Wednesday, October 8, 2014

They Should Have Been in Weird Tales: Hamlin Garland (1860-1940)-Part 2

In 1899, Hamlin Garland married Zulime Mauna Taft, sister of the renowned Chicago sculptor and teacher Lorado Taft. Together the Garlands had two daughters, Mary Isabel Garland and Constance Hamlin Garland. Born four years apart, the two were close to each other and to their parents, especially their father. The younger daughter, Constance, was an illustrator, a portraitist, and her father’s secretary. Described by her own daughter as “the wild child, the flapper, the adventuress,” she was married three times, her first husband being Joseph Wesley Harper, grandson of the founder of Harper books. (1) The older daughter, Mary Isabel, called Isabel, was a stage performer before following in her father’s footsteps as a published author. Her first book was Abandon Hope (1941), a mystery novel with a jacket illustration by her sister. Her last was A Summer To Be: A Memoir by the Daughter of Hamlin Garland, published posthumously in 2010.

In 1926, Isabel Garland married Hardesty Johnson, first tenor and leader of the Jean de Reszke Singers. She found the love of her life, however, in another author for whom she divorced her first husband in the mid-1930s. She and her new husband were together for a little over a decade before their marriage collapsed in 1947. In 1955, three days before Christmas, he killed himself. Isabel and Constance Garland survived their husbands and lived into their eighties. They died within three days of each other in the same hospital room.

Like the Garland sisters, Isabel Garland’s second husband was a Chicagoan. Born Mindred Loeb in 1903, he was writing for pulp magazines when he met Isabel in the mid-1930s. They were married in 1936 and collaborated on four mystery novels under the name Garland Lord. In the mid-1940s, he broke into the movie business as a writer of stories and screenplays. Later he worked in television. Through all that, Mindred Loeb lived and worked under an assumed name. Readers of Weird Tales might recognize it, for, as Mindret Lord, he wrote five stories for the magazine between 1934 and 1943. In the early 1920s, J.C. Henneberger perhaps envisioned a magazine with Hamlin Garland’s byline on the cover. Garland never wrote for Weird Tales, but his son-in-law did. And if Isabel Garland Lord was her husband’s co-writer—credited or not—then so, too, did Hamlin Garland’s daughter.

Next: Emerson Hough (1857-1923)

(1) The quote is from Victoria Doyle-Jones’ foreword to A Summer To Be: A Memoir by the Daughter of Hamlin Garland by Isabel Garland Lord (2010), p. 6.

Abandon Hope by Isabel Garland (1941) with a jacket illustration by her sister, Constance Garland.
Crimen en la Noche (1946), a Spanish-language version of a book by Isabel Garland. The illustrations on the covers of these two books are similar, but are they the same story?
Murder with Love by Garland Lord, pseudonym of Isabel Garland and her husband Mindret Lord, whose name was also a pseudonym for Mindred Loeb.
Murder's Little Helper (1941) by the same writing team.

Text and captions copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley

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