1980 May 10 - Thomson story

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1980 May 10 - Thomson story - Thomson takes new twist By Julie Van Dusen FP...
Thomson takes new twist By Julie Van Dusen FP NEWS SERVICE On July 8, 1917, Tom Thomson, the enigmatic Canadian landscape artist and harbinger of the Group of Seven, drowned mysteriously in Algonquin Park's Canoe Lake. Because Thomson was an expert guide and outdoorsman, his death has been subject to much speculation over the years. Now, an absorbing new facet in this inconclusive mystery emerges in an exciting first novel by Ottawa journalist journalist Roy MacGregor. Currently a writer with Maclean's magazine and winner of two ACTRA awards for writing, MacGregor was raised in the Algonquin Park area, and spent six years researching the book. The story is based on a report by an unidentified witness that Thomson, secretly engaged, was being pressured pressured into marriage by a pregnant fiancee. The existence of a letter to Thomson by the woman is suggested, in which she insists that the artist collect a debt owed to him by an area man. The reclaiming of this fund would make it possible for Thomson to marry. The artist allegedly had to fight for the money, and was knocked unconscious. When all efforts to revive him failed, he was disposed of, and the . drowning was made to appear accidental. accidental. The scenario differs sharply from Roy MacGregor story SHORELINES By Roy MacGregor. McClelland & Stewart. 298 pages. $13.95 the accepted theories of Thomson's death, and MacGregor's fictionalized account unfolds in an imaginative and suspense-filled suspense-filled suspense-filled way. The year is 1961, and a middle-aged middle-aged middle-aged Toronto woman's instinctive suspicion that she is adopted is confirmed by her dying mother. Gathering the tenuous details from a maudlin aunt, Eleanor Philpott laboriously pieces together the fascinating account o'f a complicated complicated love affair. Her lengthy investigation persuades her that Tom Thomson could well have been her father, and that his reputed fiancee, Janet Turner, still resides in a small Ontario town. Eleanor's endeavor to prove her hypothesis hypothesis develops Into a series of memorable character portrayals by the ' author. MacGregor not only creates several vivid personalities, but uses the Thomson story as a vehicle to outline some universal proclamations of the human condition. condition. Devil within Eleanor discovers an elderly woman who may be her mother, and is confronted confronted by the town eccentric, Russell Pemberton, who allegedly competed with Thomson for his mother's love. Russell acts as an Intermediary and through his memories we are at Canoe Lake, witnesses to the unfolding drama. Although the novel revolves around Thomson's life and mysterious death, , he is not the story's main character, but appears intermittently in an evocative, evocative, rather than concrete, manner. manner. Thomson Is portrayed as an 1 irascible irascible Individual, prone to fits of depression. depression. His love of art Is shown as the means by which he placates the devil within, and gives purpose to a turbulent turbulent existence. The reader can definitely count on an Intriguing and often humorous narrative, vivid characterization and a net result that Is eminently readable. readable. One hopes it is only the beginning beginning of Roy MacGregor's career as a novelist

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal10 May 1980, SatPage 65

The Ottawa Journal (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)10 May 1980, SatPage 65
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  • 1980 May 10 - Thomson story

    tyoung4269 – 07 Dec 2014

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