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Frederick Philip Grove (1879–1948)

Author of Settlers of the Marsh

23+ Works 356 Members 10 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Frederick Philip Grove was actually born Felix Paul Greve in 1879 in Radomno, and raised in Hamburg, Germany. He graduated from Gymnasium Johanneum in 1898 and then studied classical philology and archaeology in Bonn and Munich. In Berlin, he became involved with Else Endell, the wife of his friend show more August Endell, and they all set out for Palermo in 1903. Greve served a prison term for fraud in Bonn between 1903-1904. Afterwards, they lived in Switzerland, France and Berlin; and in 1909, he abruptly left for America. Apparently heavy in debt, he double sold his translation of Swift's "Prose Works" and felt it necessary to stage his suicide. Else joined him in Pittsburgh a year later, but Greve abandoned her on a small farm near Sparta, Kentucky and left for Canada in 1911. In 1912, he arrived in Manitoba as Frederick Philip Grove and claimed to be of Anglo-Swedish descent. He began his career as a Canadian writer from Rapid City in 1922, after spending the past decade teaching in remote districts of Manitoba. His first publication was the essay "Rousseau als Erzieher" (Der Nordwesten, 1914). During the same year, he married fellow teacher Catherine Wiens. He began studies at the University of Manitoba in 1915 and received a B.A. in French and German in 1922. In 1927, their daughter Phyllis May died shortly before her twelfth birthday. They relocated to Ontario and their son Leonard was born in Ottawa in 1930. Grove was now involved with Graphic Publishers and in ill health. He continued to write and publish from his estate until his death on August 19, 1948. Grove received several honors that included the Lorne Pierce Medal in 1934, and two honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba and Mount Allison University in 1946. His manuscripts were acquired in the early 1960's and since then, several related papers have been added to the collection, notably, the Spettigue collection documenting his German identity. The Grove Library Collection of some 500 titles was donated by Leonard Grove, in 1992, and 160 letters by Grove were acquired by the Archives in 1997. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Frederick Philip Grove

Associated Works

The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde (1990) — Translator, some editions — 1,140 copies
Great Canadian Short Stories (1971) — Contributor — 53 copies


Common Knowledge



Rounded down from 3.5

The only other book I think I've read about early settlers on the Canadian Prairie provinces was Shandi Mitchell's spectacular book Under This Unbroken Sky, so I was looking forward to additional perspectives.

This provided it - from the viewpoint of Scandinavian settlers who seem to have arrived two or three decades before the Ukrainians and therefore were more established and "civilized - ie conforming to Western culture. Their little expat community made making the homestead easier. Not a lot of plot though.… (more)
ParadisePorch | 3 other reviews | Jan 10, 2020 |
I started this sometime in June, I believe. After about 15–20% of the book, I couldn't take it any more. I've read other books by Grove and liked them very much, but this one was too dry, and I couldn't for the life of me tell where it was going. I picked it up off and on a couple times more, and finally decided to give up. Life is too short to read boring crap.
lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
Every once in a while, one's gotta read about pioneers, right? Well I do. Perhaps it's because I discovered a few years ago, that my great grandparents would count as pioneers. Who knew? My great grandparents were pioneeers in the U.S., and here we're talking pioneers in Canada, but still pioneers on the prairies. Yes, they had prairies in Canada and they also had folks heading out west to homestead on the prairies.

In this case, we have Abe Spalding. He scouts out a part of Manitoba and eventually settles his claim on a spot of land that is vaguely higher than that around him. It seems that Manitoba has horrific floods in the spring, when the snow melts and the rivers flood. The slightly higher land drains more quickly and one can plow and plant more quickly. This is important in Manitoba, because the growing season is rather short.

Well anyway, Abe is a work-a-holic and is constantly working to improve things, to acquire more land and so forth. The less successful farmers hire themselves out to Abe so as to make enough to get by. As time goes on, the more families move in, schools are built, roads improved and so forth. So, basically, we have a story of the development of the Canadian prairies. We also have the story of Abe's success, and perhaps not-so-much success in his personal and family relationships. After all the hard work, Abe keeps coming back to the question, "what is this all for?"

A most fascinating book.
… (more)
lgpiper | 1 other review | Jun 21, 2019 |
This was quite good. It's sort of like one of those Willa Cather Prairie Trilogy books or a more adult version of Little House on the Prairie. Which is all to say it's about homesteaders/pioneers back a century and some ago. But, the difference here is we're talking about settlers in Canada, perhaps Saskatchewan or Alberta.

The protagonist is a repressed young Swede, who is very hard working. In his early time, he works like a dog for other people, saves up some money and gets himself his own farm/homestead. He works like a dog to set that up. There's a beautiful, young woman in a nearby homestead, Ellen, who can work like a man and whom Neils Lindstet finds attractive. But Ellen doesn't want to marry. She doesn't want to be someone else's property/drudge. Somehow, Neils gets entangled with Mrs. Lund, a "merry widow". Things go downhill from there. Will Neils ever get things straightened out, at least a little bit?
… (more)
lgpiper | 3 other reviews | Jun 21, 2019 |



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