Famous 19th Century Canadian Writers

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Lucy Maud Montgomery
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Birthdate: November 30, 1874
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New London, Canada
Died: April 24, 1942
Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery is best remembered for her iconic novel Anne of Green Gables and its sequels. She had also authored countless short stories, poems, and essays. Most of her novels are set in her native Prince Edward Island. She was honored with the OBE.
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John McCrae
(Poet and Soldier Best Known as the Author of War Memorial Poem 'In Flanders Fields')
John McCrae
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Birthdate: November 30, 1872
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Died: January 28, 1918

Best known for his iconic war poems such as In Flanders Fields, Canadian poet John McCrae was also an army physician. He was the first Canadian to serve as a consulting surgeon for the British Army and had earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Army.

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Grey Owl
(Writer, Novelist)
Grey Owl
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Birthdate: September 18, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hastings
Died: April 13, 1938
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Stephen Leacock
(Canadian writer)
Stephen Leacock
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Birthdate: December 30, 1869
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Swanmore, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Died: March 28, 1944
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Nellie McClung
(Writer, Human rights activist, Politician)
Nellie McClung
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Birthdate: October 20, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chatsworth, Ontario, Canada
Died: September 1, 1951

Canadian author and social reformer Nellie McClung had struck gold with her first novel, Sowing Seeds in Danny, a bestseller. She also spoke widely about woman suffrage and was part of the Alberta legislature. She was part of The Famous Five, a group of women who launched the Persons Case.

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Robert W. Service
(Poet & Writer)
Robert W. Service
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Birthdate: January 16, 1874
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Preston, Lancashire, England
Died: September 11, 1958

Robert W. Service was a British-Canadian poet and writer. Popularly called "the Bard of the Yukon," he wrote some of the most commercially successful poetry of his era. A bank clerk by profession, he often wrote while traveling for work. Besides poetry, he also wrote fiction and non-fiction. He was often compared to English writer and novelist Rudyard Kipling. 

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Winsor McCay
(Cartoonist, Animator, Screenwriter, Science fiction writer)
Winsor McCay
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Birthdate: September 26, 1869
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Canada
Died: July 26, 1934

Winsor McCay was an American animator and cartoonist. McCay is best remembered for creating the popular fictional character Little Nemo, who originated in a comic strip titled Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. Winsor McCay is credited with pioneering several animation techniques, such as inbetweening and cycling. An early animation pioneer, Winsor McCay’s work has influenced generations of illustrators and cartoonists. 

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Egerton Ryerson
(Educator, minister known for Championing free schooling in Canada, influence in the design of the Canadian Indian residential school system)
Egerton Ryerson
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Birthdate: March 24, 1803
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Walsh, Canada
Died: February 19, 1882
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Ernest Thompson Seton
(American Author, Wildlife Artist, Founder of the 'Woodcraft Indians' and Founding Pioneer of the 'Boy Scouts of America')
Ernest Thompson Seton
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Birthdate: August 14, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: South Shields, County Durham, England
Died: October 23, 1946

Ernest Thompson Seton was a wildlife artist and author. He is credited with founding a youth program called the Woodcraft Indians in 1902. A pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America, Seton also had a huge influence on the founder of the Scout Movement, Lord Baden-Powell. His life and career inspired several works of art like TV series and literature.

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Simon Newcomb
(Astronomer, Mathematician, Economist, Novelist, Writer, Teacher, University teacher, Science fiction writer)
Simon Newcomb
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Birthdate: March 12, 1835
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nova Scotia
Died: July 11, 1909

Initially a herbalist’s apprentice, Simon Newcomb later deviated to mathematics and astronomy. Born to a schoolteacher, he had loved math since age 5 but wasn’t formally educated. He later joined Harvard University, taught math at the US Navy, detected locations of celestial bodies, and wrote a science-fiction novel, too.

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Fannie Farmer
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Birthdate: March 23, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: January 15, 1915
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William Guy Carr
(Writer, Submariner)
William Guy Carr
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Birthdate: June 2, 1895
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Formby
Died: October 2, 1959
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Susanna Moodie
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Birthdate: December 6, 1803
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bungay, England
Died: April 8, 1885

English-Canadian writer Susanna Moodie is best known for her realistic depictions of her life in “the bush” or the wilderness of Canada, which was a British colony back in her time. Her most popular work remains Roughing it in the Bush. She had initially also penned several children’s stories.

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Thomas D'Arcy McGee
(Former Member of the Canadian Parliament for Montreal West (1867 - 1868))
Thomas D'Arcy McGee
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Birthdate: April 13, 1825
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Carlingford, Ireland
Died: April 7, 1868

Thomas D'Arcy McGee was an Irish-Canadian politician, Catholic spokesman, journalist, and poet. As a young man, he opposed British rule in Ireland and was in favor of creating an independent Irish Republic. He later became conservative in his beliefs and moved to Canada. He helped create the Canadian Confederation in 1867 but was assassinated the following year.  

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Hal Foster
(Writer)
Hal Foster
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Birthdate: August 16, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Halifax Regional Municipality, Canada
Died: July 25, 1982

Hal Foster was a Canadian-American writer and comic strip artist. He is best remembered for creating the popular comic strip Prince Valiant, which is a fine example of Foster's dexterous, detailed artwork. His work had a major influence on the younger generation of artists like Joe Kubert. In 1996, Foster was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.

Pauline Johnson
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Birthdate: March 10, 1861
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation
Died: March 7, 1913
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Duncan Campbell Scott
(Poet, Writer, Civil servant)
Duncan Campbell Scott
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Birthdate: August 2, 1862
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ottawa
Died: December 19, 1947

Duncan Campbell Scott was a Canadian writer, poet, and civil servant. He is regarded as one of Canada's Confederation Poets. As a civil servant, he served as deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs. In this position, he supported the implementation of racist policies toward Canada's First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.  

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Émile Nelligan
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Birthdate: December 24, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: November 18, 1941
Émile Nelligan was French-Canada’s one of the most beloved and admired poets. A hugely talented poet, Nelligan's literary career was short-lived as he was sent to mental asylum aged 20. He took French-Canadian poetry into the modern age and poetry inspired several music composers. His poems have become the subject of numerous films, novels, and a ballet and an opera. 
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Mazo de la Roche
(Canadian Author Known for Her 'Jalna' Family Saga Novels)
Mazo de la Roche
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Birthdate: January 15, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newmarket, Canada
Died: July 12, 1961
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Jacob Viner
(Economist)
Jacob Viner
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Birthdate: May 3, 1892
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: September 12, 1970

Born in Canada, Jacob Viner earned his PhD from Harvard before teaching at the University of Chicago. He later taught at Yale and Stanford, too, before moving to Princeton. Best remembered for his theories of international trade and cost, he had also been as advisor to Franklin Roosevelt’s government.

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Thomas B. Costain
(Journalist)
Thomas B. Costain
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Birthdate: May 8, 1885
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brantford, Canada
Died: October 8, 1965
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Mary MacLane
(Writer)
Mary MacLane
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Birthdate: May 1, 1881
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada
Died: August 6, 1929
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Bliss Carman
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Birthdate: April 15, 1861
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fredericton
Died: June 8, 1929

Bliss Carman was a Canadian poet whose works earned him international recognition. His poem, Autumn ,inspired Leo Sowerby to write Comes Autumn Time, which became his best-known organ piece. Throughout his illustrious career, Carman was honored with many prestigious awards like the Royal Society of Canada's Lorne Pierce Gold Medal. During his later years, Carman served as Canada's poet laureate.

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E. J. Pratt
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Birthdate: February 4, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newfoundland Colony, Canada
Died: April 26, 1964

E. J. Pratt was a Canadian poet who won the Governor General's Award, Canada's top poetry prize, on three occasions. Regarded as the most important Canadian poet of his generation, Pratt is also considered the leading Canadian poet of the first half of the 20th century. During his career, he also won other prestigious awards like the Canada Council Medal.

