Charles G.D. Roberts
Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts, (January 10, 1860 – November 26, 1943) was a Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 and prose writer who is known as the Father of Canadian Poetry
Canadian poetry
- Beginnings:The earliest works of poetry, mainly written by visitors, described the new territories in optimistic terms, mainly targeted at a European audience...

. He was "almost the first Canadian author to obtain worldwide reputation and influence; he was also a tireless promoter and encourager of Canadian literature
Canadian literature
Canadian literature is literature originating from Canada. Collectively it is often called CanLit. Some criticism of Canadian literature has focused on nationalistic and regional themes, although this is only a small portion of Canadian Literary criticism...

.... He published numerous works on Canadian exploration and natural history, verse, travel books, and fiction."
"At his death he was regarded as Canada's leading man of letters."

Besides his own body of work, Roberts is also called the "Father of Canadian Poetry" because he served as an inspiration and a source of assistance for other Canadian poets of his time.

Roberts, his cousin Bliss Carman
Bliss Carman
Bliss Carman FRSC was a Canadian poet who lived most of his life in the United States, where he achieved international fame. He was acclaimed as Canada's poet laureate during his later years....

, Archibald Lampman
Archibald Lampman
Archibald Lampman, was a Canadian poet. "He has been described as 'the Canadian Keats;' and he is perhaps the most outstanding exponent of the Canadian school of nature poets." The Canadian Encyclopedia says that he is "generally considered the finest of Canada's late 19th-century poets in...

 and Duncan Campbell Scott
Duncan Campbell Scott
Duncan Campbell Scott was a Canadian poet and prose writer. With Charles G.D. Roberts, Bliss Carman, and Archibald Lampman, he is classed as one of Canada's Confederation Poets....

 are known as the Confederation Poets
Confederation Poets
"Confederation Poets" is the name given to a group of Canadian poets born in the decade of Canada's Confederation who rose to prominence in Canada in the late 1880s and 1890s. The term was coined by Canadian professor and literary critic Malcolm Ross, who applied it to four poets Charles G.D...



Roberts was born in Douglas, New Brunswick
Douglas, New Brunswick
Douglas is a Canadian suburban community in York County, New Brunswick.Located on the east bank of the Saint John River, Douglas developed as a farming community but has witnessed two residential subdivisions developed in recent decades, largely for residents commuting to Fredericton.Canadian...

 in 1860, the eldest child of Emma Wetmore Bliss and Rev. George Goodridge Roberts (an Anglican priest). His brother Theodore Goodridge Roberts
Theodore Goodridge Roberts
Theodore Goodridge Roberts was a Canadian novelist and poet. He was the author of thirty-four novels and over one hundred published stories and poems.He was the brother of poet Charles G.D...

 and sister, Jane Elizabeth Gostwycke Roberts, would also become authors.

Between the ages of 8 months and 14 years, Roberts was raised in the parish of Westcock, New Brunswick
Westcock, New Brunswick
Westcock is a Canadian rural community in Westmorland County, New Brunswick. Located in the Sackville Parish approximately 8 kilometres southwest of SackvilleFamous Canadian poet and story writer Sir Charles G.D...

, near Sackville
Sackville, New Brunswick
Sackville is a Canadian town in Westmorland County, New Brunswick.Mount Allison University is located in the town...

, by the Tantramar Marshes
Tantramar Marshes
The Tantramar Marshes is a National Wildlife Area on the southern part of the Isthmus of Chignecto, which joins Nova Scotia to New Brunswick and the Canadian mainland. It is the site of the historic Battle of Fort Beauséjour, the final chapter in the long battle for Acadia by the British and French...

. He was homeschooled, "mostly by his father, who was proficient in Greek, Latin and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

." He published his first writing, three articles in The Colonial Farmer, at 12 years of age.

After the family moved to Fredericton in 1873, Roberts attended Fredericton Collegiate School from 1874 to 1876, and then the University of New Brunswick
University of New Brunswick
The University of New Brunswick is a Canadian university located in the province of New Brunswick. UNB is the oldest English language university in Canada and among the first public universities in North America. The university has two main campuses: the original campus founded in 1785 in...

