Lorne Pierce was born in Delta Ontario in 1890 and educated at Queen's University, Victoria University at the University of Toronto, Union Theological Seminary of New York and Wesleyan Theological College Montreal. He became a Methodist minister and later a minister of the United Church of Canada. In 1920 he was named literary advisor to Ryerson Press and served as its editor from 1922-1960. He died in 1961. Pierce was an ardent Canadian nationalist who encouraged Canadian writers such as Louis Dudek, E.J. Pratt, Earle Birney, and Dorothy Livesay. He was the first editor to accept a novel by Frederick Philip Grove (Settlers of the Marsh) in 1925. His collection of Canadian books, manuscripts and correspondence is deposited at Queen's University.
The true identity of Frederick Philip Grove (1879-1948) remained a mystery for many years, particularly since he wrote a fictional autobiography claiming Swedish parentage. He was born in Prussia in 1879 and was raised in Hamburg. Hampered by extensive financial debts, he fled to North America in 1909, working as an itinerant labourer. He became a school teacher in Manitoba, and retired in 1923 to devote more time to his writing. His publications include Over Prairie Trails (1922), Settlers of the Marsh (1925), A Search for America (1927), Our Daily Bread (1928), It Needs to Be Said (1929), Fruits of the Earth (1933), The Master of the Mill (1944), In Search of Myself (1946), and Consider Her Ways (1947).
Files 1-2 of this series consist of chronologically arranged photocopies of approximately 189 letters between Lorne Pierce and Frederick Philip Grove from 1925-1947, and between Pierce and Mrs. Grove. File 3 consists of chronologically arranged originals of three letters of correspondence between Lorne Pierce and Desmond Pacey.
Photocopies of the Lorne Pierce - Frederick Philip Grove correspondence were obtained from Queen's University to assist Dr. Pacey in his Grove research. In 1945 Pacey published Frederick Philip Grove: A Biography and Critical Study, published by Ryerson Press, and in 1970 he published Frederick Philip Grove: Critical Views of Canadian Writers. Pacey edited the 1971 publication Tales from the Margin: the Selected Short Stories of Frederick Philip Grove, and in 1975 he edited the Collected Letters of Frederick Philip Grove.
The correspondence between Pierce and Grove documents the publication history of many of Grove's works. Ryerson Press took over publication of Grove's complete works in 1938, and Grove frequently sought Pierce's critical evaluation of his manuscripts. Two of the letters in File 3 relate to publication of Pacey's Grove study in 1945. The third letter, dated 1957, relates to the Ryerson Press publication of Pacey's book Ten Canadian Poets. Pierce was Bliss Carman's literary executor, and in 1945 correspondence with Pacey he mentions Carman gifts which he donated to the UNB Library.
File titles are based on file contents.
The original correspondence documents from Files 1-2 are located at Queen's University Archives. Provenance for File 3 correspondence resides with the University of New Brunswick Archives.
Case 14 Lorne Pierce - Frederick Philip Grove correspondence File 1 Frederick Philip Grove correspondence to Lorne Pierce 28 Aug. 1925 - 21 August 1940. -- 1925-1926, 1936, 1938-1940, predominant 1938-1940. File 2 Frederick Philip Grove correspondence to Lorne Pierce 27 Aug. 1940 - 29 September 1947 / Mrs. Grove correspondence to 29 Mar. 1950. -- 1940-1950. File 3 Correspondence between Lorne Pierce and Desmond Pacey. -- 1945, 1957, predominant 1945.