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Jacob Dolson Cox
(Statesman)
Jacob Dolson Cox
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Birthdate: October 27, 1828
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: August 4, 1900

Apart from being a lawyer and a war historian, Jacob Dolson Cox had served as the governor of Ohio and as a US representative from Ohio's 6th district. During the American Civil War, he was a Union general. As the Secretary of the Interior, he introduced a civil service merit system.

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F. R. Scott
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Birthdate: August 1, 1899
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Quebec City, Canada
Died: January 30, 1985
F. R. Scott, was a Canadian poet and intellectual whose work spans law, literature, and politics. Canada's top literary prize, the Governor General's Award, was bestowed upon him twice. Scott was part of the Montreal Group of poets and helped shape modernist poetry in Canada. Besides poetry, he was known for his political activism, and his authority on constitutional law.
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Catharine Parr Traill
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Birthdate: January 9, 1802
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Southwark, England
Died: August 29, 1899

Catharine Parr Traill moved from England to Canada after her marriage and soon became one of the greatest authors of children’s and settlers’ literature of her time. Her writings reflected the charm of the Canadian countryside. Her letters to her mother in England were collated in The Backwoods of Canada.

Charles G. D. Roberts
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Birthdate: January 10, 1860
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Douglas, New Brunswick, Canada
Died: November 26, 1943
Known as the Father of Canadian Poetry, Charles George Douglas Roberts was a remarkable poet and prose writer. Besides poetry, he published various works on natural history, travel, verse, and fiction. He served as an inspiration for various Canadian poets of his time, including his cousin Bliss Carman, Duncan Campbell Scott, and Archibald Lampman.
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Thomas Chandler Haliburton
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Birthdate: December 17, 1796
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Windsor, Canada
Died: August 27, 1865
Archibald Lampman
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Archibald Lampman was a 19th-century Canadian poet considered to be the most outstanding exponent of the Canadian school of nature poets. He is often referred to as the “Canadian Keats” and classified as one of Canada's Confederation Poets. He was a quiet and dignified person with high ideals. He passed away at the age of just 37. 

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Robert Stanley Weir
(Former judge and poet most famous for writing the English lyrics to "O Canada", the national anthem of Canada.)
Robert Stanley Weir
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Birthdate: November 15, 1856
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hamilton, Canada
Died: August 20, 1926

Robert Stanley Weir was a Canadian judge and poet. He is best known for writing the English lyrics to the national anthem of Canada, O Canada. He was trained as a teacher and lawyer. Over the course of his successful legal career, he was appointed a municipal court judge. He published several poems in magazines and book collections. 

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Annie Louisa Walker
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Annie Louisa Walker was an English and Canadian teacher and author. Born in England, she moved to Canada as a young girl. She ran a school with her sisters and also embarked on a literary career. With the help of her second cousin, prominent writer Margaret Oliphant, she was able to build a successful career as a novelist. 

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Isaiah Bowman
(Geographer)
Isaiah Bowman
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Birthdate: December 26, 1878
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Waterloo, Canada
Died: January 6, 1950
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Charles Fenerty
(Inventor)
Charles Fenerty
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Birthdate: 1821
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Upper Sackville, Canada
Died: June 10, 1892

Charles Fenerty was a 19th-century Canadian inventor and poet. He is best remembered for inventing the wood pulp process for paper-making. His invention did not receive much attention in his lifetime and he never took out a patent on it. He was well known as a poet and published numerous poems. He was an extensive traveler as well. 

