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People and organizations
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

Atwood, Margaret

  • Person
  • 1939-

Margaret Eleanor "Peggy" Atwood is a novelist, poet, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and a pioneer of Canadian women's writing. She was born November 18, 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto.

She earned a B.A. in English from Victoria College, University of Toronto, and an M.A. from Harvard. Atwood has had a distinguished career in teaching including positions at the University of British Columbia (1964-1965), Sir George Williams University (Concordia University) (1967-1968), York University (1971-1972) and New York University (1986). Her first book of poetry, Double Persephone, was published in 1961, followed by The Circle Games (1966), which won the Governor General’s Award in Poetry. She published her first novel, The Edible Woman in 1969, and subsequently wrote Procedures for Underground (1970) and The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970). Her most well-known novels include: The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), the Blind Assassin (2000), which was the Booker Prize, and Orynx and Crake (2003). Her complete and up-to date bibliography can be accessed here: http://margaretatwood.ca/full-bibliography-2/. Her work has been translated into many languages and published in more than twenty-five countries.

Among her numerous honors and awards are the Governor General’s Award, the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Molson Award, the Ida Nudel Humanitarian Award, and a Canada Short Fiction Award. She was named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1981 and inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2001. She has served as a Writer-In-Residence at the University of Toronto (1972-1973), Mcquarrie University (1987) and Trinity University (1989). She has previously worked as an editor at Anansi Press (1971-1973), is a founder of the Writers’ Trust of Canada and was President of PEN Canada (1984-1986). She lives in Toronto.

Selvadurai, Shyam

  • Person
  • 1965-

Shyam Selvadurai was born 12 February 1965 in Colombo, Sri Lanka to a Sinhalese mother and a Tamil father. He attended Royal Junior School and Royal College in Colombo and participated in theatre; he directed his first production, The Wizard of Oz at the age of 13. Ethnic riots, between Tamil and Sinhalese beginning in July 1983, led Selvadurai and his family to immigrate to Canada when he was 19 years old. He attended York University for a bachelor of fine arts in theatre directing and playwriting between 1984 and 1989.
He moved to Montreal in 1990 to focus on writing and published his first story “Nagadvipa Road” in Montreal Serai in 1991. He published “Pigs Can’t Fly” in the Toronto South Asian Review in spring 1992, which resulted in securing an agent, and a plan to expand “Pigs Can’t Fly” into a novel. Funny Boy, a novel presented through six short stories, was published in 1994 by McClelland & Stewart in Canada and Jonathan Cape in the UK. It was shortlisted for the 1994 Giller Prize and was awarded the Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Funny Boy would go on to be translated into seven languages and published in eleven countries. His second novel, Cinnamon Gardens was published in 1998 by McClelland & Stewart, which was shortlisted for the Trillium Award in 1998. His third novel, for young adults, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea was published by Tundra Books in 2005 and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. His most recent work was The Hungry Ghosts which was published by Double Day Canada and Penguin India in April 2013. Selvadurai received an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia in 2010. He taught creative writing workshops at York University between 1998 and 2010, and at the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Shyam Selvadurai lives in Toronto.

Beverley, Jo

  • Person
  • 1947-2016

Jo Beverley is the author of thirty-two published historical romances. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Golden Leaf, the Award of Excellence, the National Readers Choice, and a two Career Achievement awards from Romantic Times. She is also a five-time winner of the RITA, the top award of the Romance Writers Of America, and is a member of its Hall of Fame and Honor Roll. Beverley passed away in England in 2016.

Banting, Frederick Grant, Sir

  • Person
  • 1891-1941

Born on his father's farm near Alliston, Ontario on 14 November 1891, Frederick Grant Banting was the fourth and youngest son of William Thompson Banting and Margaret (Grant) Banting's five children. Fred Banting was an average student, described as a hard-working, shy, and serious child by local schoolteachers. His grades were sufficient to earn admission at the University of Toronto. In 1910 he enrolled in the general arts course at Victoria College, with tentative plans to pursue a degree in the Methodist ministry.

This plan, perhaps more a reflection of his parent's desires than his own, did not materialize and Banting left Victoria College before completing his first year. In the fall of 1912, Banting re-entered the University of Toronto, this time enrolling in the Faculty of Medicine with a specialty in surgery.

Upon declaration of war on 4 August 1914, Fred Banting attempted to enlist in the Canadian Army the following day. Citing his poor eyesight, the Army rejected him. He later joined the Canadian Army Medical Service, however, after earning high grades and completing most of his medical training. He enlisted as a private in the spring of 1915 and before the fall of that year held the rank of sergeant. The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, also eager to join the war effort, designed a special curriculum for the class of 1917, condensing the fifth year into a special summer and fall semester. Along with most of the other young men in his class, Banting graduated with a bachelor's degree in medicine (M.B.) on 9 December 1916. He reported for active service the following morning.

Banting first served at Granville Hospital in England before being sent to the front line as a battalion medical officer in June 1918. In late September of that year, Banting was wounded at the battle of Chambrai, where his conduct during the assault earned him the Military Cross. His wound, though not serious, was slow to heal, keeping Banting in hospital until 4 December 1918, more than three weeks after the war had ended. He resumed his duties as a Medical Officer working first in England and, after returning to Canada in the spring of 1919, at the Christie Street Hospital for Veterans in Toronto.

De-mobilized in the summer of 1919, Banting stayed in Toronto an additional year to complete his internship in surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children. In the summer of 1920, having completed his duties as senior house surgeon and intending to set up his own practice as a physician and surgeon, Banting left Toronto for London, Ontario. By the fall of that year a dearth of patients and a lack of funds had driven Banting to the University of Western Ontario where he took a part-time job as demonstrator in the medical school. On the night of 31 October 1920, while taking notes on an article by Moses Barron for an upcoming lecture on the pancreas, Banting conceived the "idea" that would change not only his life but the lives of countless others.

Banting first approached Dr. F.G. Miller, a medical research scientist at the University of Western Ontario. Miller referred Banting to one of the leading specialists on carbohydrate metabolism: Prof. J.J.R. Macleod, then at the University of Toronto. In early November, Banting went to Toronto to meet Prof. Macleod. Although skeptical of Banting's procedure, Macleod arranged for the young surgeon to have laboratory space in the physiology department, dogs, and an assistant. After considering his options in London, Banting returned to Toronto in May 1921 for what was scheduled to be two months of research at the University. He never returned to his London practice.