 (UNB), earning his B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in 1879 and M.A.
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 in 1881. At the Collegiate School he came under the influence of headmaster George Robert Parkin
George Robert Parkin
Sir George Robert Parkin KCMG was a Canadian educator, imperialist, and author.Born at Parkindale near Salisbury, New Brunswick, he was a graduate from the University of New Brunswick. From 1867 to 1871, he taught at the Bathurst Grammar School...

, who gave him a love of classical literature and introduced him to the poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement,...

 and Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne was an English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic. He invented the roundel form, wrote several novels, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica...


Roberts was principal of Chatham High School in Chatham, New Brunswick
Chatham, New Brunswick
Chatham is a Canadian urban neighbourhood in the city of Miramichi, New Brunswick.Prior to municipal amalgamation in 1995, Chatham was an incorporated town in Northumberland County along the south bank of the Miramichi River opposite Douglastown...

, from 1879 to 1881, and of York Street School in Fredericton from 1881 to 1883. In Chatham he met and befriended Edmund Collins, editor of the Chatham Star and the future biographer of Sir John A. Macdonald
John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC , QC was the first Prime Minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, his political career spanned almost half a century...


Early Canadian career

Roberts first published poetry in the Canadian Illustrated News of March 30, 1878, and by 1879 he had placed two poems in the prestigious American magazine, Scribner's.

In 1880 Roberts published his first book of poetry, Orion and Other Poems. Thanks in part to his industry in sending out complimentary review copies, there were many positive reviews. Rose-Belford’s Canadian Monthly proclaimed: "Here is a writer whose power and originality it is impossible to deny — here is a book of which any literature might be proud." The Montreal Gazette predicted that Roberts would "confer merited fame on himself and lasting honour on his country." As well, "several American periodicals reviewed it favourably, including the New York Independent, which described it as 'a little book of choice things, with the indifferent things well weeded out.'"

On December 29, 1880, Roberts married Mary Fenety, who would bear him five children.

The biography by Roberts's friend Edmund Collins, The Life and Times of Sir John A. Macdonald, was published in 1883. The book was a huge success, going through eight printings. It contained a long chapter on “Thought and Literature in Canada,” which devoted 15 pages to Roberts, quoting liberally from Orion. "Beyond any comparison," Collins declared, "our greatest Canadian poet is Mr. Charles G.D. Roberts." "Edmund Collins is probably responsible for the early acceptance of Charles G.D. Roberts as Canada’s foremost poet."

From 1883 to 1884 Roberts was in Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, working as the editor of Goldwin Smith
Goldwin Smith
Goldwin Smith was a British-Canadian historian and journalist.- Early years :He was born at Reading, Berkshire. He was educated at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford, and after a brilliant undergraduate career he was elected to a fellowship at University College, Oxford...

's short-lived literary magazine, The Week. "Roberts lasted only five months at The Week before resigning in frustration from overwork and clashes with Smith."

In 1885 Roberts became a professor at the University of King's College
University of King's College
The University of King's College is a post-secondary institution in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. King's is a small liberal arts university offering mainly undergraduate programs....

 in Windsor, Nova Scotia
Windsor, Nova Scotia
Windsor is a town located in Hants County, Mainland Nova Scotia at the junction of the Avon and St. Croix Rivers. It is the largest community in western Hants County with a 2001 population of 3,779 and was at one time the shire town of the county. The region encompassing present day Windsor was...

. In 1886, his second book, In Divers Tones, was published by a Boston publisher. "Over the next six years, in addition to his academic duties, Roberts published more than thirty poems in numerous American periodicals, but mostly in The Independent while Bliss Carman was on its editorial staff. During the same period, he published almost an equal number of stories, primarily for juvenile readers, in periodicals like The Youth’s Companion. He also edited Poems of Wild Life (1888), completed a 270-page Canadian Guide Book (1891), wrote about a dozen articles on a variety of topics, and gave lectures in various centres from Halifax to New York."

Roberts was asked to edit the anthology, Songs of the Great Dominion
Songs of the Great Dominion
Songs of the Great Dominion was a pioneering anthology of Canadian poetry published in 1889. The book's full title was Songs of the Great Dominion: Voices from the Forests and Waters, the Settlements and Cities of Canada. The collection was selected and edited by William Douw Lighthall of Montreal...

