CAMPBELL, William Wilfred




Author Tags: 1850-1900, 1900-1950, History, Poetry

Dramatist, novelist, poet, William Wilfred Campbell, was born in Ontario in 1858. The son and grandson of Church of England clergymen, Campbell had every intention of taking a theological path, but suffered a loss of faith and left the ministry in 1891. Campbell then took a position in the office of the Canadian Secretary of state, followed by a position in the Dominion Archives, where he remained until his death in 1918. By the time he entered the civil service, Campbell had already established himself as a well-known poet, published in "the most prestigious magazines on the continent."
Campbell used his writing and poetry to reproach Canadians for their lack of interest in national literature. Some circles refer to Campbell as “the Canadian Wordsworth” based on his poetry about nature, society, patriotism, love and death.
Campbell wrote the text for T. Mower Martin’s book, Canada (A. & C. Black Ltd 1907) a collection of landscapes, water colours and sketches composed by Martin. Martin was one of a group of artists offered passes by the Canadian Pacific Railway, to paint landscapes of western Canada. Included in Martin’s work are paintings depicting Deadman’s Island off Stanley Park and scenes of the Rockies, among other vistas captured during the 10 years that Martin spent painting in western Canada.

BOOKS:

Canada, Painted by T. Mower Martin. (A. & C. Black Ltd 1907)
William Wilfred Campbell: Selected Poetry and Essays (Wilfrid Laurier University Press 1987) $32.95 978-0889209602

[BCBW 2014]