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Ralph Connor
(Novelist)
Ralph Connor
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Birthdate: September 13, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glengarry County, Ontario
Died: October 31, 1937
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Maria Monk
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Birthdate: June 27, 1816
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canada
Died: 1849 AD
William Wilfred Campbell
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Birthdate: June 1, 1860
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newmarket, Canada
Died: January 1, 1918

A versatile writer and poet, William Wilfred Campbell began writing poems while in college, continuing to do so while serving as Episcopal priest, publishing his first two books of poems during this period. Later, he gave up his post due to a crisis of faith and continued with his writing, regularly publishing volumes of verses, verse dramas, fictions and non-fictions.

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Frederick Philip Grove
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Birthdate: February 14, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Radomno, Poland
Died: September 9, 1948
William Henry Drummond
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Birthdate: April 13, 1854
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mohill, Ireland
Died: April 6, 1907

William Henry Drummond was a Canadian poet whose works established him as one of the most famous writers in the West. He is also counted among the most loved and widely-read Canadian poets. The Dr. William Henry Drummond Poetry Contest, which was established in 1970, is conducted in his honor.

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James De Mille
(Professor)
James De Mille
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Birthdate: August 23, 1833
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint John, Canada
Died: January 28, 1880
Isabella Valancy Crawford
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Birthdate: September 25, 1846
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 12, 1887

Isabella Valancy Crawford was a Canadian poet and writer. The author of Malcolm's Katie, a popular poem held in high regard in the history of Canadian poetry, Crawford is widely regarded as Canada's first major poet. She made a living using her skills as a freelance writer, one of the first Canadians to do so.

Sir Gilbert Parker, 1st Baronet
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Birthdate: November 23, 1862
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Camden East, Canada
Died: September 6, 1932
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Octave Crémazie
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Birthdate: April 16, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Quebec City, Canada
Died: January 16, 1879

Octave Crémazie was a French-Canadian bookseller and poet who played a major role in Quebec's cultural development. Often referred to as the father of French Canadian poetry, Crémazie is best remembered for his patriotic verse. Octave Crémazie is credited with founding an organization called Institut canadien, which aimed at promoting French-Canadian culture.

François-Xavier Garneau
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Birthdate: June 15, 1809
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Quebec City, Canada
Died: February 3, 1866

François-Xavier Garneau was a French Canadian notary, civil servant, poet, and liberal. Garneau is remembered for his contribution to the French-Canadian community, including Histoire du Canada, a three-volume historical account of the French Canadian nation. The Canadian Historical Association created the François-Xavier Garneau Medal, which is given every five years in his honor.

Louis-Honoré Fréchette
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Birthdate: November 16, 1839
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Levis, Canada
Died: May 31, 1908

Louis-Honoré Fréchette was a Canadian poet, playwright, short story writer, and politician. Fréchette is the first Quebecer to be honored with the prestigious Montyon Prize, which he received for his work, Les Fleurs boréales, les oiseaux de neige. In 1989, Canada Post honored his contribution by issuing a postage stamp featuring his portrait.

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Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé
(French-Canadian author)
Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé
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Birthdate: October 30, 1786
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Quebec, Canada
Died: January 29, 1871
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John Richardson
(Novelist)
John Richardson
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Birthdate: October 4, 1796
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Queenston, Ontario, Canada
Died: May 12, 1852
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Matheson Lang
(Canadian-born Actor and Playwright)
Matheson Lang
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Birthdate: May 15, 1879
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: April 11, 1948

Matheson Lang was a Canadian-born actor and playwright. He is best remembered for playing important roles in William Shakespeare's plays like Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet. Matheson Lang was one of the first theatre stars to appear in a film in 1916.

Antoine Gérin-Lajoie
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Birthdate: August 4, 1824
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yamachiche, Canada
Died: August 7, 1882

Antoine Gérin-Lajoie was a Québécois Canadian novelist, poet, and attorney. He is credited with writing one of Canada's most famous poems, Un Canadien errant. Antoine Gérin-Lajoie is also credited with founding a couple of literature magazines, namely Le Foyer canadien and Les Soirées canadiennes.

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Arthur R.M. Lower
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Birthdate: August 12, 1889
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Barrie, Canada
Died: January 7, 1988