Ernest Thompson Seton Biography
(1860–1946), