Saturday, April 30, 2016

Two Irish Authors

Henry De Vere Stacpoole
Aka Tyler De Saix
Medical Doctor, Author, Poet, Biographer, Translator
Born April 9, 1863, Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire), County Dublin, Ireland
Died April 12, 1951, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, England

Henry De Vere Stacpoole was born on April 9, 1863, in Kingstown, a port city located south of Dublin. His father was William C. Stacpoole, a doctor of divinity at Trinity College and headmaster of Kingstown school. His mother was Charlotte Augusta Mountjoy Stacpoole, a native of Canada. In 1871, Stacpoole's mother took her son and three daughters to Nice in the south of France so that he might convalesce from an ailment of the lungs. He returned to Ireland to attend the boarding school at Portarlington. From there it was on to Malvern College in London, then St. George's Hospital, University College, and St. Mary's Hospital. Stacpoole completed his education and received his degree in medicine in 1891. For a short time thereafter he served as a ship's doctor. His first novel, The Intended, was published in 1894. In all, he published more than ninety novels, collections, biographies, translations, and books of verse. His number of books in fact exceeded the number of years in his very long life. Stacpoole's most well-known novel is The Blue Lagoon. Originally published in 1908, it has been adapted to film five times. Other movies based on his work include The Man Who Lost Himself (1920, 1941), Beach of Dreams (1921), and The Truth About Spring (1965). His older brother, William Henry Stacpoole (1846-1914), was also a writer and an author of genre works. Twins and doppelgängers are themes in the fiction of the two Stacpoole brothers. In addition to writing novels and other books, Henry De Vere Stacpoole contributed to Popular Magazine, Weird Tales, and The Yellow Magazine. He served as a country doctor in England for several years. In the 1920s, he relocated to the Isle of Wight, the place of his death on April 12, 1951. He had just turned eighty-eight. Henry De Vere Stacpoole's grave is at Bonchurch on the Isle of Wight.

Henry De Vere Stacpoole's Story in Weird Tales
"Dead Girl Finotte" (Jan. 1930)

Further Reading

A French edition of The Blue Lagoon by Henry De Vere Stacpoole. I'm not sure whether this book was a tie-in to the movie, but that looks an awful lot like Jean Simmons . . .
The star of the 1949 film adaptation. I'm not sure, either, of the lineage of the musical genre and the pop culture fad known as Exotica, but it seems like Henry De Vere Stacpoole's desert island novels are part of it. Gilligan's Island could even be a descendant.

Harold Lawlor
Born June 15, 1910, Ireland, or Chicago, Illinois
Died March 27, 1992, St. Petersburg, Florida

Harold Lawlor wrote twenty-nine stories for Weird Tales, yet little is known of his life, at least as far as the Internet is concerned. He was born on June 15, 1910, in Ireland (according to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database) or in Chicago (according to the Social Security Death Index). His career as an author of genre fiction began in April 1942 with "The Eternal Priestess," published in Fantastic Adventures. His first story for Weird Tales was "Specter in the Steel" from May 1943. Of note is Lawlor's story "Mayaya's Little Green Men" (Weird Tales, Nov. 1946), the first genre work to use the phrase little green men. In the early 1960s, Rapuzzi Johannis, an Italian artist and author, claimed to have encountered a little green man in the Dolomite Mountains of his home country in August 1947, the first summer of the flying saucer era. That encounter came less than a year after Lawlor's story first appeared. Lawlor had his work adapted to screen in three episodes of the television show Thriller, "The Terror in Teakwood," "The Grim Reaper," and "What Beckoning Ghost?" all from 1961. The movie Dominique (1979) also came from "What Beckoning Ghost?" Harold W. Lawlor died on March 27, 1992, in St. Petersburg, Florida, and was buried at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Clearwater.