Although he had assisted Miller with laboratory experiments at the University of Western Ontario, Banting had less experience in that setting than the young assistant J.J.R. Macleod assigned to him before leaving the city for the summer, Charles H. Best. Best had recently graduated from the physiology and biochemistry course and had done laboratory work as part of his degree. Originally the experiments were planned to play to Banting and Best's strengths: Banting was to perform the surgery and Best was to measure the blood and urine sugar levels. Eventually, however, each man became adept at the other's specialty. Observations and calculations from the experiments were recorded in a series of notebooks by both men. The notebooks also document Banting and Best's many difficulties with their experiments that summer: the two-stage pancreatectomy was a lengthy process and many dogs died of infection in the summer heat. But their persistence and hard work paid off when, on 30 July Banting and Best injected diabetic Dog 410 with a pancreatic extract that caused a dramatic reduction in blood sugar levels. Both men enthusiastically described their accomplishment in letters to Macleod and then spent the month of August continuing their experiments on Dog 92.

Macleod returned from his summer in Scotland cautious about Banting and Best's success, but agreed that the experiments should be continued. Although Banting, as a research assistant in the Physiology Department for the summer, had been compensated for work he did that summer, Banting's position was not extended into the academic year. As a result, in early September it appeared that Banting would have no job in Toronto that fall and that any further work he would do on the experiments would be unpaid. In September, Velyien Henderson, head of the Pharmacology Department, offered Banting a position as demonstrator in his department, thus allowing for Banting's work on insulin to continue.

Macleod continued to supervise the insulin research and in November suggested that Banting and Best present their preliminary findings to the Physiological Journal Club of the University of Toronto. Soon after that meeting, Banting and Best began a longevity experiment using Dog 33. The experiment required a continuous supply of insulin, so the two men set about producing a purified extract. In December, Macleod invited J.B.Collip, a biochemist visiting from the University of Alberta, to join the team to help find a purified extract. By Christmas of that year Macleod had sufficient confidence in the work that he suggested that the Toronto team present their findings at the annual meeting of the American Physiological Society in New Haven, Connecticut. On 30 December Banting delivered his first public lecture, entitled "The Beneficial Influences of Certain Pancreatic Extracts on Pancreatic Diabetes," before an audience of prominent scientists, and clinicians including F.M. Allen, E.P. Joslin, and G.H.A. Clowes. Banting's lecturing style was not convincing and the presentation drew many questions from the audience.

The Toronto group, however, was undeterred: in late January Collip's purified extract was successfully administered to the first human patient, Leonard Thompson, and the expertise of the Connaught Antitoxin Laboratories was enlisted to collaborate on the development and production of a pancreatic extract. Banting's involvement in the experimental work is less evident during the winter and spring of 1922. However, he did treat diabetic patients as insulin became more readily available. Sometime in April, with the help of Dr. Joseph Gilchrist and the support of the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment, Banting established a diabetic clinic at the Christie Street Hospital . Banting also opened his own practice at 160 Bloor Street West, treating private patients, one of whom, Jim Havens of Rochester, N.Y., became the first American citizen to be injected with insulin.

In late May, after an agreement was reached with Eli Lilly & Company to distribute insulin on a larger scale, the research entered the clinical testing phase. Insulin was sent to diabetic clinics in Boston and New Jersey, and in June 1922 the University of Toronto and the Toronto General Hospital established a diabetic clinic under the supervision of Dr. Duncan Graham. Banting was appointed a member of the clinic staff, along with Dr. A.A. Fletcher and Dr. W.R. Campbell . Case studies of these early trials, including some written by Banting, were published in a special issue of the Journal of Metabolic Research.

Meanwhile, Banting began to receive letters from the public requesting insulin treatment. Among the many appeals he received was one from Antoinette Hughes, the wife of the then United States Secretary of State, Charles Evans Hughes. Mrs. Hughes sought treatment for her fourteen year old daughter Elizabeth, whom Banting agreed to treat. She arrived in Toronto with her nurse on 16 August 1922, weighing only 45 pounds. A prolific letter writer, Elizabeth recorded many observations of her life under Banting's care that summer and fall. She was also one of Banting's greatest successes; three months after her arrival in Toronto Elizabeth had more than doubled her weight and was able to return home.

As news of the discovery continued to spread, public recognition of Banting's achievement arrived in various forms: in May 1923 the Ontario Legislative Assembly passed the Banting and Best Medical Research Act that established the Banting and Best Chair of Medical Research, for which Banting was appointed the first director ; in July the Dominion Government awarded Banting a lifetime annuity of $7,500; also in July and by this time weary of public speaking, Banting was asked to open the Canadian National Exhibition where he spoke to a crowd of 76,500 people; and on 25 October 1923, Banting became the first Canadian to win a Nobel Prize in Medicine, conferred jointly on Banting and Macleod. The shy, serious farmer's son who wrote his mother every Sunday had become a national hero.

After the discovery of insulin, Banting supervised important research on silicosis but never again had any real success of his own. Although he did complete his M.D. in 1922, Banting did not pursue any advanced degrees. Public confidence in his scientific abilities nevertheless remained high. In 1930 the University of Toronto dedicated a building to him, in 1938 he was invited to become the first chairman of the Associate Committee on Medical Research of the National Research Council, and newspapers continued to print reports of Dr. Banting's new "discoveries" promising that he was working on something even better than insulin.

Banting's personal life was also a matter of public interest. The media reported his whirlwind romance and marriage to Marion Robertson in 1924 and later, after the marriage ended badly eight years later, the media's scrutiny was no less detailed. The press followed Banting on a painting expedition to the Arctic in 1927 with A.Y. Jackson, whom he had met at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto. In 1934 Banting's name again made headlines: much to his distaste, Banting had been knighted by King George V. The man who had once written his cousin, F.W. Hipwell, that he liked "the ordinary life" was not able to lead one.

When war broke out again in 1939, Banting, as he had done twenty-five years earlier, was among the first to offer his services to his country. He rejoined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. As part of his war service, Banting was en route to England the night of 20 February 1941 when his plane, a Lockheed Hudson bomber, crashed on the east coast of Newfoundland. Shortly after take-off the plane developed mechanical problems and the pilot, J.C. Mackey, attempted to bring the plane down near Musgrave Harbour, but hit a tree on landing. Both the radio operator and the navigator were killed on impact and Banting was fatally injured. He died the next day. Banting left one son, William, and his second wife, Lady Henrietta Ball Banting.

