Friday, November 18, 2011

Harry Irving Shumway (1883-1974)

Author, Artist, Poet, Biographer
Born October 22 (recorded as October 26), 1883, Naugatuck, Connecticut
Died August 1974, Laconia, New Hampshire

Harry Irving Shumway was born on October 22, 1883, in Naugatuck, Connecticut, and appears to have lived in New England his entire life. In 1910, he was in Medford, Massachusetts, with his parents. In 1917 and 1920, Boston was his home. By the time he filled out his draft card in 1917, Shumway was working as an artist and writer for House Beautiful magazine. Over the next decade and a half, he wrote stories and pieces for American BoyAmerican CookeryBoy's Life, The Christian Science MonitorCollier'sLife, Munsey's, The Popular Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and Youth's Companion. His one work for Weird Tales was the story "Golden Glow" in the magazine's second issue, April 1923. By 1930, Shumway was living in Quincy, Massachusetts, and in 1942, he was a self-employed writer in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

Shumway was also an author of books. They included Famous Leaders of Industry: The Life Stories of Boys Who Have Succeeded, a series by Edwin Wildman, Trentwell Mason White, Harry Irving Shumway, and Joseph A. Moore (1920); The Wonderful Voyage of Cap'n Pen (1929); The Story of Paper (1932); Bernard M. Baruch: Financial Genius, Statesman, and Advisor to Presidents; Lawrence the Arabian Knight: Being the Life Story of Thomas Edward Lawrence (1936); Albert the Soldier-King: Being the Life Story of Belgium's Beloved Ruler; and War in the Desert: The Story of Lawrence of Arabia (1938).

Harry Irving Shumway died in Laconia, New Hampshire, in August 1974.

Update (June 9, 2014): See the comment by Shumway's granddaughter, Cynthia DellaPenna, below for more information on the author and his life.

Harry Irving Shumway's Story in Weird Tales
"Golden Glow" (Apr. 1923)

Further Reading
Other than Shumway's books and stories, I don't know of any further reading, except, as Garrison Keillor says, here's a poem for today by Harry Irving Shumway, from Snappy Stories, 1919, reprinted in Tony Goodstone's 1970 remembrance, The Pulps:

A Place for Everything
by Harry Irving Shumway

I have had many.
One was like the pretty
Peck of a robin;
Another seemed like
Honey from a lovely flower;
And one I remember was
A summer zephyr, cool, sweet, delicious;
But the one that
Knocked me dead
Was a bit of lightning
From Nora's lips
When the glims went bad
In a subway train.

Glims by the way are lights. And Shumway's wife was named Letitia Frances Valentine.

The cover of The Wonderful Voyages of Cap'n Pen by Harry Irving Shumway (1929). The illustrator for the interior was Frederick Strothmann (1879-1958). I assume the cover illustration is also his. Shumway's book is a collection of seventeen fantastic tales told by the title character. One of those tales involves a trip to the moon.
Note: In a letter to Weird Tales researcher Randal Everts, Harry Irving Shumway's daughter gave October 2 as Shumway's birthday. I have used the date given in other sources.
Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

1 comment:

  1. Harry I. Shumway was my grandfather. He actually died in Laconia, NH. Although I am not privy to what my mother actually wrote to researcher, Randal Everts, what the family bible gives, as my grandfather's birthdate, is 22 Oct versus 26 Oct - he always joked he could celebrate two birthdays. I believe the issue was a late, erroneous town clerk recording of his birth, but he used the recorded date.
    My grandfather was an author, illustrator, photographer and artist. He graduated from Brighton High School, Boston, MA in 1901 and attended Art Students League of New York, in New York City. He worked as an illustrator for Doubleday, Page & Co. in New York, but returned to Boston, where he became part of the editorial staff of House Beautiful magazine.
    His writing career started in the early 1900's with short stories. He was very prolific. He also did illustrations for books, one such, entitled: Homemakers’ Questions and Answers, pub. in 1918. He was an editor for Field and Stream magazine's Camping section and Youth Companion's ingenious boys section in the early 1920's. He attended Harvard University's 47 Workshop for playwrights during the 1920's, as well. He wrote nine books during his career. When he retired from writing in the late 1950's, he took up his avocation of painting, winning awards at art shows in Andover, Mass. and Boston.