Harold Lawlor's Stories in Weird Tales
"Specter in the Steel" (May 1943)
"Tamara, the Georgian Queen" (July 1943)
"The Wayward Skunk" (Sept. 1944)
"Tatiana" (Jan. 1945)
"The Peripatetic Corpse" (Mar. 1945)
"The Legend of 228" (May 1945)
"The Dark Brothers" (Sept. 1945)
"The Cranberry Goblet" (Nov. 1945)
"The Diversions of Mme. Gamorra" (Jan. 1946)
"The Silver Highway" (May 1946)
"The Cinnabar Redhead" (July 1946)
"Xerxes' Hut" (Sept. 1946)
"Mayaya's Little Green Men" (Nov. 1946)
"The Terror in Teakwood" (Mar. 1947)
"The Black Madonna" (May 1947)
"The Girdle of Venus" (Sept. 1947)
"Nemesis" (May 1948)
"What Beckoning Ghost?" (July 1948)
"The Beasts That Tread the World" (Sept. 1948)
"Lover in Scarlet" (Jan. 1949)
"The Door Beyond" (May 1949)
"The Previous Incarnation" (July 1949)
"Djinn and Bitters" (May 1950)
"Unknown Lady" (Sept. 1950)
"Grotesquerie" (Nov. 1950)
"Amok!" (July 1951)
"Lovers' Meeting" (Jan. 1952)
"Which's Witch?" (July 1952)
"The Dream Merchant" (Mar. 1953)

Letter to "The Eyrie"
July 1943

Harold Lawlor's story "The Cranberry Goblet" was the cover story for Weird Tales in November 1945. The cover artist was Lee Brown Coye.

Although most of Lawlor's genre stories were printed in either Fantastic Adventures or Weird Tales, he had other titles to his credit, including the British magazine Detective Tales. That looks like a digest-sized magazine.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Two Belgian Authors

John Flanders
Né Raymundus Joannes de Kremer or Raymond Jean Marie De Kremer
Aka Jean Ray, King Ray, Alix R. Bantam, John Sailor, and other names
Author, Editor, Journalist, Comic Book Scriptwriter
Born July 8, 1887, Ghent, Belgium
Died September 17, 1964, Ghent, Belgium

Weird Tales published four stories by the pseudonymous author John Flanders, all in 1934-1935. That was only the smallest part of his staggering output of about 9,000 stories and 5,000 articles, essays, reviews, and so on written from the 1920s until his death in 1964.

John Flanders was born Raymundus Joannes de Kremer or Raymond Jean Marie De Kremer, in Ghent, Belgium, on July 8, 1887. He was educated in his home city and worked as a city clerk from 1910 to 1919 before joining the staff of Journal de Gand. He later worked for the monthly L'Ami du LivreDe Kremer's first book was a collection of weird stories called Les Contes du Whisky, published in 1925. He continued writing while serving jail time for "breech of trust" and began using the pseudonym John Flanders in 1928. In February 1929, he was released from prison and continued in his writing career. From 1929 to 1938, he wrote more than one hundred adventures of Harry Dickson, "the American Sherlock Holmes." De Kremer's novel Malpertuis (1943) was filmed in 1971 with Orson Welles in a starring role. After the war, de Kremer wrote comic book scripts for Les Aventures d'Harry Dickson and Les Aventures d'Edmund BellA native of Flanders, de Kremer wrote in Dutch as John Flanders and in French as Jean Ray; his known pseudonyms number more than four dozen. De Kremer died on September 17, 1964, in Ghent.

John Flanders' Stories in Weird Tales
"Nude with a Dagger" (Nov. 1934)
"The Graveyard Duchess" (Dec. 1934)
"The Aztec Ring" (Apr. 1935)
"The Mystery of the Last Guest" (Oct. 1935)

Further Reading
"Jean Ray (écrivain)" in the French-language Wikipedia, here.

Oscar Schisgall
Aka Stuart Hardy
Author, Corporate Historian
Born February 23, 1901, Antwerp, Belgium, or Russia
Died May 20, 1984, Manhattan, New York, New York

According to the Internet Movie Database and the online Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Oscar Schisgall was born in Russia. The Internet Speculative Fiction Database has his birthplace as Antwerp, Belgium, a bit of information that seems to have come from the U.S. Census. Whether Schisgall was born in Russia or Belgium, he was in the United States by September 19, 1926, when he married Lillian Gelberg. A newspaper item from 1947 reported that "Schisgall once toured the capitals of Europe, making his way by writing and selling mystery novels about each great city he lived in." Maybe he considered the Continent as a whole his home.