Books and articles about Banting:

Best, C. H. "Sir Frederick Banting" in University of Toronto Quarterly, Vol. X, No. 3 (April 1941)

Best, C. H. "Frederick Grant Banting 1891-1941" in Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, Volume 4 (November 1942)

Bliss, Michael. Banting: A Biography. Toronto, Ont.: McClelland and Stewart, 1984

Collip, J. B. "Recollections of Sir Frederick Banting" in Canadian Medical Association Journal, November 1942

From: https://insulin.library.utoronto.ca/about/banting.

Owen, Eric Trevor

  • Person
  • 1882-1948

Eric Trevor Owen, father of Gerald Owen, was a professor of Greek at University College and at Trinity College at the University of Toronto. Owen has published a number of works on Classical Greek literature, which include: On Aristotle's Explanation of Aesthetic Pleasure (1932), Tragedy and the First Tragedian (1934), Sophocles the Dramatist (1936), Drama in Sophocles's Oedipus Tyrannus (1940), The Story of the Iliad (1947), The Illusion of Thought (1948), and The Harmony of Aeschylus, which was assembled from Owen’s notes after his death and edited by his other son, Ivan Owen, and published in 1952.

Owen, Gerald

  • Person
  • 1953-

Gerald Owen was born in Toronto in 1953. He attended the University of Toronto to obtain a law degree, and practiced law for five years. He has since worked as an editor for The Idler and Books in Canada magazines, and as an editor and columnist for The National Post and The Globe and Mail.

Patrick McGahern Books

  • Corporate body
  • 1969-

Patrick McGahern Books is an Ottawa based book store specializing in Used and Rare Books, Canadiana, Americana, Arctic, Antarctic, Travel, Natural History & Voyages, Illustrated & Plate Books, Rare Books, Irish and Scottish History and Literature.

Stratton, Allan

  • Person
  • 1951-

Allan Stratton is a Canadian playwright and novelist. He was born in Stratford, Ontario. Stratton grew up in London, ON and attended Oakridge Secondary School; it was here that his professional arts career began. While he was in high school, Canadian poet and playwright, James Reaney published his play The Rusting Heart in the literary magazine Alphabet. It was broadcasted on CBC Radio in 1970. In 1968, he received a full scholarship to study at Neuchatel Junior College, Switzerland for his final year of high school. Stratton began his career in theatre while he was still in high school. His early focus was on acting, which eventually progressed onto writing. While attending the University of Toronto, working on a Honours degree in English, in 1973, he performed with the Stratford Festival and the Huron County Playhouse. Upon the completion of his M.A. at the Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama (1974) he appeared with regional theatres across the country as an actor in new work by playwrights such as James Reaney, Rex Deverell and Sharon Pollock. In 1977 he completed his first professional stage play, 72 Under the O, which was produced at The Vancouver Playhouse by Christopher Newton. In 1980 upon the success of Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii (a play that has since had over three hundred productions internationally), Stratton gave up acting and began to writing fulltime. Soon after, his next play, Rexy!, a satire about Mackenzie King, played across the country and was met with positive reviews, winning the Chalmers Award, the Canadian Authors’ Association Award, and the Dora Mavor Moore Award, all for Best New Play. In 1982 he moved to New York, where he was a member where he was a member of the Playwright/Director Unit of the Lee Strasbergs’ The Actors’ Studio, chair by renowned film director and producer, Arthur Penn. While in New York, he was commissioned by Christopher Newton to write an adaptation of the classic Labiche farce Célimare for the Shaw Festival Mainstage (Niagara-on-the-lake, ON). The production, renamed Friends of a Feather went on to tour The National Arts Centre, and became the first Shaw production aired on C.B.C. television. During this time, his play, Papers premiered at the Tarragon Theatre (Toronto, ON) and won a Chalmers Award for Outstanding New Play and was also nominated for the Governor General’s Award and the Dora Mavor Moore Award. In the late 1980s Stratton returned to Canada and moved to Montreal. Here he wrote the “comedy of bad manners”, Bag Babies which premiered at the Theatre Passe Muraille in 1990. It was nominated for the Toronto Book Award and produced across Canada, as well as the United States, Edinburgh and London, England. A few years later, he was commissioned to adapt Dracula for the Skylight Theatre, which was nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play, Large Theatre Division, 1995. Stratton’s other plays include: Joggers (1982), The 101 Miracles of Hope Chance (1987), and A Flush of Tories (1991) amongst dozens of others that were written but not published or performed. In the mid-1990s, after moving to Toronto, Stratton began teaching at the Etobicoke School of the Arts. There he was the head of the Drama Department and taught courses such as senior directing, acting and playwriting. His students won many awards, including three consecutive Best New Play Awards at the Sears Drama Festival provincial championships. However, due to classroom and administrative duties limiting his creative writing time, he eventually left his teaching position to pursue writing fulltime, this time in fiction, specializing in books for young adults. His extensive teaching experience lent a hand in his understanding for young people. To date, Stratton has written eight novels: The Phoenix Lottery (2000), Leslie’s Journal (2000), Chanda’s Secrets (2004), Chanda's Wars (2008), Borderline (2010), Grave Robber's Apprentice (2012), The Resurrection of Mary Mabel McTavish (2013) and The Dogs (2015). Stratton’s work reflects his international perspective, his understanding of cultural diversity, and his commitment to social justice. His plays and novels have explored various settings such as Canada in the Great Depression, Italy in the 1940s, the Arctic in the near future, and pre-revolutionary Cuba. Themes found in his writing include poverty and homelessness, abusive relationships, minority rights, media manipulation, and greed. Currently Stratton resides in Toronto with his partner, two cats, and any number of fish.

Sileika, Antanas

  • Person
  • 1953-

Antanas Sileika is a Canadian novelist and critic. He was born in Weston, Ontario to Lithuanian parents.

After completing an English degree at the University of Toronto, he lived in Paris for two years. There he met his wife, Snaige Sileika (née Valiunas) and studied French. He also taught English in Versailles and worked as part of the editorial collective of the expatriate literary journal, Paris Voices.

When he returned to Canada he began teaching at Humber College and working as the co-editor of the Canadian literary journal, Descant, until about 1988.

Sileika’s first novel, Dinner at the End of the World, was published in 1994. His second book, Buying on Time (1997), a collection of linked short stories, was nominated for both the City of Toronto Book Award and the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. His third book, Woman in Bronze was published in 2004. His latest novel is untitled Underground and was published in 2011.

