Author Tags: 1850-1900, Early B.C., Fiction, Publishing
In his opinionated survey of early B.C. printing and writing called Ocean Paper Stone (William Hoffer, 1984), Robert Bringhurst states that publication of fiction in British Columbia began with Three Letters of Credit and Other Stories by Arthur Hodgins Scaife, released under the pseudonym Kim Bilir. Before his return to his native England in 1897, Scaife was an editor of The Province when it was a weekly publication in Victoria. A 132-page collection of his fiction sold for 25 cents when it was printed by Province Publishing. Bringhurst further states Scaife subsequently published British Columbia's first novel in 1895.
Predating Scaife's first book, although not published in British Columbia, Morley Robert’s first novel, The Mate of the Vancouver (1892) is a romance initially set aboard a ship called the Vancouver. Thomas Ticehurst, a semi-reluctant sailor, sails from England in 1881 to accompany his brother to the West Coast of North America. He falls in love with a passenger named Elsie, is rejected by her and is stabbed in San Francisco by a villain named Matthias. Matthias goes to jail but vows revenge. Ticehurst recovers and follow Elsie to Victoria. Matthias, who has since killed Ticehurst’s brother, finds Ticehurst but loses a final fight with him. Ticehurst finally marries Elsie in Thompson Forks. [See Morley Roberts entry.]
Three Letters Of Credit (Province Publishing, 1894) - short stories
As It Was In The Fifties (Province Publishing, 1895) - novel
Gemini And Lesser Lights (Province Publishing, 1895) - short stories
[BCBW 2004] "Fiction" "Early B.C." "1850-1900"