terrace Park, across from 65 Congdon Street, Providence, RI

  • Distance: About 1.5 miles

  • Grade: Flat and downhill

  • Tour Length: About 90 minutes

Photo of downtown Providence, Rhode Island featuring Superman building.
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