Saturday, October 22, 2011

Harriet A. Bradfield (1899-1953)

Poet, Author, and Editor
Born April 13, 1899, La Crosse, Wisconsin
Died March 16, 1953, New York, New York

A prolific author and esteemed editor, Harriet Alma Bradfield lived a tragically short life and died alone in her New York home. Born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on April 13, 1899, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1920. Shortly thereafter, Harriet moved to New York and received a certificate of secretarial studies from Columbia University during 1923-1924. Whether she returned to her hometown is unknown, but by 1930, Harriet Bradfield was a permanent resident of New York City.

In an August 1930 article in The Author and Journalist, Harriet was described as an editor "you want to know." She worked at various publications before becoming a columnist and market letter editor with The Writer's Digest in 1932. She spent the rest of her career with that publication and wrote prolifically for romance pulps, including All Story Love Stories, Love Fiction Monthly, Ten-Story Love (whose characters no doubt reached heights of rapture and ecstasy), and other titles. All of her published works appear to have been either non-fiction or romance except for the six poems she sold to Weird Tales between 1948 and 1953. The last, "Suspicion," was published posthumously. Harriet A. Bradfield died on March 16, 1953, at age fifty-three.

Harriet A. Bradfield's Poems in Weird Tales
"The Door" (Nov. 1946)
"Demon Lover" (May 1948)
"Demon Lure" (Nov. 1949)
"Unexpiated" (Nov. 1951)
"Cat-Eyes" (Jan. 1952)
"Suspicion" (Nov. 1953)

Further Reading
If you can find it, I can't think of a source with a more intriguing title than "Editors You Want to Know: Harriet Bradfield" by B. Virginia Lee in The Author and Journalist, August 1930.

The cover of Weird Tales for November 1953, the last issue in which a poem by Harriet A. Bradfield appeared.  It was also the last cover by Margaret Brundage and was recycled from January 1945 when it illustrated Edmond Hamilton's "Priestess of the Labyrinth."

Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

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