- Jun 27, 2002I had a breakthrough tonight!
I've been looking for at least two years for a female author named
Nell Martin, who I think Blanding met in Hollywood around 1926...and
then knew in New York in the late twenties/early thirties. He
apparently wrote five short stories with her, which have been lost
over the years. He mentions her in his dedication to Hula Moons.
I had gotten several leads, including the fact that she was the
onetime girlfriend of Dashiell Hammett, the mystery writer.
Well, I have a new feature on my computer through my local library
which scans the entire text of the New York Times from 1851-1999, and
it hit on a 1954 obituary for Ashley Weed Dickinson, a New York
newsman, and it lists his widow as "Mrs. Nell Martin Dickinson, the
author of eight novels and 200 short stories under her maiden name,
and a son, Daniel Ashley Dickinson of Ojai, Calif."
This is definately the same Nell Martin, but as of yet I can't find
any death date for her, or any leads on her son. I did find a record
of her husband on Ancestry.com, and have written the compiler.
If we can track down the family, we may recover the lost
Blanding/Martin stories, letters, photos, etc...
There were a total of 55 references to Blanding in the NY
Times...mainly ads and radio appearances in the early thirties. One
interesting article from 1930 about an Author's League charity event
which featured Blanding, Nell Martin and a relative of Lorraine
Stevens, the "Rowdy Duchess."
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