Henry Bellamann Biography


The son of George Heinrich and Caroline Bellamann, Heinrich Hauer Bellamann, as he was christened, first trained and achieved a successful career as a musician before and after becoming known as a writer. After studying under Isidor Philipp and Charles-Marie Widor, Bellamann held posts of importance at Chicora College for Women (1907-1924), the Juilliard Music Foundation (1924-1926), and the Curtis Institute of Music (1931-1932). He was also editor of the music periodical Overtones. Probably it was his interest in music that led him to poetry, for his verse shows the influence of his long study of the music of Claude Debussy.

In 1907, Bellamann married a woman who encouraged him as a novelist and who herself became a novelist. After Bellamann’s sudden death of a heart attack in 1945, Katherine Jones Bellamann completed her husband’s last, unfinished novel, Parris Mitchell, a sequel to Kings Row, the book that made Henry Bellamann famous. This novel, with its large cast of characters, shows Bellamann’s own peculiar and successful blend of horror story, historical sociology, and Freudian psychology. The book became the basis for a sensationally successful motion picture.


Bayne, Harry M., ed. “Henry Bellamann’s ‘Madame Arndt.’”University of Mississippi Studies in English 10 (1992): 204-212.

Bayne, Harry M., and Benjamin Franklin Fisher IV. “A Neglected Detective Novel: Bellamann’s The Gray Man Walks.” The Mystery FANcier 12, no. 4 (Fall, 1990): 3-9.

Fadiman, Clifton. Review of Kings Row, by Henry Bellamann. The New Yorker, April 13, 1940.

Karr, Jay Miles. Introduction to Kings Row, by Henry Bellamann. Fulton, Mo.: Kingdom House, 1982.

Karr, Jay Miles. Introduction to Parris Mitchell of Kings Row, by Henry Bellamann and Katherine Bellamann. Fulton, Mo.: Kingdom House, 1986.

Strauss, Harold. “The Tale of a Western Town.” Review of Kings Row, by Henry Bellamann. The New York Times, April 14, 1940.