Like John Flanders, Oscar Schisgall was a very prolific author. He wrote 4,000 short stories and articles for Collier's, LibertyThe New York Times Magazine, Reader's Digest, The Saturday Evening Post, and other mainstream publications. He had a series character, Baron Ixell, in Clues from 1927 to 1932 and wrote two stories for Weird Tales and two more for Jungle Stories (1931, 1939). Other pulps that printed his stories included Blue-Ribbon Western, Cowboy StoriesDime Detective Magazine, Frontier, The Masked Rider, and others. One of his thirty-five novels, Swastika (1939), was adapted to the silver screen as The Man I Married, also known as I Married a Nazi (1940).

In 1943, Oscar Schisgall became head of the Office of War Information (OWI) Magazine Bureau, taking the place of Dorothy Ducas. In addition to writing stories and novels, Schisgall authored corporate histories, including for Procter & Gamble, Bowery Savings Bank, Xerox, and Greyhound Bus, the last of which was published posthumously. Oscar Schisgall died in Manhattan on May 20, 1984.

Oscar Schisgall's Stories in Weird Tales
"The Death Pit" (Nov. 1923)
"In Kashla's Garden" (May 1927)

Further Reading
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, here.
Internet Movie Database, here.
Internet Speculative Fiction Database, here.
New York Times obituary, here.


Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Two Australian Authors

If you look to the right, you will see a label for Authors of Australia and New Zealand. Right now, there are only three entries with that label. The first (chronologically) is for Wilma Dorothy Vermilyea (1915-1995), an American author who lived in Australia late in life. The second is for Thomas G.L. Cockcroft (1926-2013), a New Zealander who did not write for Weird Tales but who indexed all the stories and poems in that magazine and its companion titles, Oriental Stories and The Magic Carpet Magazine. The third is for Percy B. Prior (dates unknown), whom I speculated was the only native-born Australian to have contributed to "The Unique Magazine" or its companion titles. Now I have found two others, and I would like to write about them today.

Coutts Brisbane was the nom de plume of Robert Coutts Armour, an early and fairly prolific author of what was then called the scientific romance, later science fiction. Born on September 14, 1874, in Queensland, Australia, Armour began publishing stories in his late thirties. According to the online Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (SFE), "[h]is earliest known story is 'Mixed Piggles' for The Red Magazine," (Dec. 1, 1910), while his earliest science fiction story is "Beyond the Orbit," also in The Red Magazine (Feb. 15, 1914). In addition to Coutts Brisbane, Armour wrote using the bylines Pierre Quiroule, Hartley Tremayne, Reid Whitley (or Whitly), "and other names not yet discovered," according to SFE. He contributed to Boys' Papers, Oriental StoriesTales of Super Science, Tales of Wonder, and The Yellow Magazine. Armour was also the author of Terror Island, or, the House of Glass (London: The Amalgamated Press/Sexton Blake Library, 1921), The Secret of the Desert (London: Nelson, 1941), and Wheels of Fortune (London: Nelson, 1948). By the description of Wheels of Fortune in SFE, I would say that Armour's novel could have been a work of proto-Steampunk. Armour, who also worked as a lithographer, died in Surrey, England, in 1945. Other sources give dates of 1942 and 1956.

Coutts Brisbane's Stories in Oriental Stories
"For the Sake of Enlightenment" (Feb./Mar. 1931)
"At the Fortunate Frog" (Summer 1931)

Dorota Flatau, also known as (or had her name misspelled as) Dorotha or Dorothea Flatau, was born on December 30, 1874, in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. She was the older sister of two other writers, Hermione Flatau (1879-?) and Theodore Flatau (1886-1916). The three settled in England around 1900-1910. Theodore Flatau was killed in action in France during the Great War. You can see a list of works by all three writers in The Bibliography of Australian Literature, hereDorota Flatau was an author of novels and children's books. The Rat of Paris (1922) is a romance involving a hunchback. Seven Journeys (1920) is listed as a genre work in the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Dorota Flatau wrote one story for Oriental Stories, "Golden Rosebud" in the Winter 1931 issue. The Internet Speculative Database (ISFDb) has the year of her date as 1947.

Dorota Flatau's Story in Oriental Stories
"Golden Rosebud" (Winter 1931)

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, April 23, 2016

More Weird Tales from the Renaissance

On October 23, 2011, I wrote about William Shakespeare (1564-1616) in an entry called "Weird Tales from the Renaissance." I had thought that Shakespeare--who died four hundred years ago today--was the only writer from the Renaissance to have been in the original Weird Tales. Now I find that there was another, Shakespeare's near contemporary, sometime collaborator, and successor, playwright John Fletcher (1579-1625).

