The themes William Henry Drummond wrote about
- steel arms
William Henry Drummond is an Irish-born Canadian poet whose humorous dialect poems made him "one of the most popular authors in the English-speaking world," and "one of the most widely-read and loved poets" in Canada."His first book of poetry, The Habitant (1897), was extremely successful, establishing for him a reputation as a writer of dialect verse that has faded since his death."
He was born near Mohill, County Leitrim, Ireland in 1854, as William Henry Drumm, the oldest of four sons of George Drumm and Elizabeth Morris Soden. The family emigrated to Canada in 1864, settling in Montreal. George Drummon died in 1866, leaving the family facing poverty. Mrs. Drumm opened a store, and the boys all delivered newspapers. When he was 14, William was apprenticed as a telegraph operator. He trained and worked at L'Abord-à-Plouffe on the Lake of Two Mountains, "a Quebec lumber town where he had his first encounters with the habitants and voyageurs who were to inspire (and even to preoccupy) the poet." In 1875 (when he was 21, legally the head of the household), he changed the family name to Drummond.
In 1876, Drummond went back to high school. He then studied medicine (unsuccessfully) at McGill College and (successfully) at Bishop's College. After interning in 1885, he practised medicine first in the Eastern Townships and then in Montreal starting in 1888. He became professor of hygiene at Bishop's in 1893, and of medical jurisprudence in 1894. In 1894, Drummond married Miss May Harvey, of Savanna-la-Mar, Jamaica. Their first child was born in 1895, but died just hours after birth. "Their second son, Charles Barclay, was born in July 1897, just before the publication of The habitant and other French-Canadian poems, the volume that transformed Drummond into one of the most popular authors in the English-speaking world."
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