Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Clara H. Holmes

Clara H. Holmes (b. Ohio, 1837; d. Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1927)

Very little seems to be able to be discovered with any certainty about  the early life of Clara H. Holmes.  She was born in Ohio in 1838, and when she married John W. Holmes in Colorado on 22 October 1890, she was known as Mrs. Clara Janson. Thus her marriage to Holmes was not her first marriage, and Janson was not her original surname. The marriage lasted less than ten years, for on 19 October 1899 John W. Holmes was granted a divorce because his wife had left him.

Meanwhile, Clara H. Holmes had been publishing stories and articles. The earliest known item is an article, "The Ice Cave, Cripple Creek, Colorado," in the September 1897 issue of Travel. Various stories published in newspapers up to around 1910 include "Uncle Eben's Mistake,""It Only Came After He Recovered from His Bashfulness," and "Trifling Telephone Tangles." But her most significant publication was a volume of eleven short stories, Floating Fancies among the Weird and the Occult (New York: F. Tennyson Neely, 1898). The author's name is misprinted as "Howard" on the spine, but is correct on the title and copyright pages.  The eleven short stories are amateurishly written, but some of the content is still interesting, as in the first story, "Nordhung Nordjansen," a hollow-earth tale, where a sailor finds himself in this dimly-lit world of mist beings in human form. In "A Nineteenth Century Ghost" a woman is haunted by the ghost of the woman who took her husband away from her. "A Tale of the X-Ray" tells of a man who experiments with X-rays, resulting in a physiological change.

In 1926 Holmes published in Colorado Springs a second book, a collection of verse entitled Scattered Autumn Leaves.

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