I won't write much about John Fletcher, as his biography and credits are readily available on the Internet and in the world's libraries. He was born in Rye, England, in December 1579, orphaned in his teenage years, and educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University. His first play was The Faithful Shepherdess from 1608-1609. About fifty plays followed, of which about two-thirds were collaborations, with Francis Beaumont, Philip Massinger, Thomas Middleton, William Rowley, and others, including Shakespeare himself. After Shakespeare's death, John Fletcher assumed his role as the leading playwright for the acting company The King's Men. Fletcher died in August 1625 of the plague and was interred at Southwark Cathedral.

In its May issue of 1939, Weird Tales published a poem it called "The Dead Host's Welcome." (In Jaffery and Cook's Collector's Index to Weird Tales, the title is given as "The Dead Hart's Welcome.") That poem follows.

"The Dead Host's Welcome"
by John Fletcher
from The Lovers' Progress (edition of 1647)

'TIS late and cold; stir up the fire;
Sit close, and draw the table nigher;
Be merry, and drink wine that's old,
A hearty medicine 'gainst a cold:
Your beds of wanton down the best,
Where you shall tumble to your rest;
I could wish you wenches too,
But I am dead, and cannot do.
Call for the best the house may ring,
Sack, white, and claret, let them bring,
And drink apace, while breath you have;
You'll find but cold drink in the grave:
Plover, partridge, for your dinner,
And a capon for the sinner,
You shall find ready when you're up,
And your horse shall have his sup:
Welcome, welcome, shall fly round,
And I shall smile, though under ground.

John Fletcher (1).JPG
John Fletcher

Original text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Friday, April 22, 2016

William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)

I began writing this blog five years ago. Today is the anniversary. I started out and have been writing more or less randomly. Not long ago, though, I looked through the remaining authors and gave them some kind of organization. Although there are still several hundred to go, I can see an end to all this, although that end might be several years out.

One of the writers I missed in my previous groupings of tellers of weird tales from the past is William Ernest Henley.* I would like to write about him today, but he really belongs with the other writers of the Victorian Age in an entry from October 27, 2011, not only because he was one of them but also because he was a friend of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), who based his character Long John Silver on Henley.

William Ernest Henley was born on August 23, 1849, in Gloucester, England, and attended The Crypt School in that city. He passed his examination in 1867 and went to work in the field of journalism. Henley edited London (1877-1878), the Magazine of Art (1882-1886), the Scots Observer/National Observer (1888-1893), and a publication called Ana Siken. Through all that, he wrote poetry and through all that he endured ill health, surgical operations, and long stays in the hospital from which he emerged minus a leg.

Henley's time was one of great prosperity and expanding horizons but also one of decadence and looking backward. Henley himself was conservative, but his poetry is forward-looking, not only in its optimism (or at least its undefeated attitude) but also in its anticipation of the verse of the coming century. According to Andrzej Diniejko, Henley and his circle (called the "Henley Regatta") "promoted realism and opposed Decadence," a viewpoint and movement then in fashion. (Quoted in Wikipedia in an entry that is disjointed at best.) If anyone might have cause to feel defeated, pessimistic, or depressed--in other words a candidate for the Decadent vogue of the fin de siècle--Henley was it. From the age of twelve, he suffered from tuberculosis in his bones. Sometime in 1868-1869, he had his left leg taken off below the knee. Henley spent a good deal of time in the hospital, including the years 1873-1875, when his right foot was also diseased. More tragically, Henley's daughter Margaret, who had inspired James Barrie in his creation of Peter Pan, died in 1894 at age five. If his poetry is any indication, Henley remained undefeated by death and disease, however. Here is his most famous work, Invictus, from 1875:


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gait,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Here is another poem, presumably on the death of his daughter, and on his own impending end:

In Memoriam: Margaritae Sorori

A late lark twitters from the quiet skies: 
And from the west, 
Where the sun, his day's work ended, 
Lingers as in content, 
There falls on the old, gray city 
An influence luminous and serene, 
A shining peace. 

The smoke ascends 
In a rosy-and-golden haze. The spires 
Shine and are changed. In the valley 
Shadows rise. The lark sings on. The sun, 
Closing his benediction, 
Sinks, and the darkening air 
Thrills with a sense of the triumphing night-- 
Night with her train of stars 
And her great gift of sleep. 

