By Joyce Barkhouse
"Twelve months in anyplace, my buddy, is kind of a weary whereas And turns out extra like a century whilst lived on Sable Isle ..."
So wrote Thomas Raddall on the age of eighteen, no longer dreaming that decades later Sable Island -- that "hell in the world" -- would offer a romantic historical past for one in every of his maximum novels, The Nymph and the Lamp.
Traumatized through the horror of the good Halifax Explosion of 1917, in a couple of months by means of the demise of his father in conflict out of the country, Tom was once pressured to depart institution on the age of fourteen.
This short account of his existence tells of his early adventures and of ways he turned one in every of Canada's most famed storytellers.
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Extra info for A Name for Himself. A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall
At that time no Canadian author of fiction had been able to earn even a subsistence income. Tom had a wife and two small children to support. But Tom dared, and he succeeded. This is the story of his courage, his suffering, and his successes. Out of the loneliness and despair of his stay on Sable Island, eventually he wrote one of his greatest novels, The Nymph and the Lamp. Three times winner of the Governor General’s award for literature, Dr. Thomas Head Raddall has received almost every honour Canada can bestow on an author.
This map also shows the Narrows where the two ships collided to cause the great explosion of 1917. Even as a ten year old, in spite of it not being the wide open country of his dreams, Tom felt a growing sense of excitement as he realized the raw, new country of Canada already had a history of her own. That summer when he returned to Halifax after his happy vacation he looked at the shabby city with new vision. Maybe Halifax had a romantic history, too. But, as it happened, there was no time then for thinking about the past.
All of which set me thinking about those Fenimore Cooper books I had read when I was young. And I couldn’t help laughing. He was so ridiculously wrong about so many things.
A Name for Himself. A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall by Joyce Barkhouse