[From Series Two Habitant Poems]
William Henry Drummond was born in Ireland in 1854, and ten years later emigrated with his parents to Canada, where the family settled in a suburb of Montreal. Shortly afterwards, the father, an officer in the Royal Irish Constabulary, died, and young Drummond had to leave school to and work as a telegraph operator to help his struggling family. Some time later he re-entered high school and was able to continue his education at McGill University and Bishop’s College Medical School where he was granted his M.D. in 1884, and where he later became Professor of Medical Jurisprudence. Thus his career as a family doctor of the old school began and the knowledge of human nature which he acquired from his experiences with the habitants of Quebec who were his patients soon found expression in his dialect poems.
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