, but that position eventually went to W.D. Lighthall
William Douw Lighthall
William Douw Lighthall , K.C., LL.D., F.R.S.C. , can be and has been described as a Canadian "lawyer, historian, novelist, poet, philosopher, anthologist, and editor."...

. Lighthall included a generous selection of Roberts's work, and echoed Collins's assessment of six years earlier: "The foremost name in Canadian song at the present day is that of Charles George Douglas Roberts."

Roberts resigned from King's College in 1895, when his request for a leave of absence was turned down. Determined to make a living from his pen, in 1896 "he published his first novel, The Forge in the Forest, ... his fourth collection of poetry, The Book of the Native, ... his first book of nature-stories, Earth’s Enigmas, ... and a book of adventure stories for boys, Around the Campfire."

Move to New York

"Determining to work free-lance, Roberts separated from his wife, daughter, and sons in 1897, leaving Canada for New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

." During 1897 and 1898 he worked for The Illustrated American as an associate editor.

In New York Roberts wrote in many different genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

s, but found that "his most successful prose genre was the animal story, in which he drew upon his early experience in the wilds of the Maritimes. He published over a dozen such volumes between Earth's Enigmas (1896) and Eyes of the Wilderness (1933).... Roberts is remembered for creating in the animal story, along with Ernest Thompson Seton
Ernest Thompson Seton
Ernest Thompson Seton was a Scots-Canadian who became a noted author, wildlife artist, founder of the Woodcraft Indians, and one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America . Seton also influenced Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting...

, the one native Canadian art form."

Roberts also wrote historical romances and novels. "Barbara Ladd (1902) begins with a girl escaping from an uncongenial aunt in New England in 1769; it sold 80,000 copies in the US alone." He also wrote descriptive text for guide books, such as Picturesque Canada and The Land of Evangeline and Gateways Thither for Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

's Dominion Atlantic Railway
Dominion Atlantic Railway
The Dominion Atlantic Railway was a historic Canadian railway which operated in the western part of Nova Scotia, primarily through an agricultural district known as the Annapolis Valley....


Roberts famously became involved in a literary debate known as the nature fakers controversy
Nature fakers controversy
The nature fakers controversy was an early 20th-century American literary debate highlighting the conflict between science and sentiment in popular nature writing...

 after John Burroughs
John Burroughs
John Burroughs was an American naturalist and essayist important in the evolution of the U.S. conservation movement. According to biographers at the American Memory project at the Library of Congress,...

 denounced his popular animal stories, and those of other writers, in a 1903 article for Atlantic Monthly. The controversy lasted for nearly six years and included important American environmental and political figures of the day, including President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...


Europe and return to Canada

In 1907
1907 in poetry
Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Canada:* Peter McArthur, The Prodigal and other Poems* Robert W...

 Roberts moved to Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. First living in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, he moved to Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 in 1910, and in 1912 to London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, where he lived until 1925
1925 in poetry
Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:* T. S. Eliot joins the publishing house of Faber & Gwyer, leaves Lloyds bank....

. During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 he enlisted with the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 as a trooper, eventually becoming a captain
Captain (OF-2)
The army rank of captain is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces. Today a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery...

 and a cadet
A cadet is a trainee to become an officer in the military, often a person who is a junior trainee. The term comes from the term "cadet" for younger sons of a noble family.- Military context :...

 trainer in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. After the war he joined the Canadian War Records Office in London.

Roberts returned to Canada in 1925
1925 in poetry
Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:* T. S. Eliot joins the publishing house of Faber & Gwyer, leaves Lloyds bank....

 which "led to a renewed production of verse." During the late 1920s he was a member of the Halifax literary and social set, The Song Fishermen
The Song Fishermen
The Song Fishermen, or the Song Fishermen's Circle , was an informal group of poets from Atlantic Canada that included famous Canadian poets Bliss Carman and Sir Charles G.D...


He married his second wife Joan Montgomery on October 28, 1943, at the age of 83, but became ill and died shortly thereafter in Toronto. The funeral was held in Toronto, but his ashes were returned to Fredericton, where he was interred in Forest Hill Cemetery.

