Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Ledyard M. Bailey

Ledyard M. Bailey (b. Painesville, Ohio, 22 June 1862; d. Ridgewood, New Jersey, 19 November 1938)

Ledyard M. Bailey contributed one single novelette to Weird Tales, "The Cobra Lily" in the January 1924 issue. Sadly, it is not a very good story, and it is more an adventure romance than a weird tale. It concerns a sacred flower used in serpent worship in the Yucatan, and some members of the cult. The plot is filled with cliches and the story weak and of little interest. Bailey contributed over a dozen stories to magazines in the 1920s, ranging from 1924 through 1928, in titles such as The Blue Book Magazine, Popular Magazine, McClure's and Women's Home Companion. Bailey published no books, and few of his stories have been reprinted.

Ledyard Marlborough Bailey was the son of Nathaniel D. Bailey. He graduated from Western Reserve College in Ohio (now Case Western Reserve), later settling in Utah. Around 1892 he married Anne Austin (1866-1935). They had two daughters, the younger of which died as an infant. He managed the Portland Cement company in Salt Lake City for many years. He also served as executive secretary of the Utah Food and Fuel supply organization during the World War. After his retirement, Bailey moved to southern California. He was visiting his daughter in New Jersey when he died.


  1. Does Bailey explain how cobras got to Yucatan?

  2. The cobra refers to the appearance of the plant:

    "The flower stalk seemed incredibly instinct with life, and so serpent-like that Oakes recalled instantly the wicked, poised, fighting posture of the great king cobra of East India. 'The Cobra!' he breathed. 'The Cobra Lily!'"