Celebrating Carleton County Storytelling

Connell House Hosts the Release of Two More George Frederick Clarke Books

Carleton County Historical Society and Chapel Street Editions will host an evening for celebrating the storytelling art of George Frederick Clarke at Connell House on Thursday October 20th at 7 PM. Clarke lived his whole life in Woodstock and became one of New Brunswick’s best-known authors. He wrote and published thirteen books.

Two more of Clarke’s books have now been republished and will be featured in the evening’s presentations. Clarke wrote two books about a young boy named Jimmy-Why - The Adventures of Jimmy-Why and Noël and Jimmy-Why. They became best sellers and Canadian classics.

Chapel Street Editions has now republished these books in one volume, complete with the original illustrations. The new edition is titled, Jimmy-Why and Noël Polchies: Their Adventures in the Great Woods.

Song of the Reel is the other newly republished Clarke book. This internationally famous Canadian fishing classic is a companion volume to Six Salmon Rivers and Another. Both books are packed with stories of fishing, interesting people, and the love of outdoor living in the woods and on the water. Six Salmon Rivers was republished in 2015

Clarke’s books are of enduring interest because he is such a good storyteller. Good storytelling is one of Carleton County’s valued traditions, and the event at Connell House on the 20th will feature Ian Bernard, Clarke’s grandson, sharing his own New Brunswick stories and reading selections from his grandfather’s books.

In addition, the evening will provide an opportunity for others to share their stories about George Frederick Clarke, his books, and his times. Many people in Carleton County remember reading his books and still have the original editions on their shelves.

New from The George Frederick Clarke Project

Now Available

Chapel Street Editions has republished two more George Frederick Clarke books. Song of the Reel, the second of his much loved fishing memoirs. (Six Salmon Rivers was republished in the fall of 2015.) Clarke’s fishing books are much more than memoirs. They are books in which his talent for natural and local history story telling is also amply demonstrated. Since republishing Six Salmon Rivers, local anglers have told us they re-read Clarke’s fishing books every winter. These are the kind of readers authors hope for. These are the kind of books that should be kept in print.

 

The second book now available is Jimmy-Why & Noël Polchies: Their Adventures in the Great Woods, a one-volume compilation of Clarke’s Jimmy-Why stories for children. Originally published in two volumes as The Adventures of Jimmy-Why and Noël and Jimmy-Why, these books recount the experience of a young boy as he learns the ways of the great woods and woodland living. While written as fiction, we know that one of the main characters, Noël Polchies, was a  First Nation person who appears in the stories in his own name. We also know that in real life Noël was a mentor to a young Fred Clarke. This is, perhaps, why the stories ring so true.

Available Nov. 17th

In November of 2016, an expanded edition of Clarke’s famous book on his archaeological work in the St. John River watershed, Someone Before Us, will be republished. It will have an Afterword by Professor David Black of the University of New Brunswick’s Anthropology Department, which holds Clarke’s extensive collection of artefacts. It will also include an expanded section of new photographs showing notable examples of Aboriginal tools Dr. Clarke found and unearthed during his pioneering archaeological digs. Clarke had written an archaeological monograph but it was lost in fire before it could be published. Fortunately, he returned to this story late in life and produced Someone Before Us, a wide-ranging memoir and collection of stories from his archaeological explorations.

Join us for a book launch of Someone Before Us on December 1st at the Harriet Irving Library in Fredericton.

New Poetry from Chapel Street Editions

Thanks to all who attended the launch event at Westminster Books on June 9th for Jane Tims and Edith Miller. Over 50 people joined us to enjoy readings from their new collections of poetry.

within easy reach is a collection of poems by Jane Spavold Tims about gathering local foods. The poems capture the experience of harvesting edible wild plants and foods produced in gardens, orchards, and apiaries. The poems also explore our relationship with nature. They seek to re-establish our connection with nature in the most basic of ways, through growing and gathering our food.

Jane Spavold Tims is a botanist, historian, artist and writer. She was born and raised in southern Alberta and now lives in rural New Brunswick. She obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax and later returned to university to obtain a B.A. in anthropology and history at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. During her career she worked in environmental protection, in the fields of air quality, watershed management, and community planning.