Currently, Sileika is the director for the Humber School for Writers in Toronto, Canada and also makes occasional appearances on Canadian television and radio as a freelance broadcaster.

Ritchie, Charles

  • Person
  • 1906-1995

Charles Stewart Almon Ritchie was a Canadian diplomat and diarist. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Ritchie was educated at University of King’s College, Pembroke College, Oxford, Harvard University, and Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques. He joined the Department of External Affairs in 1934 eventually becoming Canada’s ambassador to West Germany (1954-1958), Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1958-1962), ambassador to the United States during the presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson (1962-1966), ambassador to the North Atlantic Council(1966-1967) and from 1967 to 1971 was Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in London. While Ritchie's career as a diplomat marked him as an important person in the history of Canadian foreign relations, he became famous through the publication of his diaries, first The Siren Years, and then three follow-ups. The diaries document both his diplomatic career and his private life, including the beginning of his long love affair with the Anglo-Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen, which began in 1941 when he was still single and she married, survived through his marriage in 1948 and long periods of separation, lasting until Bowen's death in 1973. In 1969 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada "for services in the field of diplomacy". He received honorary doctorates from Trent University (1976), York University (1992) and Carleton University (1992). Ritchie came from a long-prominent family in Nova Scotia. His brother, Roland Ritchie, continuing a family tradition in the law, was a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Redhill, Michael

  • Person
  • 1966-

Michael Redhill was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1966, but has lived in Toronto most of his life. Educated in the United States and Canada, he took seven years to complete a three-year BA in acting, film, and finally, English. Since 1988, he has published five collections of poetry, had eight plays of varying lengths performed, and been a cultural critic and essayist.
He has worked as an editor, a ghost-writer, an anthologist, a scriptwriter for film and television, and in leaner times, as a waiter, a house-painter, and a bookseller. He was the publisher and one of the editors of Brick, a journal of things literary. Recent books are Fidelity, a collection of short fiction, from Doubleday Canada, Martin Sloane, a novel from Doubleday Canada (nominated for the Giller Prize, 2001, The Trillium Prize, 2001, The Torgi Award, 2002, The City of Toronto Book Awards, 2002, The Books in Canada/Amazon.com Best First Novel Prize 2002, and winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book, Canada/Caribbean 2001), Light-crossing, a collection of poetry from Toronto's House of Anansi Press, and Building Jerusalem, a play, from Playwrights' Union Press, (winner of the 2001 Dora Prize for Best New Play, recipient of a Chalmers Award for Playwriting 2001, and nominated for a Governor General's Award 2001). His play, Goodness was published by Coach House Press in 2005 and novel, Consolation came out with Doubleday Canada in the fall of 2006.

Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company

  • Corporate body
  • fl. 1855-1897

The Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company was a Canadian company and one of two companies (the other being the Niagara Falls International Bridge Company) formed to share ownership of the Niagara Falls suspension bridge which was in existence 1855-1897.

Metcalf, John

  • Person
  • 1938-

John Metcalf is a writer, editor and critic. His works include "Standing Stones: Selected Stories," "Adult Entertainment," "Going Down Slow," and "Kicking Against the Pricks." He was the senior editor at the Porcupine's Quill until 2005 and then went on to serve as the fiction editor for Biblioasis.

McKone, Barclay

  • Person
  • 1914-2006

Dr. Barclay McKone graduated from the University of Toronto medical school in 1940. He began working in Tuberculosis treatment in Hamilton, and then in London, Ontario. In 1951, McKone became medical superintendent of the Moose Factory Indian Hospital, where he worked to tackle the problem of tuberculosis among the Indigenous population of James Bay and the east coast of Hudson Bay. In the summer of 1955, McKone led a medical survey in the Eastern Arctic, which covered the areas of Lake Harbour, Baffin Island; Cape Dorset; Fox Basin; and Sugluk on the north shore of Quebec.

Kane, Sean

  • Person

Sean Kane was appointed to the University of Toronto English department, following his Ph.D. there in 1972. He left to join Trent University, becoming the chair of Cultural Studies when it was founded in 1978. These institutions are remembered in his Inward of Poetry (2011), a memoir of the golden age of English Studies at U of T, seen in the letters of his teachers, and in Virtual Freedom (2002), a mass market novel about Trent that was shortlisted for the Leacock Medal.
Kane’s interests fall in the sub-fields of oral metaphysics, ecophenomenology, biosemiotics, complexity theory and (possibly) speculative materialism. These are the intellectual settings of his continuing study of the nineteenth-century Haida thinker Skaay of Qquuna, whom he presents as Canada’s first philosopher. Preparation for this enquiry was made by Kane in his Wisdom of the Mythtellers (1994, 2/e 1998) which was adopted as a text in many places and established him as “an important successor to Northrop Frye” (Literary Review of Canada). Besides the influence of this teacher, Kane’s intellectual horizons were formed by the wondertales told by the storytelling artist Alice Kane, whose work he published as The Dreamer Awakes (1995), and by his early research at the Warburg Institute and the University of Toronto on the poet Edmund Spenser, published as Spenser’s Moral Allegory (1989).

Barnard, Robert

  • Person
  • 1830-1854

Robert Barnard of Bunwell, Norfolk was the son of George and Lucy (Mullinger) Barnard. He died in the Crimean War in 1854.

Solway, David

  • https://viaf.org/viaf/40292168/
  • Person

Cooper, Afua

  • https://viaf.org/viaf/49116761
  • Person
  • 1957-

Afua [Ava Pamela] Cooper was born on November 8, 1957, in the Whithorn district of Westmoreland, Jamaica. She moved to Canada in December 1980 as a direct result of the increasing political violence in Jamaica. After the birth of her son Akil in July 1981, Cooper worked as an instructor at Bickford Park High School in Toronto, but she was already beginning to perform her poetry at Toronto's spoken word venues. Her first book of poetry, Breakin Chains, was published in 1983, the same year that she enrolled at the University of Toronto to major in African Studies. In 1988 she took up a residency fellowship at Banff School of Fine Arts and wrote two books of poetry, The Red Caterpillar on College Street (1989), for children, and Memories Have Tongue (1992), which was a finalist in the 1992 Casa de las Americas Award. Dr. Cooper is currently the Ruth Wynn Woodward Professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Schneid, Otto

  • https://viaf.org/viaf/98495941
  • Person
  • 1900-1974

Otto Schneid, born in Jablunkova, Czechoslovakia, January 30, 1900, was an art historian, professor, writer, and artist. During the 1930s he began work on a dictionary of twentieth century Jewish artists to be published in Vienna in 1938, but the plates were confiscated by the Nazis. In 1939 he went to Palestine (Israel) as a research student at Jerusalem University. From 1948-1960 he taught art history at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), Haifa, and continued to write about art. In 1960 he decided to concentrate on his creative work (poetry, painting, sculpting) and moved to the United States, where he lived from 1960 to 1963. During that period he had seven one-man shows there and one in Canada. In 1964 he moved to Canada where he continued to paint and to write. He died in Toronto in 1974.

