Scott, Frederick George 1861-1944

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

SCOTT, Frederick George 1861-1944

PERSONAL: Born April 7, 1861, in Montréal, Québec, Canada; died January 19, 1944; married Amy Brook, April 27, 1887; children: seven. Education: Bishop's College, Québec, B.A., 1881, M.A., 1884; studied theology at King's College, London, 1882-83. Politics: Canadian nationalist. Religion: Anglo-Catholic.

CAREER: Poet and writer. Ordained Anglican priest in Coggeshall, England, 1886; rector at Drummondville, Québec, c. 1887-99; parish priest at St. Matthews, Québec City, beginning 1899. Military service: Appointed war chaplain, October, 1914; became lieutenant colonel; received Companion of St. Michael and St. George and Distinguished Service Order.

WRITINGS:

Justin and Other Poems, privately printed, 1885.

The Soul's Quest and Other Poems, Kegan Paul, Trench (London, England), 1888.

Elton Hazlewood: A Memoir by His Friend Harry Vane, Whittaker (New York, NY), 1893.

My Lattice and Other Poems, Briggs (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1897.

The Unnamed Lake and Other Poems, Briggs (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1897.

Poems Old and New, Briggs (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1900.

A Hymn of Empire and Other Poems, Briggs (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1906.

The Key to Life: A Mystery-Play, Dussault & Proulx (Québec City, Québec, Canada), 1907.

Poems, Musson (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1910.

In the Battle Silences: Poems Written at the Front, Musson (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1916.

The Great War as I Saw It, Goodchild (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1922, enlarged edition, Clarke & Stuart (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1934.

In Sun and Shade, Dussault & Proulx (Québec City, Québec, Canada), 1926.

New Poems, Lafrance (Québec City, Québec, Canada), 1929.

Selected Poems, Robitaille (Québec City, Québec, Canada), 1933.

Collected Poems, Clarke & Stuart (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1934.

Poems, S.P.C.K. (London, England), 1936.

Lift up Your Hearts, Ryerson (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1941.

SIDELIGHTS: Canadian poet and chaplain Frederick George Scott "was celebrated by his contemporaries for his nature lyrics, his hymns of empire, and his celebration of the young Canadian soldier at the front during World War I," wrote Dictionary of Literary Biography contributor Sandra A. Djwa. Late Victorian and Edwardian pessimism and religious symbolism heavily influenced Scott, and some of his verse anticipated the concerns of members of modern Canadian schools of poetry—including those of his own son, poet Francis Reginald Scott. He was also the author of The Great War as I Saw It, a memoir based on his experiences as senior chaplain of the 15th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force's First Division, serving in France in World War I. Great War themes also appeared in his poetry, most notably In the Battle Silences: Poems Written at the Front.

Throughout Scott's work he emphasized major themes. Many early poems feature spiritual crises and their resolutions, especially those collected in Justin and Other Poems, The Soul's Quest and Other Poems, and Elton Hazlewood: A Memoir by His Friend Harry Vane. The Soul's Quest and Other Poems also introduces the heroic celebration of nationhood and imperialism. The unspoiled Canadian wilderness appears in My Lattice and Other Poems and The Unnamed Lake and Other Poems.

Critics largely celebrated The Great War as I Saw It. Scott's "reminiscences" are "characteristic of the man, who is a student of human nature, a poet, and a humourist. Told with quiet humour, his experiences furnish a very human document in the rapidly accumulating material dealing with Canada's part in the war," said H. W. A. Foster in Canadian Historical Review. "His manner is his own," a Literary Review contributor wrote. "It is an altogether charming manner, marked by sincerity, warmth of sentiment (never sentimentality), and a humorous understanding of men and events. … Itisoneofthe comparatively few books of its kind that is likely to last, as of more than ephemeral interest."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 92: Canadian Writers, 1890-1920, Sandra A. Djwa, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1990, pp. 337-339.

PERIODICALS

Canadian Historical Review, September, 1922, H. W. A. Foster, review of The Great War as I Saw It, p. 296.

Literary Review, July 15, 1922, review of The Great War as I Saw It, p. 812.

Times Literary Supplement, July 20, 1922, p. 478.*