Charles G.D Roberts (1860-1943) was a poet and prose writer. After a childhood in New Brunswick, he became a heralded poet who later turned to fiction, writing an extensive series of animal stories and pioneering a genre that remains popular today. His works include Eyes of the Wilderness, The Vagrant of Time, and Earth's Enigmas. Roberts spent the last years of his life in Toronto, where he died.
The Kindred of the Wild
Charles G.D. Robertsâ€™s fame rests on a series of very popular animal stories.
Charles G.D. Roberts was a distinguished writer of his time who published more than forty volumes of poetry, romance fiction, and nature writing â€“ making him one of the most popular writers of his time. He pioneered the animal story in which he went beyond surface elements of nature and endowed his animal "characters" with qualities of feeling and intelligence that brought them closer to their human cousins. Robertsâ€™ career as a writer transcended his Canadian roots and he was internationally known and popular in America and England.
What was particularly appreciated by his readers was Robertsâ€™ close observation of nature and his efforts to endow animals with emotions and understand their mental processes. By 1932, Kindred of the Wild had been re-issued twenty-three times, attesting to its ongoing appeal. Roberts was knighted for his contribution to literature and his services in the Allied cause in the First World War.
James Polk has written on animal story writers in articles, reviews, and a book, Wilderness Writers. He was publishing policy adviser in the Ontario government and is the author of a novel, short stories, and a play. He lives in Toronto.