Rev. Dr. Charles William Gordon, or Ralph Connor, (September 13, 1860 – October 31, 1937) was a Canadian novelist, using the Connor pen name while maintaining his status as a Church leader, first in the Presbyterian and later the United churches in Canada. Gordon was also at one time a master at Upper Canada College. He sold more than five million copies of his works in his lifetime, and some of his works are still in print.
Gordon was born in Glengarry County, Ontario, the son of Rev. Daniel Gordon (1822–1910) and Mary Robertson Gordon (d. 1890). His father was a Free Church of Scotland Missionary in Upper Canada. The family moved from Glengarry to Harrington, Oxford County, Ontario when he was a youth. Like many other young men in the area, Gordon went to Toronto to study at University of Toronto. He then attended Knox College and graduated with distinction in 1886.
Gordon became interested in writing during his student days at the University of Toronto. He published his first novel, Black Rock, in 1898. While the book was moderately successful in Canada, his second novel, The Sky Pilot, gained him international attention in 1899 and sold more than 1,000,000 copies. The Sky Pilot, like many of his works, was a frontier adventure with strong themes of morality and justice. He continued to write until his death in 1937. His autobiography, Postscript to Adventure was penned in his final year and published posthumously in 1938.
Gordon/Connor wrote from a distinctive Canadian point of view, quite apart from US or UK writers of the period. He is an interesting author to read and I plan on posting several more of his works in the near future.
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