So be my passing! 
My task accomplish'd and the long day done, 
My wages taken, and in my heart 
Some late lark singing, 
Let me be gather'd to the quiet west, 
The sundown splendid and serene, 

I am reminded of Ralph Vaughan Williams' musical piece The Lark Ascending, from George Meredith's poem of the same name, published in 1881. To me, The Lark Ascending is both joyful and sad, music about life itself. It also represents, I think, England, about which Henley also famously wrote:

England, My England

What have I done for you,
  England, my England?
What is there I would not do,
  England, my own?
With your glorious eyes austere,         
As the Lord were walking near,
Whispering terrible things and dear
  As the Song on your bugles blown,
  Round the world on your bugles blown!         

Where shall the watchful sun,
  England, my England,
Match the master-work you’ve done,
  England, my own?
When shall he rejoice agen         
Such a breed of mighty men
As come forward, one to ten,
  To the Song on your bugles blown,
  Down the years on your bugles blown?         

Ever the faith endures,
  England, my England:--
'Take and break us: we are yours,
  England, my own!
Life is good, and joy runs high         
Between English earth and sky:
Death is death; but we shall die
  To the Song of your bugles blown,
  To the stars on your bugles blown!'         

They call you proud and hard,
  England, my England:
You with worlds to watch and ward,
  England, my own!
You whose mail’d hand keeps the keys         
Of such teeming destinies,
You could know nor dread nor ease
  Were the Song on your bugles blown,
  Round the Pit on your bugles blown!         

Mother of Ships whose might,
  England, my England,
Is the fierce old Sea's delight,
  England, my own,
Chosen daughter of the Lord,         
Spouse-in-Chief of the ancient Sword,
There's the menace of the Word
  In the Song on your bugles blown,
  Out of heaven on your bugles blown!

In our time, a poem like that would be called nationalistic, jingoistic, imperialistic, and even fascistic, the pejoratives that the politically correct so readily spew like verbal vomit. I take it as the work of a man who loved his country and all that it had accomplished, including, in an irony that is lost on them, the very freedom of thought and speech that allows the politically correct to criticize the country admired and the sentiments expressed in the poet's work.

William Ernest Henley died on July 11, 1903, in Woking, England. A little more than a quarter-century later, Weird Tales reprinted a poem by him that it called "A King in Babylon." Its author called it "To W.A.":

To W.A.

Or ever the knightly years were gone
With the old world to the grave,
I was a King in Babylon
And you were a Christian Slave.
I saw, I took, I cast you by,
I bent and broke your pride.
You loved me well, or I heard them lie,
But your longing was denied.
Surely I knew that by and by
You cursed your gods and died.
And a myriad suns have set and shone
Since then upon the grave
Decreed by the King of Babylon,
To her that had been his Slave.
The pride I trampled is now my scathe,
For it tramples me again.
The old resentment lasts like death,
For you love, yet you refrain.
I break my heart on your hard unfaith,
And I break my heart in vain.
Yet not for an hour do I wish undone
The deed beyond the grave,
When I was a King in Babylon
And you were a Virgin Slave.

William Ernest Henley

*Revision (Apr. 23, 2016): As it turns out, I did write about him before, but only briefly, in "More Weird Tales from the Victorian Age," October 30, 2011, here.
Original text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ralph Allen Lang (1906-1987)

Poet, Author, Editor, Boy Scout
Born August 11, 1906
Died September 1987

Ralph Allen Lang was born on August 11, 1906, and though he lived past eighty, he seems to have spent a good part of his life being a boy and doing the things boys do. In the 1920s, he was a Boy Scout after having been a Lone Scout. In his middle years, he worked for Holgate Brothers Company of Kane, Pennsylvania, a maker of wooden toys. And, in the mid-1940s, he wrote this sonnet about youth, longing, and sanctuary:

by Ralph Allen Lang

I have a chamber where the walls are hung
With all the splendid sunsets I have seen
Surmounting somber banks of forest green
Where, through the long sweet days, the birds have sung;
Here, too, Aurora's brightest rays are flung 
In golden mist upon a dew-drenched scene 
The wine of Hebe glistens in her sheen, 
A draught of health that ever keeps us young--
And in my room are skies and clouds and rain
And many a star and many a rainbow glows 
And laughing streams leap onward to the main, 
And moonlight weirdly gleams on crusted snows.
Here Beauty waits, and here I may regain 
My youth, and find a balm for all my woes. (1)

The sentiment is the same, I think, as in the Beach Boys' song "In My Room" from two decades later.