Orion and Other Poems

Roberts's first book, Orion and Other Poems (1880), was a vanity book for which he had to "pay an advance of $300, most of which he borrowed from George E. Fenety, the Queen's Printer
Queen's Printer
The Queen's Printer is a position defined by letters patent under the royal prerogative in various Commonwealth realms...

 for New Brunswick, soon to become his father-in-law." Orion was "a collection of juvenilia, written while the poet was still a teenager."

Critic Desmond Pacey wrote in 1958 that "when we remind ourselves that it was published when the poet was twenty ... we realize that it is a remarkable performance. It is imitative, naively romantic, defective in diction, the poetry of books rather than life itself, but it is facile, clever, and occasionally distinctly beautiful.... It is the work of an apprentice, who is quite frankly serving under a sequence of masters from whom he hopes to learn his art."

In Divers Tones

The title of Roberts's second book, In Divers Tones, "aptly describes the hodgepodge of its contents. The selections vary greatly, not only in style and subject matter, but also in quality.... Among those written between 1883 and 1886 ... there is evidence of a maturing talent. In fact, it might be argued that at least three of these poems, 'The Tantramar Revisited,' 'The Sower,' and 'The Potato Harvest,” were never surpassed by any of his subsequent verse."

Songs of the Common Day

By the time of Songs of the Common Day, and Ave (1893), Roberts "had reached the height of his poetic powers.... It is the sonnet
A sonnet is one of several forms of poetry that originate in Europe, mainly Provence and Italy. A sonnet commonly has 14 lines. The term "sonnet" derives from the Occitan word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning "little song" or "little sound"...

 sequence of Songs of the Common Day that has established Roberts’ reputation as a landscape poet.... Evidence of the Tantramar setting occurs in lines like “How sombre slope these acres to the sea' ('The Furrow”), 'These marshes pale and meadows by the sea' ('The Salt Flats'), and 'My fields of Tantramar in summer-time' ('The Pea-Fields'). The descriptions are full of evocative details."

Middle period

After Roberts turned to free-lance writing in 1895, "Financial pressure forced him to turn his main attention to fiction." He published two more books of poetry by 1898, but managed only two more in the following 30 years.

"As their titles often indicate, the numerous seasonal poems in The Book of the Native [1897] were written with an eye on the monthly requirements of the magazines: 'The Brook in February,' 'An April Adoration,' 'July,' and 'An August Woodroad.' Roberts "is generally at his best in the poems in which he depicts these seasonal stages of nature with the palette of a realistic landscape painter." However, the book also "signalled a shift in his poetic oeuvre away from descriptive, technically tight Romantic verses to more mystical lyrics."

"Most of the nature poetry in Roberts’s New York Nocturnes and Other Poems [1898] was written before he moved to New York. It belongs to a period of upheaval, desperation and overwork, which may at least partly account for its disappointing slackness.... Even 'The Solitary Woodsman,' much anthologized and frequently praised, is a series of unremarkable images made tedious by fifty-two lines of irritating rhythm and rhyme.... Roberts seldom looks at New York with the eye of a painter, and never captures its essence with the effectiveness he displays in his best pictures of rural landscape.... Instead of turning an inquiring eye upon urban conditions, he is inclined to retreat from “'he city’s fume and stress' and 'clamour' ('The Ideal').".

The first and title section of The Book of the Rose (1903) was a collection of love poetry. "Roberts handling of the symbol sounds artificial at best and sometimes downright fatuous.... Although most of the poems in the second section are unimpressive, there are a few exceptions. “Heat in the City,” noteworthy for being the best poem he ever wrote about city life, effectively evokes the distress and despair of the tenement-dwellers.... The final poem in the book, “The Aim,” is remarkable for its frank self-analysis."

"New Poems, a slim volume published in 1919, shows the drop in both the quantity and quality of Roberts’ poetry during his European years. At least half of the pieces had been written before he left America, some as early as 1903."

Later poems

Roberts's "return to Canada in 1925 led to a renewed production of verse with The Vagrant of Time (1927) and The Iceberg and Other Poems (1934)." Literary critic Desmond Pacey calls this period “the Indian summer of his poetic career.”

"Among the best of the new poems" in The Vagrant of Time "is the one with this inspired opening line: 'Spring breaks in foam along the blackthorn bough.'
In another love poem, 'In the Night Watches,' written in 1926, his command of free verse is natural and unstrained, unlike the laboured language and forced rhymes of his earlier love poetry. Its synthesis of lonely wilderness setting with feelings of separation and longing is harmonious and poignant."

