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Will R. Bird Bibliography

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About the bibliography

In January 1984 one of Canada's most prolific authors passed from the literary scene. Will R. Bird devoted much of his ninety-three years to the art of story-telling, through his books, short stories and articles. He achieved major successes in the genres of historical fiction and war stories. His accomplishments were acknowledged by an honorary doctorate from Mount Allison University and awards from the University of Alberta and the Canadian Authors' Association. He was the recipient of the Ryerson Fiction Award in 1945 and 1947.

Bird's first stories appeared in the Halifax weekly Sunday Leader in 1923. By the 1930's they were appearing regularly in many Canadian popular magazines and newspapers such as the Family Herald & Weekly Star, the Toronto Star Weekly, and the Maritime Advocate and Busy East. His stories were also published in the United States, Australia and Europe.

Bird's first substantive work was a history of the region in which his ancestry was deeply rooted. A Century at Chignecto was published in 1928 by Ryerson Press in Toronto. His involvement in World War I and his subsequent re-visit to the battlefields in 1931 precipitated a number of titles bearing witness to his wartime experiences. The first works in this genre, And We Go On and Private Timothy Fergus Clancy, were published in 1930. He concluded his military themes with Ghosts Have Warm Hands, published in 1968.

Bird is widely known for his historical fiction which was steeped in the traditions and lore of Nova Scotia. His first novel Maid of the Marshes was privately published in 1933. Many of his later novels, published by Ryerson Press, were themed around the Yorkshire settlers who emigrated to the Chignecto Isthmus on the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border in the 1770's.

Arthur M. Smith, Librarian


This bibliography was compiled by Arthur M. Smith. The bibliography was not created by or on behalf of Mount Allison University. The responsibility for its content rests solely with the bibliography's creator.

© 2006 Mount Allison University Libraries and Archives