By Joyce Barkhouse
"Twelve months in anyplace, my pal, 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 supply a romantic history for one among his maximum novels, The Nymph and the Lamp.
Traumatized by way of the horror of the nice Halifax Explosion of 1917, in a number of months via the demise of his father in conflict in another country, Tom used to be compelled to go away college on the age of fourteen.
This short account of his existence tells of his early adventures and of the way he turned considered one of Canada's most famous storytellers.
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Extra resources for A Name for Himself. A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall
No more dull old lessons at Saint Leonard’s School for Boys! Tom knew all about North America — or thought he did. In the past couple of years he had been allowed to go to the “flickers” — silent black and white movies at the local theatre, every Saturday night. Tom loved the Westerns, and soon discovered he could learn even more about outlaws and Indians and cowboys from “penny dreadfuls,” which he could buy at the local bookshop. These cheap paperback booklets offered a whole series on the fantastic adventures of Buffalo Bill.
The new home had running water and a bathroom but no electric light. Tom read and studied by the light of a kerosene lamp or a candle. It was hard to make new friends in this dreary place. Worst of all, his father wasted no time in finding a piano teacher. This time it was Miss Hoyt, an elderly spinster who gave lessons in her own home. Twice a week Tom had to walk from the north to the south end of the city, carrying a music case. This marked him out not only as a new kid, but also as a sissy.
His mother became alarmed at her son’s low taste in reading and complained to his father. Tom listened in fear to the conversation, because if his father said “no more Buffalo Bill” then that would be the end of his world of fantasy. But his father only smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it, Ellen. It’s better for him to read harmless trash than not to read at all. ” And Tom did. By the time the family set sail for Canada he had become an avid reader, and had been on many a famous imaginary adventure.
A Name for Himself. A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall by Joyce Barkhouse