Hill, Lawrence

  • https://viaf.org/viaf/100308975/
  • Person
  • 1957-

Lawrence Hill is the son of American immigrants who came to Canada the day after they married in 1953 in Washington, D.C. The story of how they met, married, left the United States and raised a family in Toronto is described in Hill's bestselling memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada (HarperCollins Canada, 2001). Growing up in the predominantly white suburb of Don Mills, Ontario in the sixties, Hill was greatly influenced by his parents' work in the human rights movement. Much of Hill's writing touches on issues of identity and belonging. His third novel was published as The Book of Negroes in Canada, Great Britain, South Africa and India and as Someone Knows My Name in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and won numerous literary awards, including the overall Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Hill is also the author of the novels Any Known Blood (William Morrow, New York, 1999 and HarperCollins Canada, 1997) and Some Great Thing (Turnstone Press, Winnipeg, 1992).

Molnar, Ferenc

  • Person
  • 1878-1952

Ferenc Molnar was an Hungarian-American playwright, director, novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. Molnár wrote in all about 42 plays. Much of his life Molnár spent away from his native country; he died in New York. Molnár's novel, The Paul Street Boys (1907), is among the most popular books in Hungary.

Ferenc Molnár was born Ferenc Neumann in Budapest into a well-to-do Jewish family. His father, Mor Neumann, was a famous physician. At the age of eighteen, Molnár began a career in journalism and then studied law in Budapest and Geneva. He joined the editorial staff of the Budapest newspaper Budapesti napló and changed his German name, to be known as a Hungarian writer, which he was. In 1906 he married the journalist and painter Margit Vészi; they divorced in 1910. She was the daughter of Jósef Vészi, the editor-in-chief of Pester Lloyd. Like Molnár, she came from a Jewish family. Later in life Molnár converted to Christianity.

At the age of twenty-two, after writing a number of short stories, Molnár published his first novel, Az éhes város (The Hungry City). Molnár's early plays were comedies, such as A doktor úr (1902) and Józsi (pub. 1904). In 1907 he gained fame as a novelist with A Pál utcai fiúk (The Paul Street Boys), a story about two rival boy's gangs on the streets of Budapest.
Az ördög (1907, The Devil), taking its central idea from Faust and dealing with marital infidelity, was staged in New York a year after its Hungarian premiere. This comedy established Molnár's fame as one of the leading dramatists of his day. Molnár wrote the play for Irén Varsányi, who was at that time Hungary's leading actress. Her jealous husband, Illés Szécsi, a wealthy manufacturer, challenged him to the duel, but it was eventually Molnár who spent two weeks in jail.

Liliom, perhaps Molnár's most enduring achievement, failed first but it soon soon gained international success. The première in December 1909 at Budapest left critics a bit bewildered. The hero is killed in the fifth scene but he is back on earth in the seventh. After four screen adaptations the play becomeseventually familiar as the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Carousel (1944). Earlier also the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) had thought of setting it to music. Influenced by Oscar Wilde, Pirandello, and George Bernard Shaw, but with his own touch of wit and grace, Molnár fused in Liliom naturalistic scenes with mystical symbolism.

During World War I Molnár served for a year as a war correspondent. His reports were published in book form in 1916 under the title Egy haditudósító naplója (The Diary of a War Correspondent). Some of these writings also appeared in the New York Times, although Hungary belonged to the enemies of the Allies.

Between 1908 and 1940, sixteen of Molnár's plays were produced on Broadway. When he visited the United States with his wife in the 1920s, he was honored with a dinner dance, at which guests included Gershwins and Vanderbilts. Until 1925, he resided in Hungary, and then moved to Germany. In Vienna he stayed in a comfortable hotel for long periods, in Budapest he was seen often at the Café Central on Károlyi Mihály street.

Molnár's most interesting plays from this decade include Játék a kastélyban (1926, The Play's the Thing), which followed a Pirandellian theme of reality and illusion through a discussion of how a play should be written. A hattyú (1921, The Swan), a comedy about a girl being groomed to marry a prince, was filmed in 1956 with Grace Kelly. In Olympia (1928) Molnár assailed the cruelty of aristocracy toward the common man. The Good Fairy (1930), had a respectable run on Broadway. Its film version from 1935, directed by William Wyler, and starring Margaret Sullivan and Herbert Marshall, was written by Preston Sturges, who invented a new beginning and damped down observations on marital infidelity. The film was a smash hit. It was remade in 1947 as I'll be Yours.

In 1938, after the Anschluss, Molnár fled to the United States (according to some sources 1936) to escape Nazi persecution. In his new home country, he was celebrated for his masterly theatrical technique and the sparkling dialogue of his characters, which at the same time expressed a sense of humanity and decency. Underpaid workers and vagrants Molnár portrayed with great sympathy.

Molnár held court in his suite at the New York Plaza Hotel, and continued writing, but he did not speak much English and he became increasingly isolated. In Hungary his plays were not performed during the Communist period. Molnár died on April 2, in 1952. Because of a superstitious fear that in preparing a will he would shorten his life, Molnár died intestate. His second wife was the the actress-singer Sári Fedák (1879-1955), who became a Nazi. They divorced in 1925 and Molnár then married the actress Lili Darvas (1902-1974); she began a successful television career in the 1950s. After the war, Sári Fedák was sentenced to prison for a short period by the "People's Court". In the Communist Hungary Molnár's works were viewed with suspicion long after his death. Even in the 1980s Attila Tamás wrote in A History of Hungarian Literature (1983): "He had great talents as a dramatist, but he lacked the appreciation of the noble human values necessary for true greatness."

