In the early 1800s, Providence attracted artists and
writers, many of whom gathered at the Athenaeum.
In 1845, the writer Edgar Allan Poe fell in love with
the Providence poet, Sarah Helen Whitman in this
dignified Greek Revival style library. She called off their
engagement in 1848 when his sobriety was questioned.
Providence inspired the work of a remarkably creative
writer, H.P. Lovecraft (see ‘Personalities’ section), who
set his novel “The Shunned House” (1924) in a Colonial
house on Benefit Street.