Author Tags: 1900-1950, Anthropology, First Nations, Local History, War
Born in Winnipeg on January 14, 1912, Edward Francis Meade first arrived in British Columbia in 1930. His World War II war novel Remember Me (London: Faber & Faber, 1946) used explicit language, not unfamiliar to soldiers, to tell the story of infantryman Bob O'Rourke during his long wait for action in England, followed by intense fighting at Caen and Carpiquet in Normandy. O'Rourke, a married man, gives into carnal temptations while overseas, making the novel an antecedent to works from the likes of Norman Mailer, Irwin Shaw and James Jones. Earle Birney cited words used by Meade - such as buggered, dirty bastards, horse's arse, sonofabitch, etc. - in a letter to Jack McClelland of McClelland and Stewart went that firm was balking at including similar language in Birney wartime novel Turvey. The publisher found Meade's use of such words to be gratuitous. Remember Me was re-released by the Reprint Society of Canada in 1949. Its inclusion in the New Canadian Library series in 1965 temporarily revived the work but it soon returned to obscurity. On Remembrance Day, 1998, Alan Maitland read the final chapter on CBC Radio's As It Happens. The author was also interviewed by CBC's Michael Enright. Meade worked as a labourer, newspaperman, accountant and civil servant.
After ten years of research, Edward Meade also published the first wide-ranging study of petroglyphs from the Columbia River to Alaska in Indian Rock Carvings of the Pacific Northwest (Gray's Publishing, 1971). Plus he self-published a biography Dr. Samuel Campbell, surgeon aboard the Plumper commanded by Captain George Richards, after whom Campbell River is named. According to journalist Tom Hawthorn, Meade completed a manuscript for a novel to be called "Man From Arnheim" but, according to a daughter, he destroyed it out of anger in a dispute with Faber and Faber. He died in Shawnigan Lake on Jan. 2, 2005.
Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Indian Rock Carvings of the Pacific North West
Meade, Edward. Remember Me (London: Faber & Faber, 1946; Canadian Reprint Society, 1949).
Meade, Edward. Indian Rock Carvings of the Pacific Northwest (Gray's Publishing, 1971).
Meade, Edward. The Biography of Dr. Samuel Campbell, R.N., Surgeon & Surveyor, including the Naming and Early History of the Campbell River (Campbell River, self-published, 1980).
[BCBW 2010] "Anthropology" "Local History" "First Nations" "War" "1900-1950"