The Lone Scouts of America were founded in 1915 for boys who lived in rural areas, away from others with whom they might form a troop, or as the Lone Scouts called them, "tribe." There weren't any adult leaders and no age limit. The boys were on their own and communicated with each other by mail and through their organizational magazine, Lone Scout, to which they contributed articles, stories, photographs, and cartoons. "The magazine," wrote Robert Peterson in Scouting, "was . . . the spawning ground for thousands of future writers, editors, and printers." (2) Ralph Allen Lang was one of them. In 1965, Lang was awarded a gold merit medal for his poem "Ah, Wilderness," written for the 50th anniversary issue of Lone Scout magazine. The Lone Scouts by then existed only in the memories of the boys who were once members, for they had merged with the Boy Scouts in June 1924. (3)

If you look into old issues of Boys' Life, you will see the name of Ralph Allen Lang from time to time. In 1924, in response to the merger of the two scouting groups, he noted, "The Lone Scouts of America has developed into more of a literary organization than anything else," whereas the Boy Scouts had practiced more in woodcraft. (4) He pledged his loyalty to the Boy Scouts, and by the end of the year, he was being recognized for his accomplishments:
Another name has been added to the small number of Supreme Scouts, that of Ralph Allen Lang. Scout Lang is present Scout Chief of District #3, Pennsylvania--and has won his set of Merit Medals and Quill through his poetical efforts. (Boys' Life, Oct. 1924, p. 47)
The Council Fire, ALSAP 10, edited by Ralph Allen Lang, SS, of Kane, Pennsylvania, has been designated by the Council of Ten as official organ of Council Three . . . . (Boys' Life, Nov. 1925, p. 17)
There are other items as well, but these show Scout Lang's interest in writing and editing.

In the early 1930s, Lang contributed three stories to Weird Tales. Two have been reprinted in hardback. "The Silver Knife," from January 1932, is a werewolf story of the Far North. Strangely, there is an allusion to the Cthulhu Mythos in the mention of "an ancient temple of Dagon." "On Top," from November 1933, is a very brief tale of the Old West. It has an amusing twist at the end and reads like a story from the comic book House of Mystery or House of Secrets from the early 1970s. 

In the 1940s, Ralph A. Lang was associate editor of Highlights of Holgates, the house organ of Holgate Brothers Company in Lang's hometown of Kane, Pennsylvania. The company started making wooden toys in 1929 and specialized in finely made educational playthings for preschoolers. The logo used from 1938 to 1945 reads, "Educational, Sturdy, Safe." Norman Rockwell's brother, Jarvis Rockwell, Jr., is supposed to have worked there for a time. As for Ralph Allen Lang, I know nothing more about him except that he died in September 1987 at age eighty-one.

Ralph Allen Lang's Stories in Weird Tales
"The Silver Knife" (Jan. 1932)
"On Top" (Nov. 1933)
"The Thunderstones of Nuflo" (July 1934)

Further Reading
  • "The Silver Knife" was reprinted in 100 Creepy Little Creature Storiesedited by Robert Weinberg, Stefan Dziemianowicz, and Martin H. Greenberg (1994).
  • "On Top" was reprinted in 100 Wild Little Weird Tales, edited by Stefan R. Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg, and Martin H. Greenberg (1994).
  • You can read about the Lone Scouts of America and Holgate Brothers Company elsewhere on the Internet. The story of the Lone Scouts is especially interesting.
(1) The text of the poem is from a document made using text recognition software. I have had to edit it. I hope I have done so accurately.
(2) "The Way It Was: Where the Past Is Ever Present: The Museum at a North Carolina Council Scout Camp Commemorates the Lone Scouts of America." by Robert Peterson, from Scouting, September 2002, online here.
(3) See the article in the Kane (Pennsylvania) Republican, October 12, 1965, page 4.
(4) From Boys' Life, June 1924, p. 3.

The symbol of the Lone Scouts of America was an Indian with his arms raised.

This cover of Weird Tales from February 1924 is not very much different. It came just four months before the Lone Scouts were merged with the Boy Scouts of America. I wonder if the artist, R.M. Mally, was a Lone Scout.