"Most critics rank 'The Iceberg' (265 lines), the title poem of the new collection" published in 1934, "as one of Roberts’ outstanding achievements. It is almost as ambitious as 'Ave!' in conception; its cold, unemotional images are as apt and precise in their detached way as the warmly-remembered descriptions in 'Tantramar Revisited.'

Animal Stories

The Canadian Encyclopedia says that "Roberts is remembered for creating in the animal story, along with Ernest Thompson Seton
Ernest Thompson Seton
Ernest Thompson Seton was a Scots-Canadian who became a noted author, wildlife artist, founder of the Woodcraft Indians, and one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America . Seton also influenced Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting...

, the one native Canadian art form." A typical Roberts animal story is "The Truce".

In his introduction to The Kindred of the Wild (1902), Roberts called the animal story "a potent emancipator. It frees us for a little from the world of shop-worn utilities, and from the mean tenement of self of which we do well to grow weary. It helps us to return to nature, without requiring that we at the same time return to barbarism. It leads us back to the old kinship of earth, without asking us to relinquish by way of toll any part of the wisdom of the ages, any fine essential of the 'large result of time.' (Kindred 28)"

Critical interest in Roberts's animal stories "emerged in the 1960s and 70s in the growth of what we now know as Canadian Literary Studies
Canadian literature
Canadian literature is literature originating from Canada. Collectively it is often called CanLit. Some criticism of Canadian literature has focused on nationalistic and regional themes, although this is only a small portion of Canadian Literary criticism...

.... But these critics tended as a group to see in the animal stories a masked reference to Canadian nationhood
Canadian nationalism
Canadian nationalism is a term which has been applied to ideologies of several different types which highlight and promote specifically Canadian interests over those of other countries, notably the United States...

: James Polk 'attempts to subsume the animal genre entirely within the identity crisis of an emerging nation […seeing] the sympathetic stance of Seton and Roberts towards the sometimes brutal fate of the “lives of the hunted” as a larger political allegory for Canada’s “victim” status as an American satellite. (Sandlos 74)'"

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
Margaret Eleanor Atwood, is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is among the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history; she is a winner of the Arthur C...

 devotes a chapter of her 1971 critical study Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature is a survey of Canadian literature by Margaret Atwood, one of the most well-known Canadian authors in the world...

 to animal stories, where she states the same thesis: "the stories are told from the point of view of the animal. That’s the key: English animal stories are about the 'social relations,' American ones are about people killing animals; Canadian ones are about animals being killed, as felt emotionally from inside the fur and feathers. (qtd. in Sandlos 74; emphasis in original)."


Charles G. D Roberts was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
Royal Society of Canada
The Royal Society of Canada , may also operate under the more descriptive name RSC: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada , is the oldest association of scientists and scholars in Canada...

 in 1893.

Roberts was elected to the United States National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1898.

He was awarded an honorary LLD from UNB in 1906, and an honorary doctorate from Mount Allison University
Mount Allison University
Mount Allison University is a primarily undergraduate Canadian liberal arts and science university situated in Sackville, New Brunswick. It is located about a half hour from the regional city of Moncton and 20 minutes from the Greater Moncton International Airport...

 in 1942.

For his contributions to Canadian literature, Roberts was awarded the Royal Society of Canada's first Lorne Pierce Medal
Lorne Pierce Medal
The Lorne Pierce Medal is awarded every two years by the Royal Society of Canada to recognize achievement of special significance and conspicuous merit in imaginative or critical literature written in either English or French...

 in 1926.

On June, 3 1935, Roberts was one of three Canadians on King George V’s honour list to receive a knighthood (Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George).

Roberts was honored by a sculpture erected in 1947 on the UNB campus, portraying him with Bliss Carman and fellow poet Francis Joseph Sherman
Francis Joseph Sherman
Francis Joseph Sherman was a Canadian poet.He published a number of books of poetry during the last years of the nineteenth century, including Matins and In Memorabilia Mortis .-Life:Sherman was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, the son of Alice Maxwell Myrshall and Louis Walsh Sherman...


