Heavysege, Charles

Charles Heavysege, poet (b at Huddersfield, Eng 2 May 1816; d at Montréal 14 July 1876). Heavysege immigrated to Montréal in 1853 as a woodcarver. In 1860 he became a reporter for the Montreal Transcript and later for the Montreal Daily Witness. A quintessential pious Victorian, he published a series of long religious poems under the influence of Milton, Shakespeare and the Bible: The Revolt of Tartarus (1852), Jephthah's Daughter (1865) and "Jezebel, A Poem in Three Cantos" (1868). His Old Testament spirit also found expression in 2 dramatic works, the famous Saul: A Drama in Three Parts (1857; 1859) and Count Filippo; or, The Unequal Marriage (1860), an Italianate verse tragedy of adultery and retribution. His one novel, The Advocate (1865), was unsuccessful. Saul found many admirers, among them Henry W. Longfellow and Sir John A. MACDONALD. Coventry Patmore's praise in the influential North British Review was particularly positive. The play was premiered in a CBC radio adaptation in 1974.