“HALYARD, HARRY” (dates unknown). “Harry Halyard” is the pseudonym of the unknown author of twelve novels published in the midnineteenth century. Five of them were intended to exploit public interest in
the Mexican War: The Chieftain of Churubusco (1848), The Heroine of Tampico (1847), The Mexican Spy (1848), The Ocean Monarch (1848), and The
Warrior Queen (1848). Others have a vague association with sensational
historical events such as the Salem witch trials of 1692 (The Haunted Bride
[1848]), the American Revolution (The Rover of the Reef [1848]), or the
French Revolution (The Heroine of Paris [1848]).
All are exactly 100 pages long and reflect the emphasis on glib dialogue
and fast-paced action characteristic of the emerging “dime novel” tradition.
They were published by F[rederick]. Gleason, whose stable of hack authors
during this period included Maturin M. Ballou,* Benjamin Barker,* and
“Ned Buntline,” pseudonym of Edward Zane Carroll Judson.* Any or all
of these authors may have ghostwritten the “Harry Halyard” series, although the emphasis upon women as the works’ heroes may suggest a
woman author. The novel The Bandit of the Ocean; or The Female Privateer,
a Romance of the Sea (1855) uses Halyard as the pseudonym and includes
Barker’s name on the cover as the presumed author. As the “Halyard” tag
and some of the titles suggest, all of the books are principally or partly set
on the sea. The other four Halyard titles are The Doom of the Dolphin
(1848); Geraldine (1848); The Peruvian Nun (1848); and Wharton the
Whale-Killer! (1848), presumably a source that Herman Melville* used for
Moby-Dick* (1851).