Raddall, Thomas Head

Thomas Head Raddall, historical novelist (b at Hythe, Eng 13 Nov 1903; d at Liverpool, NS 1 Apr 1994). Raddall was brought as a boy to Nova Scotia, the province about which he was to write in a score of books, fictional and nonfictional. In an age of public appetite for magazine fiction, Raddall first made his name as a short story writer; his debut collection, The Pied Piper of Dipper Creek and Other Tales (1939), won him his first Governor General's Award (1943).

But larger renown awaited him as a historical novelist, particularly with His Majesty's Yankees (1942) and The Governor's Lady (1960). Yet his most highly regarded book was not historical and drew on his own experiences as a Sable Island radio operator after World War I: The Nymph and the Lamp (1950). His history, Halifax, Warden of the North (1948, Gov Gen's Award), has remained the most popular of his nonfictional books. His autobiography, In My Time (1976), reflects the agonizingly slow development of Canadian literary life since the 1920s. In 1986 a collection of stories originally published in magazines between 1928 and 1955 was brought out under the title The Dreamers.