Cromwell, Gladys

[1885-1919]

(1)

Born in Brooklyn, but lived the greater part of her life in New York City. She was educated at private schools in New York, and had a period of study in Paris, supplemented by extensive foreign travel. At the outbreak of the World War, Miss Cromwell and her twin sister volunteered for service in the Red Cross and were actively engaged both in canteen work and in hospital service. The strain proved too great and induced a mental depression, which, acting upon the highly sensitive nature of the sisters, caused them to feel that they had no longer a place in a world which held no refuge for beauty and quiet thought, and on their way home from France, in January of 1919, they committed suicide by jumping from the deck of the steamer Loraine. Three months later they were buried in France with military honors and the French Government awarded them the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille de Reconnaissance française. The poetry of Gladys Cromwell is deeply thoughtful and almost sculptural in its chiseled beauty. It shows the reaction of a finely tempered spirit to a world at variance with it. Had Miss Cromwell lived she would almost certainly have added some distinguished work to our poetry, since the lyrics contained in the volume of her verse issued after her death are of so fine a quality.