Visit Jane's blog here: janetims.com

All poets write about their experience of the great world and the themes are never exhausted. In Crow Impressions Edith Miller’s crows command the page; they are accompanied by other birds, various animals, landscapes, music, history, and family. She opens windows on her unique story.  In celebration, narrative, and elegy she bears witness to the common wealth of life.

 

From the Foreword by Thelma Ann Brennan

Welcome to the poetry of Edith Hoisington Miller. Through her book, Crow Impressions & Other Poems, we travel through Edith Miller’s life, a journey lived to the fullest through family stories, travel adventures, nature, music, and history. In her poetry, we discover a writer who has spent her life as a quiet observer, but, at the same time, deeply engaged in natural and cultural environments. Her poems carry the themes of her existence, from one to the other, none more important than another, all presented in clear, sharp images.

The George Frederick Clarke Project: 2016 Update

Chapel Street Editions is set to republish two more George Frederick Clarke books. Song of the Reel, the second of his much loved fishing memoirs, will appear in the spring(delayed until late summer) of 2016 (Six Salmon Rivers was republished in the fall of 2015.) Clarke’s fishing books are much more than memoirs. They are books in which his talent for natural and local history story telling is also amply demonstrated. Since republishing Six Salmon Rivers, local anglers have told us they re-read Clarke’s fishing books every winter. These are the kind of readers authors hope for. These are the kind of books that should be kept in print.

The second book scheduled for Spring(delayed until late summer) 2016 is Jimmy-Why & Noël Polchies: Their Adventures in the Great Woods, a one-volume compilation of Clarke’s Jimmy-Why stories for children. Originally published in two volumes as The Adventures of Jimmy-Why and Noël and Jimmy-Why, these books recount the experience of a young boy as he learns the ways of the great woods and woodland living. While written as fiction, we know that one of the main characters, Noël Polchies, was a real First Nation person who appears in the stories in his own name. We also know that in real life Noël was a mentor to a young Fred Clarke. This is, perhaps, why the stories ring so true.

Original cover of
Someone Before Us
In November of 2016, an expanded edition of Clarke’s famous book on his archaeological work in the St. John River watershed, Someone Before Us, will be republished. It will have a new introduction by Professor David Black of the University of New Brunswick’s Anthropology Department, which holds Clarke’s extensive collection of artefacts. It will also include an expanded section of new photographs showing notable examples of Aboriginal tools Dr. Clarke found and unearthed during his pioneering archaeological digs. Clarke had written an archaeological monograph but it was lost in fire before it could be published. Fortunately, he returned to this story late in life and produced Someone Before Us, a wide-ranging memoir and collection of stories from his archaeological explorations.

In 2017, CSE expects to republish George Frederick Clarke’s three adventure novels set in the Canadian wilderness: Chris in Canada, David Cameron’s Adventures, and The Young Fur Trappers.

Thank You to our Generous Supporters

Chapel Street Editions gratefully acknowledges the enthusiastic support of Stuart Kinney for the George Frederick Clarke Project and his professional and personal assistance in bringing it to fruition. In addition, we are grateful for the financial assistance provided by the following members of the Woodstock, New Brunswick community for the Project’s book publication programme.

Stephen Thornton  •  Michael & Ann Campbell  • Tann Papers   Stuart Kinney & Gloria Yachyshen • John & Lois Thompson  Woodstock Duty Free Shop / John Slipp

Publications of The George Frederick Clarke Project

The Last Romantic: The Life of George Frederick Clarke, Master Storyteller of New Brunswick by Mary Bernard The Ghost of Nackawick Portage: The Collected Short Stories of George Frederick Clarke edited with an introduction by Mary Bernard Six Salmon Rivers and Another by George Frederick Clarke, Fourth Edition, edited with an introduction by Mary Bernard

The Last Romantic: The Life of George Frederick Clarke, Master Storyteller of New Brunswick by Mary Bernard.

The Ghost of Nackawick Portage: The Collected Short Stories of George Frederick Clarke, edited by Mary Bernard.

