A Name for Himself: A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall by Joyce Barkhouse

By Joyce Barkhouse

"Twelve months in anywhere, my good friend, is sort of a weary whereas And turns out extra like a century while lived on Sable Isle …"

So wrote Thomas Raddall on the age of eighteen, no longer dreaming that decades later Sable Island – that "hell on the earth" – would offer a romantic history for one in all his maximum novels, The Nymph and the Lamp.

Traumatized via the horror of the nice Halifax Explosion of 1917, in a number of months by way of the loss of life of his father in conflict in another country, Tom used to be pressured to depart 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 info for A Name for Himself: A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall

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Tom had loved him well, too. He grieved for him for the rest of his life, and always kept his last letter, in which his father had written at the end: If I live through this war I hope to see you graduate at Varsity. In any case take the ideal for your goal and strive to make a name for yourself. CHAPTER 3 The Young Telegrapher Soon after her husband’s death, Mrs. Raddall had a heart-to-heart talk with Tom and Nellie. She told them that their father’s dream of University for them both could never come true.

In the past two years I had travelled something like thirty-five thousand miles on the cold and stormy North Atlantic. No Bermuda, no Tahiti, no Hawaii… I bade farewell to my shipmates in the Mackay-Bennett with a blend of happiness and regret. I had found them good comrades afloat and ashore, mostly afloat and often in bad weather, a sure test of men in a small ship. And I had learned much about the new electronics, far beyond the needs of a mere brasspounder. Apart from that I had learned a lot about the waterfront of Halifax, where the ship had been my home.

They were as real to him as if he had actually been there. … A fine sunset made a huge red splash over the western sky, and cast on the harbour channel the growing black shadow of York Redoubt. … Some time and distance before McNab set foot on the sea-polished stones at the tip of the point, he saw the object of his curiosity well enough, but he went on and stepped ashore to note the details. A tall post of eight-by-eight timber had been set up, with a massive cairn of beach stones piled about the foot to hold it against any wind that blew.

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