P.G. Wodehouse adapted Game of Hearts from a text by Molnár, and also The Play's the Thing. Tom Stoppard adapted a Molnár Rough Crossing in 1985, and The Guardsman was made into a radio drama in 1947 by Arthur Miller. In addition, a number of Molnár's plays and novels were turned into Hollywood films, among them No Greater Glory (1934), Liliom, filmed several times, and The Swan, first directed byDimitri Buchowetzki in 1925, remade in 1930, and then again in 1956 by Charles Vidor, starring Grace Kelly and Alec Guinness.
Billy Wilder's satirical One, Two, Three, about Coca-Cola, a raging capitalist, and Communism was based on Molnár's play Egy, kettő, három (1929). Wilder shot the film mostly in Germany.

Excerpted from: http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/molnar.htm

Hollar, Wenceslaus

  • Person
  • 1607-1677

Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) set the standard of artistic and technical achievement that many later engravers attempted to emulate. In every area Hollar's work stands out as a source of information on common life in 17th century Europe. It ranges from topography and landscapes, to depictions of local dress from a variety of regions. Born in Prague, he lived and worked in London, where his views of the city form an invaluable record of its appearance before the Great Fire of 1666.

Henderson, Douglas

  • Person
  • 1944-

Douglas Henderson was born in Kitchener, Ont., in 1944, but now resides in Victoria, BC. He is a teacher of Buddhism, a writer on Tibetan art and Buddhism, as well as a poet. In 1978, he was appointed Registrar of the Art Gallery of Great Victoria where he wrote The Arts of Tibet. His poetry has appeared in Raven, The Endless Knot and The Message Makers, and in Japanese translation in Sarvodaya. He is a ngagpa (Tibetan yogi) and an ordained priest in the Tomitsu Shugendo Tradition of Japan.

Bascom H. Darwin

  • Person
  • 1913-1988

Bascom H. Darwin (1913-1988) was a Canadian born civil engineer. He trained at the Royal Military College and later enlisted with the Royal Canadian Engineers.

Smith, Sydney Goodsir

  • CA OTUTF MS COLL00597
  • Person
  • 1915-1975

Sydney Goodsir Smith was a significant figure in the 20th-century revival of poetry in Scots. His masterpiece, Under the Eildon Tree (1948), comprising 23 variations on the
subject of love, draws parallels between his personal experience and that of great lovers in history and mythology. It is one of the great love poems in Scots. Sydney Goodsir Smith spent his first years in New Zealand, then in 1928 moved with his family to Edinburgh. From the outset he chose Scots as the language for his poetry. Three collections appeared in the 1940s: Skail Wind (1941), The Wanderer (1944) and The Deevil's Waltz (1946). A humorous novel, Carotid Cornucopius, followed in 1947. In the 1950s, with the publication of So Late Into the Night (1952) Orpheus and Eurydice (1955), and Figs and Thistles (1959), he was hailed as the best Lallans poet after MacDiarmid. His play, The Wallace, was staged at the 1960 Edinburgh Festival. Kynd Kittock's Land (1965) gives an affectionate portrait of Edinburgh.

MillAr, Jay

  • MS Coll 00036A
  • Person
  • 1971-

Jay MillAr, born John Elliott Millar, is a poet, editor, publisher and bookseller involved in the Canadian experimental poetry community. He was born in Edmonton, Alberta and grew up in London, Ontario. He began his undergraduate degree at Western University before transferring to York University and moving to Toronto in 1992. He later received graduate degrees from York University (Master’s in English) and the University of Toronto (Master of Information). In 1992, he founded his own publishing company, Boondoggle Books, which according to MillAr was “mostly to publish my own terrible early work, but I published a few other writers as well.” According to an interview in 2006, MillAr stated that he found the term Boondoggle in a dictionary as “a military term that means to carry out useless and trivial actions with the appearance of doing something important.” MillAr produced two small magazines through Boondoggle, “B” after “C” and HIJ. In 1997, he transformed Boondoggle Books into BookThug. MillAr has published widely through his own presses, as well as several other publishing houses, most notably including: The Ghosts of Jay MillAr. (Coach House Books, 2000), Mycological Studies, (Coach House Books, 2002), False Maps for Other Creatures. (Blewointment press, 2005), Double Helix (with Stephen Cain, Mercury Press, 2006), The Small Blue (Snare Books, 2007) and Timely Irreverence (Nightwood Editions, 2013). MillAr is the proprietor of Apollinaire’s Bookshoppe, “a virtual bookstore that specializes in the books that no one wants to buy.” MillAr is the co-director of the Toronto New School of Writing and also teaches creative writing and poetics at George Brown College.

Parker, Gilbert

  • MS Coll 00022
  • Person
  • 1862-1932

Sir Horatio Gilbert George Parker, 1st Baronet PC, known as Gilbert Parker, was a Canadian novelist, journalist and British politician. He was born at Camden East, Addington, Ontario in 1862 and was trained as a teacher. He worked as a teacher at the Ontario Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in Belleville, Ontario and later as a lecturer at Trinity College before leaving for Australia to become a journalist in 1886. He published his first novel in 1892 and soon gathered a reputation for his romantic fiction, many of which were set in Canada. He was knighted in 1902 for his contribution to Canadian literature. He was elected to the British House of Commons as an MP in 1900, which he held until 1918. Gilbert Parker died in London 6 September 1932 and is buried in Belleville.