"In the 1980s — a hundred years after his first volumes appeared — a major Roberts revival took place, producing monographs, a complete edition of his poems, a new biography, a collection of his letters, etc. A Roberts Symposium at Mount Allison University (1982) and another at the University of Ottawa (1983) included several scholarly reappraisals of his poetry."

Roberts was declared a Person of National Historic Significance in 1945, and a monument to him was erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in Westcock in 2005.


  • Orion, and Other Poems. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1880
    1880 in poetry
    Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-United Kingdom:* H.C. Beeching and J.W...

  • In Divers Tones. (Boston: Lothrop, 1886
    1886 in poetry
    Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:* Frederick James Furnivall founds the Shelley Society...

  • AVE! An Ode for the Shelley Centenary. Toronto: Williamson, 1892.
  • Songs of the Common Day and, AVE! An Ode for the Shelley Aentenary. Toronto: William Briggs, 1893. Montreal: C.W. Coates, 1893
    1893 in poetry
    Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Canada:* William Wilfred Campbell, The Dread Voyage Poems. Toronto: William Briggs.* Bliss Carman, Low Tide at Grand Pré...

    . London: Longman's Green, 1893.
  • The Book of the Native. (Toronto: Copp Clark, 1896) (Boston: Lamson, Wolfe, 1896
    1896 in poetry
    — closing lines of Rudyard Kipling's If—, first published this yearNationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:...

  • New York Nocturnes and Other Poems. (Boston: Lamson Wolffe, 1898
    1898 in poetry
    Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-The "Generation of '98" in Spain:...

  • Poems. New York: Silver, Burdett, 1901.
  • The Book of the Rose. (Toronto: Copp, Clark, 1903) (Boston: L.C. Page, 1903
    1903 in poetry
    Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Canada:* Bliss Carman, From the Green Book of Bards* E. Pauline Johnson, also known as "Tekahionwake", Canadian Born...

  • New Poems. (London: Constable, 1919
    1919 in poetry
    —From A Prayer for My Daughter by W. B. Yeats, first published this yearNationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:* Two paintings by E. E...

  • The Sweet o' the Year and Other Poems. (Toronto: Ryerson, 1925
    1925 in poetry
    Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:* T. S. Eliot joins the publishing house of Faber & Gwyer, leaves Lloyds bank....

  • The Vagrant of Time. (Toronto: Ryerson, 1927
    1927 in poetry
    Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:* T. S. Eliot enters the Church of England and assumes British citizenship-Canada:...

  • The Iceberg and Other Poems. (Toronto: Ryerson, 1934
    1934 in poetry
    Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:* The Barretts of Wimpole Street, a film directed by Sidney Franklin, with Norma Shearer as Elizabeth Barrett and Fredric March as Robert Browning; redone in 1957, less successfully*The University...

  • Selected Poems of Sir Charles G.D. Roberts. Toronto: Ryerson, 1936
    1936 in poetry
    Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:* James Laughlin founds New Directions Publishers in New York, which published many modern poets for the first time;...

  • Flying Colours. Miami: Granger Books, 1942. Toronto: Ryerson P, 1942.
  • Selected Poems of Charles G.D. Roberts. Desmond Pacey ed. Toronto: Ryerson, 1955.
  • Selected Poetry and Critical Prose. W.J. Keith ed. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1974.
  • Collected Poems of Sir Charles G.D. Roberts. Desmond Pacey & Graham Adams, ed. Wolfville, NS: Wombat P, 1985.

Except where noted, information on poetry courtesy Canadian Poetry.


