Grace MacLennan Grant Campbell

Grace MacLennan Grant Campbell, writer (born at Williamstown, Ont 1895; died at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont 31 May 1963). Born in the rural community of Williamstown, Ontario, Grace Campbell attended QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY on scholarship and studied English literature. A successful student, Campbell received the university's gold medal in English literature upon her graduation in 1915. After graduation she taught for 3 years, 2 of which were spent at a French boarding school. In 1919 Campbell married former Queen's classmate Harvey Campbell, and the couple had 3 sons. Her twin sons Grant and Roy both served in the ARMED FORCES, with the Royal Canadian Air Force, during WORLD WAR II, and both were killed in action in 1944. Campbell moved several times throughout her life, spending time in Regina, Montréal and Arvida, Québec. She published many short stories and 6 novels during her career. She eventually returned to Ontario and lived in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where she died in 1963.

Though she published short stories in Canada, the United States and Great Britain, Grace Campbell did not publish her first novel until 1942. Her debut novel, Thorn-Apple Tree, set the tone for her future work in terms of theme. Set in the 1830s on a farm similar to the one on which Campbell grew up, the novel chronicles the experiences of PIONEER LIFE in rural Canada. Her follow-up novel, The Higher Hill (1944), follows a pioneer family in Glengarry, Ontario. Subsequent publications - Fresh Wind Blowing (1947), The Tower and the Town (1950), Torbeg (1953) and Highland Heritage (1962) - all focus on the Canadian experience during various points in the nation's history. In her novels, Campbell focuses her creative efforts on the experience of her characters rather than the plot. The result for the reader is an immersion in pioneer life and an intimacy and understanding of her characters and their lives.

Grace Campbell was an active member of her social and literary communities. She was a member of the Provincial Girls' Work Board, the University Women's Club, and the Women's Canadian Club, as well as the CANADIAN AUTHORS ASSOCIATION and the Arts and Letters division of the Council of Women.