The Provincial Marine

  • MS Coll. 00022B
  • Corporate body
  • 1788-1792

Traders and merchants based in Quebec and the Thirteen Colonies had been successfully advancing the fur trade in the Great Lakes region since the mid-1760s, largely through the assistance of privately-owned commercial vessels to ship trade merchandise to western posts and retrieve bales of peltries to be sold for handsome profits. The trade had only recently transitioned from the old French structure to a modified system under British management, and was gaining momentum and efficiency. But all that changed with the onset of the American Revolution in 1775. The British government at Quebec responded to the war threat with plans to prevent American incursions into the Great Lakes region and ensure that weapons, ammunition, and provisions were not smuggled to the American side through the fur trade network. To that end, Governor Guy Carleton (1724-1808) outlawed the use of private vessels on the Great Lakes in the spring of 1777.
According to Governor Carleton’s 1777 announcement, vessels taken into the King’s service would be armed and manned by the Crown, be the exclusive carrier of troops and stores for the war effort, and maintain absolute control over the Great Lakes. The service was also the official conveyor of United Empire Loyalists relocating to British territory in the Province of Quebec. The fleet of King’s Ships of the Provincial Marine would be on constant military patrol between British garrisons at Carleton Island and Fort Niagara on Lake Ontario (employing Snow Seneca, Ship Limnade, and Sloop Caldwell), Fort Little Niagara, Fort Schlosser, Fort Erie, and Detroit on Lake Erie (employing Schooner Faith, Snow Rebecca, Schooner Hope, Brig Gage, Schooner Dunmore, Sloop Felicity, and Sloop Wyandot), and Detroit and Mackinac Island on Lake Huron (employing Sloop Felicity, Sloop Wyandot, Sloop Welcome, and Sloop Angelica)
The fur trade was at the heart of the young Canadian economy. Prior to Carleton’s 1777 orders, traders and merchants had their merchandise and peltries shipped over the Great Lakes on private vessels, many of which were owned and operated by the traders and merchants themselves. The new regulations dealt a serious blow to the fur trade when all private vessels on the lakes were effectively taken out of service and purchased or leased by the Crown for the exclusive use of the Provincial Marine. Traders, merchants, and agents were assured of services for the transport of their goods on board the King’s Ships, provided there was sufficient room available and military manoeuvres were not impacted.
The Provincial Marine thus became the sole means of transporting commercial goods on the Great Lakes. When merchandise and peltries were consigned for transport aboard the King’s Ships, promissory freight notes were issued to confirm the nature of the cargo and formalise a commitment to pay freight charges at some later date to Provincial Marine officials at Detroit, Carleton Island, or Quebec. Private transport of goods between Montreal and Carleton Island along the Saint Lawrence River was still permitted, but only in canoes and flat-bottomed cargo boats or bateaux.
Under the British system for managing the fur trade, the transport of trade merchandise to western depots was heavily regulated, and required a license from the governor (of which there was only a limited number issued each year). Ownership, origin, and destination of cargo was heavily scrutinized along the way by garrison commandants and ship masters, who had the authority to seize unauthorized shipments and prohibited goods. Strict supervision ensured that American traders were entirely excluded from the trade.
By the summer of 1778, Frederick Haldimand (1718-1791) had been installed as the new Governor of Quebec, and wasted no time in refining the organisation of the Provincial Marine. According to his General Orders and Regulations for the Better Government of His Majesty’s Armed Vessels Employed on the Different Lakes, issued on 1 July 1778, the fleet of vessels on the Great Lakes was divided into geographic commands: Lake Ontario constituted its own jurisdiction, and Lake Erie and the three upper Great Lakes (being lakes Huron, Superior and Michigan) constituted another, each with its own senior naval officer. In addition to organisational details for manning and operating the King’s Ships, Haldimand’s directive required that the British Articles of War be read on board each vessel at least once every month, to maintain order and discipline. Unfortunately, the chain of command between land- and lake-based officials was poorly defined, and led to quarrels that impacted the ability of the Provincial Marine to assist with the army’s land operations and properly fulfill commercial shipping obligations to those in the fur trade.
At the height of the war in 1779, during a period of particular difficulty for the fur trade, nine trading partnerships strategically combined their assets and resources to form the first consortium that would become the North West Company. The 16-share syndicate, composed of leading traders and merchants operating out of Montreal and Mackinac Island, eventually developed into the principal fur trade concern in Canada in opposition to the Hudson’s Bay Company. Another similar 16-share agreement was made in 1783, which was expanded to a 20-share agreement in 1787. A few of the traders included in the North West Company agreements are represented on promissory freight notes as the shippers and receivers of merchandise and peltries carried by the Provincial Marine, most notably George McBeath and Normand McLeod who were among the first British traders in the Great Lakes region after the British conquest
Forced to conform with the regulations for shipping their merchandise and peltries only on the King’s Ships, traders, merchants, and agents were at the mercy of the fleet’s management, staff, schedules, and performance, the weather and sailing conditions, and the physical state of the vessels. The lack of suitable storage facilities for goods held at garrisons added to the impact on trade, and other serious problems were numerous and widespread. Trade merchandise and peltries were delayed at transfer points for extended periods of time, damaged through improper storage, sodden by transport aboard leaky vessels, lost and misplaced through incompetence, and ransacked by unscrupulous military staff. Delays were particularly injurious to the trade, owing to the inherently tight trade cycle of shipping goods (which were usually obtained on credit from merchant-outfitters) to the interior and receiving furs the following year for sale at Montreal. Goods sometimes lay for months at Carleton Island, Fort Niagara, and Fort Erie, and were sometimes delayed so long that they could not be sent until the following season. Disruptions in the cycle equated to monetary losses through higher interest payments, damage to credit ratings, and strained relations with outfitters and investors. Petitions and Memorials complaining of unfair treatment and exorbitant freight charges were drawn up by traders, merchants, and agents, and sent to the governor and council at Quebec, but were largely ignored.
In the end, a large proportion of freight notes were not voluntarily settled: traders and merchants were summoned to court and sued for full or partial payment, whereas others were pardoned on the basis that negligence by the Provincial Marine caused financial losses that exceeded freight charges.

Watada, Terry

  • MS Coll 00036
  • Person
  • 1951-

Terry Watada is a well-known writer, poet, journalist, playwright and musician. He was born on 16 July 1951 in Toronto, Ontario after his parents and older brother were interned in British Columbia during WWII. Watada received his Master of Arts in English at the University of Toronto and was a Professor of English at Seneca College for 32 years until his retirement in 2012.
He is well-known for his monthly column in The Nikkei Voice, a Japanese-Canadian newspaper, in addition to his poetry, fiction and essays. His publications include Daruma Days: A Collection of Fictionalised Biography (1997), Ten Thousand Views of Rain (2001), Obon: The Festival of the Dead (2006), Kuroshio: The Blood of Foxes (2007), The Game of 100 Ghosts (2014) and The Three Pleasures (2017). He has currently published two volumes of a planned trilogy of manga on the Japanese Canadian experience, beginning with The Sword, the Medal and the Rosary (2013) followed by Light at a Window (2015). He has also contributed to and edited various anthologies, including a collection of Asian-Canadian short stories written for the York District School Board in 1993 and Vancouver Confidential (2014). As a playwright, he has had a number of plays staged, beginning with Dear Wes/Love Muriel, which premiered during the Earth Spirit Festival at Harbourfront in 1991. His best known play, Vincent premiered in 1993 and has been subsequently restaged including for the Madness and Arts World Festival. In addition to his literary work, Watada is known as a singer and songwriter, his most-well known album, Runaway Horses (1977) was re-released in CD format in 2015.
For Watada’s efforts as an activist for the Japanese-Canadian community, he has been presented a number of awards including the William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award from the City of Toronto, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Dr. Gordon Hirabayashi Human Rights Award.

The Niagara Falls Museum

  • MS Coll 00403A
  • Corporate body
  • 1827-1999

Thomas Barnett (1799-1890) emigrated to Canada from Birmingham, England in 1824, residing first in Kingston and then in Niagara Falls. Barnett was the founder and proprietor of Canada’s oldest museum, which first opened in 1827. The museum began with a modest collection, composed chiefly of Barnett’s main hobby, taxidermy. The close proximity to the falls, and Barnett’s tour down the staircase at Table Rock and behind the falls, which was included with the price of admission, brought tourists to the museum. The collection grew from 10,000 specimens to over 100,000 between 1850 and 1867, primarily due to Thomas’ son, Sydney (1836-1925). Sydney collected oddities and anthropological collections, including traveling to Egypt to bring back mummies in 1854 and 1857, as well as introducing a specimen exchange program with other museums and collections. In 1858, the Barnetts designed and built a new stone building for the museum, which opened in 1860. After a series of bad business decisions, Barnett filed for bankruptcy on 1 May 1878 and the museum and its collections were sold at auction for $48,000. The museum was purchased by local businessmen and rival of the Barnetts, Saul Davis (1807-1899). In 1888, Davis moved the museum collection to Niagara Falls, New York. The Sherman family purchased the museum in 1942 and returned it to Canada, where they moved the museum in a converted five story corset factory with a view of Niagara Falls. The Sherman family sold the collections to Golden Chariot Productions in 1999.

Atkins, Hedley John Barnard, Sir

  • MS Coll 00185A
  • Person
  • 1904-1983

Sir Hedley John Barnard Atkins, KStJ, KBE was the son of Sir John Atkins. He was the first professor of surgery at Guy’s Hospital, London and President of the Royal College of Surgeons. He specialised in the scientific treatment of breast cancer and the Hedley Atkins Breast Unit at New Cross Hospital acknowledges his contribution

Atkins, John, Sir

  • MS Coll 00185A
  • Person
  • 1875-1963

Sir John Atkins, KCMG, KCVO, FRCS was the Deputy Director of Army Medical Services; physician-in-ordinary to Duke of Connaught. He served in the Boer War, as well as the First World War.

Davies, Robertson

  • MS Coll 00050
  • Person
  • 1913-1995

Robertson Davies was born in Thamesville, Ontario in 1913 and was the third son of W. Rupert Davies and Florence Sheppard McKay. Davies’ father, Rupert Davies was born in Wales and was the publisher of The Kingston Whig Standard and was appointed to the Senate as a Liberal in 1942, a position he would hold until his death in 1967. As a young child, Robertson Davies moved with his family to Renfrew, Ontario, where his father managed the local newspaper, the Renfrew Mercury. The family would later relocate to Kingston in 1925. Between 1928 and 1932, Davies attended Upper Canada College in Toronto, where he performed in theatrical performances and wrote and edited the school paper, The College Times. After graduating, Davies attended Queen’s University in Kingston, where he was enrolled as a special student as he was not working towards a specific degree. Between 1932 and 1935, Davies wrote for the school paper and performed and directed theatrical plays. In 1935, Davies traveled to England to study at Baillol College at Oxford, where he was enrolled in a Bachelor of Letters degree. At Oxford, Davies performed with the Oxford University Dramatic Society and was a co-founder of the Long Christmas Dinner Society. After graduating in 1938, Davies published his thesis, Shakespeare’s Boy Actors through the publisher J.M Dent & Sons in 1939. In 1938, Davies joined the Old Vic theatre company, where he had roles in The Taming of the Shrew, She Stoops to Conquer, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and also worked as a teacher of dramatic history at their drama school. At Old Vic, Davies met and married Brenda Matthews Newbold who was the stage manager. He also became well acquainted with Tyrone Guthrie, who was the director from 1933 to 1939, and who would later go on to help found the Stratford Festival. After their marriage in 1940, Robertson and Brenda Davies moved to Toronto, where he was the literary editor of Saturday Night magazine and then to Peterborough, where he was the editor of the Peterborough Examiner, a position he held until 1963. During his time at the Peterborough Examiner he frequently wrote editorials under the pseudonym of Samuel Marchbanks. Marchbanks was so popular that Davies ‘edited’ three books of Marchbanks’ writing including: The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks (1947), The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks (1949) and Samuel Marchbanks Almanack (1967). Davies is considered one of Canada’s greatest novelist and he published eleven novels during his lifetime. His novels were written in trilogies, and he began with the Salterton Trilogy (Tempest-Tost (1951), Leaven of Malice (1954), A Mixture of Frailities (1958)), and continued with The Deptford Trilogy (Fifth Business (1970), The Manticore (1972), World of Wonders (1975)), The Cornish Trilogy (The Rebel Angels (1981), What’s Bred in the Bone (1985), The Lyre of Orpheus (1988)). His final trilogy, The Toronto Trilogy (Murther and Walking Spirits (1993) and The Cunning Man (1995)) was incomplete. In addition to his novels, Davies was also a prolific writer and he wrote pieces for newspapers and magazines, published articles in academic journals, contributed to anthologies and published books of short stories, non-fiction and essays. Throughout his life, Davis remained interested in the theatre and he was an active playwright beginning in 1945. Davies served on the first board of governors for the Stratford Festival and he remained connected with the festival through writing about its history as well as staging several plays there. Davies wrote a number of plays including Fortune, my Foe (1948), Eros at Breakfast 1949), At My Heart’s Core (1950),A Jig for the Gypsy (1954), Hunting Stuart (1955), Question Time (1975) and Pontiac and the Green Man (1977) , as well as adapting his novels for the stage, most notably Leaven of Malice and Tempest-Tost. Davies became the founding Master of Massey College in 1963 and lived there throughout his residency and also taught classes in the English department until his retirement in 1988. During his time at Massey College, Davies was well-known for his annual ghost story, which he would tell at the Christmas Gaudy. These stories were later published as High Spirits in 1982. After his retirement, Davies split his time between a condo in Toronto and his country estate, Windover, in the Caledon Hills. Robertson Davies died on 2 December 1995 after a stroke.

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