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VIELÉ, Herman Knickerbocker [1856-1908] -- American novelist, playwright, author, artist

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His sister, Kathlyne Knickerbocker Vielé, in her 1909 book, Vielé, 1659-1909, Two Hundreds and Fifty Years with a Dutch Family of New York (subscription required for viewing), provides several pages of biographical material on her then recently deceased brother. Although he is best known as a writer, "[h]e began his career as a civil engineer, following in this his father's lead. Partly to establish his health-never very robust-and fired in part, no doubt, by love of adventure, he went out in the early seventies to the Rocky Mountains and practised his profession in Leadville then just budding out from a mining camp into a city of mushroom growth. Later he returned to the East and for two years worked on the West Shore road, then building. During this time he was stationed at Kingston, where he made many warm friends. About 1885 he went to Washington and was engaged in developing the new part of the capitol city when his health broke down and he was forced to lay aside business." [K.K.V.]  -30-
 

Selected Works

  • "Evening on Lake Como" (1885 painting) Exhibited with Upper Broadway in the Washington Society of Artists.
  • "Heart Break Hill" A novel.
  • "The Inn of the Silver Moon" (1900) "Vielé delighted in creating delightfully fantastic conditions lightly bordering upon the impossible: and having created them in so dissolving their elements into the seemingly commonplace and apparently probable, that the fine art with which he worked his transmutation was veiled by the very perfection of its accomplishment. Such was the method which he employed in what I cherish as his masterpiece:—The Inn of the Silver Moon—a story told so simply and so directly and with such a color of engaging frankness, that each turn in its series of airily adjusted situations leaves upon the mind of the reader a lasting impression of verity." [Thomas A. Janvier, in the introduction to a volume of Vielé's short stories published post mortem]
  • "Last of the Knickerbockers, a Comedy Romance" (1901). It is a good story to read simply as a story: but it is more than that, it is a document: an ambered preservation of a phase of New York society that already almost has vanished, and that soon will have vanished absolutely. So true a presentment as this story of New York's old time straight faiths and straighter social customs will outlive long, I am confident, the great mass of the fiction of Vielé's day." [Janvier]
  • "Myra of the Pines" A romance set in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.
  • "On the Lightship" (1909). A collection of his short stories, edited by Janvier.
  • "Random Verse" A collection of his poems.
  • "Sixth Ave. (N. Y.) on a Foggy Night" (painting) One of his most striking pictures[, it is] a glimpse of the elevated with the red light of a train far above the street, the figure of a woman silhouetted against the circular glare of an electric light and a cab driving off in the grey distance and, overhanging all, pervading all, the fog itself half revealing, half concealing the scene and giving to it faint suggestions of mystery."
  • "Upper Broadway" painting.
  • Associated

    • Parent: ¤VIELÉ, Egbert Ludovicus, General [1825-1902] American military officer and engineer
    • Parent: ¤GRIFFIN, Teresa [1832-1906] American author, activist
    • Sibling: ¤VIELÉ, Kathlyne [1853-?] American genealogist and historian
    • Sibling: ¤VIELÉ, Herman Knickerbocker [1856-1908] American novelist, playwright, author, artist
    • Sibling: ¤VIELÉ-GRIFFIN, Francis [1864-1937] American expatriate poet
    • Niece: ¤VIELÉ, Emily [1865-?] American poet and novelist

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