  • The Raid from Beauséjour and How the Carter Boys Lifted the Mortgage. New York, Cincinnati: Hunt & Eaton, Cranston & Curts, 1894. Toronto: Musson, 1900. – 2 novelettes
  • Reube Dare’s Shad Boat: a tale of the tide country. New York, Cincinnati: Hunt & Eaton, Cranston & Curts, 1895. – novelette
  • Around the Campfire. Toronto: Musson Book Co., 1896. Toronto: William Briggs, 1896. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1896.
  • Earth's Enigmas. Boston: Lamson, Wolffe, 1896.
  • The Forge in the Forest. Boston: Lamson, Wolffe, 1896. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1896. Toronto: William Briggs, 1897.
  • By the Marshes of Minas. Boston, New York: Silver, Burdett, 1900.
  • A Sister to Evangeline. Boston, New York: Silver, Burdett, 1900.
  • The Feet of the Furtive. London: Ward, Lock, 1900.
  • The Heart of the Ancient Wood. Toronto: Copp Clark, 1900.
  • The Haunters of the Silences. London: Thomas Nelson, 1900.
  • Barbara Ladd. Boston: L.C. Page, 1902. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1902. – novel set in New York and Connecticut
  • The Kindred of the Wild Boston: L.C. Page, 1902.
  • The Prisoner of Mademoiselle. Boston: L.C. Page, 1904.
  • The Watchers of the Trails. Toronto: Copp Clark, 1904.
  • Red Fox. Toronto: Copp Clark, 1905. – short story
  • The Watchers of the Campfire. Boston: L.C. Page, 1906.
  • The Heart That Knows. Boston: L.C. Page, 1906. Toronto: Copp, Clark, 1906.
  • The Cruise of the Yacht "Dido". Boston: L.C. Page, 1906.
  • The Little People of the Sycamore. Charles Livingston Bull illus. Boston: L.C. Page, 1906.
  • The Return to the Trails. Charles Livingston Bull illus. Boston: L.C. Page, 1906.
  • In the Deep of the Snow. Toronto: Musson Book Co., 1907. New York: T.Y. Crowell, 1907.
  • The Young Acadian. Boston: L.C. Page, 1907.
  • The Haunters of the Silences. Boston: L.C. Page, 1907.
  • Kings in Exile. London: Ward, Lock, 1908. – novel
  • The House in the Water. London: Ward, Lock, 1908.
  • The Backwoodsmen. New York: Macmillan, 1909.
  • More Kindred of the Wild. London: Ward, Lock, 1911.
  • Neighbours Unknown. London: Ward, Lock, 1910. New York: Macmillian, 1911. – short stories
  • Babes of the Wild. Warwick Reynolds illus. London: Cassell, 1912.
  • Children of the Wild. Paul Bramson illus. New York: Macmillan, 1913.
  • Hoof and Claw. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1913. New York: Macmillan, 1914. – short stories
  • The Secret Trails. New York: Macmillan, 1916.
  • The Ledge on Bald Face. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1918.
  • In the Morning of Time. London: Hutchinson, 1919. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, c1919.
  • The Secret Trails. New York: Macmillan, 1921. – short stories
  • Wisdom of the Wilderness. London, Toronto: J.M. Dent, 1922. New York: Macmillan, 1923.
  • They Who Walk in the Wilds. New York: Macmillan, 1924.
  • Further Animal Stories (1936) – short stories
  • When Twilight Falls on the Stump Lots (1945) – short stories
  • The Last Barrier and Other Stories. Alec Lucas ed. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1958.
  • The Vagrants of the Barren and Other Stories of Charles G.D. Roberts. Martin Ware ed. Ottawa: Tecumseh, 1992.


  • A History of Canada. Toronto: G.N. Morang, 1898.
  • The Canadian Guide-Book. New York: D. Appleton, 1898.
  • Discoveries and Explorations in the Century. London, Philadelphia: Linscott, 1904.
  • Canada in Flanders (1918) – non-fiction


  • Poems of Wild Life. London: W. Scott, 1888.
  • Canada Speaks of Britain and Other Poems of the War. Toronto: Ryerson, 1941.


  • Sir Charles G. D. Roberts papers. Charles George Douglas Roberts; Linda Dumbleton; Rose Mary Gibson. Kingston : Queen's University Archives, {c.1983}.
  • The Collected Letters of Sir Charles G.D. Roberts. Fredericton, NB: Goose Lane, 1989.

External links

  • Representative Poetry Online: Charles G.D. Roberts – Biography and 20 Poems (Ave! [An Ode for the Shelley Centenary 1892]; Bat, Bat, Come Under my Hat; Canada; The Cow Pasture; The Departing of Gluskâp; An Epitaph for a Husbandman; The Frosted Pane; The Great and Little Weavers; The Herring Weir; The Iceberg; In an Old Barn; Monition; O Earth Sufficing All our Needs; Philander's Song; The Potato Harvest; The Salt Flats; The Skater; The Solitary Woodsman; Tantramar Revisited; Twilight on Sixth Avenue at Ninth Street)
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