Ralph Allen Lang in his days with the Lone Scouts, from Boys' Life, May 1924, page 50. 

Text and captions copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Anthony F. Klinkner (1880-1953)

Poet, Editor, Reporter
Born July 10, 1880, Cascade, Iowa
Died May 13, 1953, Dubuque, Iowa

In the centennial week of Dubuque, Iowa, in August 1933, Anthony Klinkner was awarded as the first poet laureate of the state of Iowa by the Poet Laureate League of America. The award was made "'in appreciation of the commendable interest and activity he has shown in the advancement of poetry and literature in the state of Iowa, and in recognition of his excellence in poetry composition'." (1) Klinkner had just turned fifty-three and had been writing poems for a quarter century. His poems had been broadcast over the radio and used in school programs. According to the Encyclopedia Dubuque"Klinkner's articles and verse appeared in more than three hundred Catholic and secular newspapers throughout North America, France, and Ireland."

Anthony Ferdinand Timothy Klinkner was born on July 10, 1880, in Cascade, Iowa, to two German immigrants, John H. Klinkner (1851-1927) and Margaret F. (Knippling) Klinkner (1850-1936). He graduated from St. Mary's High School in Cascade, Iowa. On June 27, 1905, he married Margaret Wallace (1882-?) in Farley, Iowa. They had two children.

A summary of Anthony Klinkner's résumé from The American Catholics Who's Who, 1946-1947, page 234:
  • Apprentice, Cascade Courier, 1896
  • Editor, Young America, 1897-1903
  • Member, United and National Amateur Press Associations, ca. 1897-1903 (from another source than Who's Who)
  • Reporter, Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, 1903
  • Editor, Farley News, 1904-1910
  • With Waukegon Republican and Cascade Pioneer, 1912-1919
  • With the Catholic Printing Company, Dubuque, from 1919
  • State and fiction editor, Catholic Daily Tribune, Dubuque, from 1926
  • Named first poet laureate of Iowa by the Poet Laureate League of America, 1933
  • Contributing editor, The Circle poetry magazine
  • Member, Catholic Poetry Society of America and other Catholic organizations
He wrote one poem in Weird Tales. Here is a list, far from complete, of his credits:
  • "The Sign" in The Sign (Sept. 1921)
  • Ten Nights in Fairyland (1921)
  • "The Dead Are in the Hillside Clay" in Weird Tales (Jan. 1933)
  • My Baby: Petals, Selected Poems (Dubuque, 1935)
Anthony Klinkner died on May 13, 1953, at age seventy-two and was buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Dubuque.

(1) Quoted in the Mason City Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Aug. 3, 1933, p. 2.

Some poems by Anthony F.T. Klinkner:

The Christ who works in offices
Is weary of his load,
Sum Total is his torture
And Hurry is his goad.

From Pilate's hall to Caiaphas
They drive him to and fro,
And only He Who is a Sign
His agony will know.

They crown his brow with wrinkles deep
To profit find or loss,
With price and cost they load him down,
The Ledger is his cross.

Each day he goes to Golgotha
To meekly do their will,
They look at him with eyes of scorn
On crucifixion hill.

The Christ who works in offices
For masters stern and grim,
Looks from his window prison bars
To hear the Easter hymn!

Baby Lindbergh
The empty arms of his mother will ache 
For the feel of his velvet cheek, 
The loving heart of his father will break 
For no more will his red lips speak. 
And over the hills with angels to roam 
Where no sin of the world may mar, 
He waits in the halls of heavenly home 
Where all of God's little ones are. 
--from The Catholic TribuneMay 14, 1932. 

Armistice Day
Endless crosses row on row
Tell of boys we used to know 
In the golden long ago. 

They were young and they were brave, 
Freely their young lives they gave, 
For oblivion of the grave. 

Underneath the skies of France, 
Battle-scar and battle-chance, 
Made of death a circumstance. 

America their native land, 
Saw them march to stirring band,
Saw them leave for foreign strand. 

Deathless they in valor sleep, 
We their memory sacred keep, 
While the long years onward sweep. 
--from The Catholic TribuneNov. 10, 1937

Anthony Klinkner's Poem in Weird Tales
"The Dead Are in the Hillside Clay" (Jan. 1933)

Further Reading
There isn't much to read about Anthony Klinkner on the Internet, but links are embedded in the main body of text above.

Original text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley