Hockey is Canada’s official winter sport. The game gained popularity in the 1870s and 1880s when clubs and professional leagues were established. Oddly enough, few Canadian books were published on this subject prior to 1950. But in the next decade the floodgates were opened, and suddenly, the public, young and old, displayed a voracious appetite for hockey literature. This article explores this extraordinary publishing phenomenon.
Grey Owl, writer and conservationist, transformed his passion for Canada's Wilderness (the latter word was always capitalized by him) into a phenomenally successful career in the 1930s as both an author and lecturer, in North America and Britain. He advocated for an environmental sensitivity uncommon in his own day. As he wrote so powerfully in the preface to his last book, Tales of an Empty Cabin (London: Lovat Dickson Limited, 1936): "The Wilderness should now no longer be considered as a playground for vandals, or a rich treasure trove to be ruthlessly exploited for the personal gain of the few-- to be grabbed off by whoever happens to get there first."
Douglas Gibson’s success as a publisher can largely be attributed to his savoir faire, his passion for good books, and his diplomatic and insightful skills as an editor. The Douglas Gibson Book imprint under the auspices of McClelland & Stewart provided Gibson with the autonomy he needed to work very closely with a few select authors. This case study highlights his particularly fruitful professional relationship with Alice Munro, with whom Gibson continues to work after thirty years. In addition to the digital images that accompany this study, appended are several promotional audio clips prepared and read by Douglas Gibson.