Harold Speakman (1888-1928)

Harold Speakman. Studio PortraitHarold Speakman was a modest man of great heart and humor; possessing keen insight and a well-balanced appreciation of the human condition. A writer, poet and artist who, in the days of the lost generation, was at remarkable peace with himself and the world.

His books reflect an excellent education, including studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as in Paris and Munich. He served with the American Expeditionary Force on the Italian front during the First World War. His military service lead him to the Balkans immediately after the Armistice for peacekeeping duties in Montenegro. Upon returning to the United States, he took up residence in New York City.

After traveling overseas throughout the early 1920s, he married fellow artist Miss Russell Lindsay with whom he continued his adventures. He died rather tragically at an early age (a suicide on the steps of Bellevue Hospital) leaving behind at least eight books, among them a wonderful account of his war experiences, a soulful novel, a small book of inspirational poems, a revealing short story, and four charming, enlightening and timely accounts of his travels to China, Palestine, Ireland and the American Heartland, all which leave much intentionally unsaid for the reader’s discovery.

Primary Published Works (see, complete bibliography)

Songs of Hope (1917)
29 pgs; Illustrated; Crowell, NY
Small volume of Speakman’s inspirational poetry.

From A Soldier’s Heart (1919)
163 pgs; Illustrated; Abingdon Press
Account of Speakman’s service during WWI, and as a Balkan’s peacekeeper.

Beyond Shanghai (1922)
198 pgs; 8 color plates of Speakman’s paintings; Abingdon Press.
Journey by house boat up the Yangtze River, and beyond, in 1920s China.

Hilltops In Galilee (1923)
259 pgs; 8 color plates of Speakman’s paintings; Abingdon Press
Walking tour of British Occupied Palestine

This Above All (1924)
374 pgs; Bobbs-Merrill Company
A semi-autobiographical novel on seeing true and being true to one self.

Here’s Ireland (1925)
353 pgs; 12 plates of Speakman’s paintings; Dodd, Mead & Co.
A grand walking tour, with donkey cart, of Ireland in 1924.

Mostly Mississippi (1927)
360 pgs; 7 plates of Speakman’s paintings; Dodd, Mead & Co.
Includes numerous drawings by his wife, Russell Lindsay Speakman
From headwaters to Minneapolis by canoe, and on to New Orleans by houseboat.

Once At Christmas (1928)
46 pgs; 3 plates of Speakman’s paintings, decorative borders; Abingdon Press
Short story. A proud, but ragged, veteran returns from the war to search for his home.