Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Herman, Henry

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HERMAN, HENRY (1832–1894), dramatist and novelist, was educated at a military college in Alsace, emigrated to America, and fought in the Confederate ranks during the civil war, in the course of which he lost an eye. On 15 May 1875 he produced at the Charing Cross theatre 'Jeanne Dubarry,' a drama in three acts, and on 31 Jan. 1876 at the same house, rechristened the 'Folly,' 'Slight Mistakes,' a farce. 'Caryswold,' in four acts, by him and J. Mackay, was played in Liverpool on 21 Sept. 1877. He also gave in 1876 an adaptation called 'My Niece and my Monkey,' presumably 'Ma Niece et mon Ours;' and at the Olympic on 7 Dec. 1882 an adaptation of 'Adrienne Lecouvreur.' His first conspicuous success was obtained on 16 Nov. 1882, with the ' Silver King,' five acts, written in conjunction with Mr. Henry Arthur Jones. To the same conjunction was due 'Breaking a Butterfly' (Ibsen's 'Doll's House'), Prince's, on 3 March 1884, and 'Chatterton' on 22 May, Princess's. In collaboration with William Gorman Wills [q. v.] he (6 Dec. 1884) furnished the Princess's with 'Claudian,' in three acts. The 'Golden Band,' in four acts, Olympic, 14 Jan. 1887, was by Herman and Mr. Freeman Wills. Herman is responsible for two untraceable dramas, 'For Old Virginia' (1891) and Eagle Joe' (1892), and for the 'Fay o' Fire,' a romantic opera, with music by Mr. Edward Jones, Opera Comique, 14 Nov. 1885. This he printed. In collaboration with Mr. David Christie Murray he wrote, between 1887 and 1891, the following novels: 'A Dangerous Catspaw,' 'One Traveller returns,' 'The Bishop's Bible,' 'He fell among Thieves,' 'Only a Shadow,' 'Paul Jones's Alias,' and 'Wild Darrie.' His name alone appears to 'A Dead Man's Story, &c.,' 'Between the Whiffs,' 'Crime of a Christmas Toy,' 'Eagle Joe,' 'Great Beckleswaithe Mystery,' 'Hearts of Gold and Hearts of Steel,' 'His Angel,' 'A King in Bohemia,' 'Lady Turpin,' 'Leading Lady,' 'Postman's Daughter,' 'Scarlet Fortune,' and 'Woman the Mystery.' He wrote stories up to his death. He married Miss Eugenie Edwards, who played in two of his pieces. Herman's choice theatrical library was sold at Sotheby's on 23 Jan. 1885, when 234 lots fetched over 16,000l. The high prices were due in great measure to the large number of 'grangerised books.' He died at Gunnersburyon 24 Sept. 1894, and was buried at Kensal Green. His share in the dramas in which he collaborated seems to have been confined as a rule to the stories. He had considerable invention.

[Personal knowledge; Era, 29 Sept. 1894; Scott and Howard's Blanchard; Brit. Mus. Cat.; The English Catalogue of Books.]

J. K.