Harland was born in New York City and attended City College but pretended to be Russian-born. His literary career falls into two distinct sections. During the first of these, writing under the pseudonym Sidney Luska, he produced a series of highly sensational novels, written with little regard to literary quality.
But in 1890 Harland moved to London and fell under the influence of the Aesthetic movement. He began writing under his own name and, in 1894, became the founding editor of The Yellow Book. The first novels of this new period, Mademoiselle Miss (1893), Grey Roses (1895), and Comedies and Errors (1898), were praised by critics but had little general popularity. He finally achieved a wide readership with The Cardinal's Snuff-box (1900), which was followed by The Lady Paramount (1901) and My Friend Prospero (1903).
- The Oxford Companion to American Literature. 6th Edition. Edited by James D. Hart, revised by Phillip W. Leininger. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. p. 271. ISBN 0195065484.
- Template:A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature
- Foote, Stephanie. "Ethnic Plotting: Henry Harland and the Jewish Writer." American Literature. March 2003 (75:1): 119-140.