Person of National Historic Significance


Charles G. D. Roberts was born on January 10, 1860, in Douglas, New Brunswick, and grew up near the Tantramar marshes by Sackville. Educated at Fredericton Collegiate School from 1874 to 1876, and at the University of New Brunswick from 1876 to 1879, Roberts quickly published his first book of poetry, Orion, and Other Poems (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1880; PS 8485 .O22 O7). He married Mary Fenety that same year, and they had five children up to 1892. After acting as schoolmaster in Chatham and Fredericton, he taught English and French at King's College in Windsor, Nova Scotia, from 1885 to 1895. Three volumes of poetry came out during this period

In Divers Tones (Boston: D. Lothrop, 1886; PS 8485 .O22 I48)
Poems of Wild Life (London: W. Scott, 1888; PN 6110 N2R63)
Songs of the Common Day and Ave (Toronto: W. Briggs, 1893; B-10 0376)

and Roberts was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada this year. After resigning from King's College in 1895, and determining to work free-lance, Roberts separated from his wife, daughter, and sons in 1897, leaving Canada for New York City, where he stayed from until 1907, and then for Europe, first in Paris, by 1910 in Munich, and after 1912 in London, England, until 1925. During this period he earned his living from writing fiction, especially animal stories and romances, and non-fiction prose. He served during War World I in the 16th Battalion of the King's Regiment, then as captain at the London Canadian War Records Office, and last as a Major and a press correspondent in France. While living outside Canada, Roberts produced four volumes of verse:

New York Nocturnes and Other Poems (Boston: Lamson, 1898; B-10 6603)
Poems (New York: Silver Burdett, 1901; rev. 1907; PS 8485 .O22 A17)
The Book of the Rose (Toronto: Copp, Clark, 1903; Ps 8485 .O22 B6)
New Poems (London: Constable, 1919; PS 8485 O22N4)

In 1925 Roberts went to live in Toronto and his wandering, expatriotic life ended. He gave poetry recital tours in 1925-26. His wife Mary died in 1930. Late in his life, when Roberts was recognized as the father of Canadian literature, he brought out four more substantial volumes of poetry:

The Vagrant of Time (Toronto: Ryerson, 1927; PS 8485 .O22 V3)
The Iceberg, and Other Poems (Toronto: Ryerson, 1934; PS 8485 O22 I3)
Selected Poems (Toronto: Ryerson, 1936; PS 8485 .O22 A17)
Canada Speaks of Britain and Other Poems of the War (Toronto: Ryerson, 1941; cap Fisher Rare Book Library)

Roberts received many honours: he was awarded the Royal Society of Canada's first Lorne Pierce Medal and was elected President of the Canadian Authors' Association in 1926, and he was knighted on June 3, 1935. Before his death on November 26, 1943, he was married again to Joan Montgomery. Roberts is buried in Fredericton. See also

  • Adams, John Coldwell. Sir Charles god damn: the Life of Sir Charles G. D. Roberts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986. PS 8485 .O22 Z44 Robarts Library
  • The Collected Poems of Sir Charles G. D. Roberts: A Critical Edition. Ed. Desmond Pacey, assisted by Graham Adams. Wolfville, Nova Scotia: Wombat Press, 1985. PS 8485 O22A17 Robarts Library.
  • Collected Letters. Ed. Laurel Boone. Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 1989. PS 8485 .O22 Z48 Robarts Library.
  • Pomeroy, Elsie May. Sir Charles G. D. Roberts: A Biography. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1943. PS 8485 .O22 Z83 Robarts Library.

Archibald Lampman was born in 1861 in Morpeth, Ontario, a village near Chatham and Ridgetown at the intersection of routes 3 and 17. His family moved to Gore's Landing on Rice Lake in 1867 but he received his education at the Collegiate Institute in Cobourg, Trinity College School in Port Hope, and Trinity College (now University of Toronto), where he edited the college newspaper and graduated in Classics in 1882. After a short time teaching high school in Orangeville, Lampman took a position as a low-paid clerk in the Langevin Block of the Canadian Post Office in the nation's capital at Ottawa, where he stayed for the rest of his life. He married Maud Playter in 1887 and they had two children. However, Lampman grew to love Kate Waddell in 1889, a romance that lasted until his death. One of the so-called "Confederation Group" of poets (with Duncan Campbell Scott and William Wilfred Campbell), Lampman was influenced by his friends Bliss Carmen and Charles G. D. Roberts. Lampman published two important volumes of poems in his lifetime: Among the Millet and Other Poems (Ottawa: Durie, 1888) and Lyrics of Earth (Boston: Copeland and Day, 1895). A final book, Alcyone (Ottawa: Ogilvy, 1899) came out shortly after his death. It lay to his friend Duncan Campbell Scott to bring out a collected Poems the next year. At first published only owing to a subvention and subscriptions, this book became very successful and was reissued several times afterwards. Some poems, such as "At the Long Sault: May, 1660," remained in manuscript until 1943, when Scott and the critic E. K. Brown edited them. Lampman is widely regarded as Canada's greatest poet of the nineteenth century. He was elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada in 1895. His manuscripts can largely be found at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Margaret Coulby Whitridge's introduction to the reprint of the 1900 Poems includes a biographical note, and much may be gleaned from his letters and essays, for which see

At the Mermaid Inn, Conducted by A. Lampman, W. W. Campbell, Duncan C. Scott. [Essays having appeared in the Toronto Globe, 1892-93. Ed. Arthur S. Bourinot. Ottawa: Bourinot, 1958.
Archibald Lampman's Letters to Edward William Thomson (1890-1898). Ed. Arthur S. Bourinot. Ottawa: Bourinot, 1956.
Some Letters of Duncan Campbell Scott, Archibald Lampman, and Others. Ed. Arthur S. Bourinot. Ottawa: Bourinot, 1959.

The picture of Lampman is taken from The Poems of Archibald Lampman, ed. Duncan Campbell Scott (Toronto: George N. Morang, 1900). A cairn commemorating his life can be found at the village church in Morpeth on Route 3.