James De Mille

James De MilleJames De Mille

NCL Biography:

{From Series Three A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder]

The facts of James De Mille’s life are surprisingly obscure, and many reference books are in error regarding his dates. The best evidence is that he was born on August, 23, 1833,in Saint John, N.B. and died on January 28, 1880. He was educated at Acadia University, and travelled in the British Isles and Europe before completing his studies at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. After making and unsuccessful attempt to sell books in Saint John, he taught classics at Acadia University for four years. He moved from there to Dalhousie, where he taught English literature until his death.

De Mille wrote voluminously, producing about thirty books during the forty-six years of his life.  These included historical fiction, and humorous and satirical novels of travels and manners such as The Dodge Club; or , Italy in MDCCLVIII (New York, 1869), and The Lady of the Ice (New York, 1870) which is set in Quebec. He also wrote a half-dozen adventure-stories for boys, set against the background of the Nova Scotian coast and countryside.

A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder (New York, 1888), published posthumously, is his most remarkable and yet most neglected novel. Also published after his death was Behind the Veil (1893), a long poem edited by Archibald MacMechan.

Books in the NCL:

A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder [N68]

Leave a Reply