Six Salmon Rivers and Another by George Frederick Clarke,
Fourth Edition, edited by Mary Bernard.

George Frederick Clarke (1883-1974) was once New Brunswick's best known writer, publishing thirteen books and dozens of short stories. Mary Bernard, Clarke's granddaughter, has written a comprehensive biography of his life and times, and is editing his books for republication over the next several years.

The Last Romantic is a biography, the story of a remarkable New Brunswick family, and a cultural portrait of the times. It includes two sixteen-page inserts of historical photographs. Martin Silverstone, editor of the Atlantic Salmon Journal writes in his review; "Mary Bernard ... weaves a riveting tale. Her book is ... in one word, enthralling."

The Ghost of Nackawick Portage collects stories published in magazines between 1908 and 1938, along with the original illustrations. These stories have not previously been published in book form. The illustrations alone make this an unusual book; combined with Clarke's lively and adventurous stories, the book has the makings of a New Brunswick and Canadian classic.

Six Salmon Rivers and Another is Clarke's best-loved fishing book, still read and re-read by those who love salmon fishing and the magic allure of life along the storied rivers of New Brunswick. When first published in 1960, Lord Tweedsmuir wrote in the Journal of the Flyfisher's Club (England); "This book deserves to rank as Canada's salmon fishing classic and to have a place among all salmon fishing literature." The fourth edition includes nineteen new pages of restored photographs.

Mary Bernard spent her summers with her grandparents in Woodstock, NB from the time she was four until after high school. She then attended the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. She is a photographer, novelist, and Clarke family archivist. The George Frederick Clarke Project will develop its publication programme under her editorial direction.

The George Frederick Clarke Project will be launched on September 17th at Connell House in Woodstock, and continue with a series of ten additional book events through October 8th. Events are scheduled from Florenceville-Bristol to Saint John and out to Doaktown and St. Andrews.

Mary Bernard, now living in Cambridge, England, will be in New Brunswick for these book launch events. She will be speaking about her grandfather and his contribution to New Brunswick and Canada's literary heritage and will read selections from the books. All three books will be available at these events.

Chapel Street Editions is a non-profit company dedicated to cultural and natural history publishing with a primary focus on the heritage of the Western Valley Region of New Brunswick.

The George Frederick Clarke Project
Fall 2015 Book Launch Report

From September 17th through October 8th, 2015, author and editor Mary Bernard toured New Brunswick speaking about her grandfather, George Frederick Clarke, and reading selections from her biography The Last Romantic, the newly published collection of stories by Clarke The Ghost of Nackawick Portage, and the new fourth edition of the classic Six Salmon Rivers and Another.

Mary began the tour with an overflow crowd at Connell House in Woodstock and continued with ten more successful events throughout the region including venues in Frederiction, Florenceville, Doaktown, Chamcook, Nackawic, Hartland, and Saint John.

Mary was joined at some events by Clarke family members. Her brother Ian Bernard, cousin Stephen Homer, and husband Ian Fleming took turns reading from all the books.

Chapel Street Editions would like to thank everyone who attended all these events. Mary is very pleased to have seen so many old friends, made some new ones, and to have found the legacy of her grandfather firmly rooted in his home, alive and already inherited by the next generation.

The George Frederick Clarke Project will continue to promote this important legacy. Over the next few years all of Clarke's writings will be republished. In the spring of 2016 new editions of Song of the Reel, Someone Before Us, and both Jimmy-Why books will come back into print. Watch this page for more information.

Photographs from the tour.

Mary Bernard and Chapel Street Editions would also like to thank all the venues that hosted The George Frederick Clarke Project Fall Book Tour. Their support is invaluable and very much appreciated.

  • Connell House
  • Harriet Irving Library, University of New Brunswick
  • Andrew & Laura McCain Library
  • Westminster Books
  • Atlantic Salmon Museum
  • Atlantic Salmon Federation Wild Salmon Nature Centre
  • Nackawic Public Library
  • Fredericton Public Library
  • Dr. Walter Chestnut Public Library
  • Saint John Free Public Library, Market Square
  • L. P. Fisher Library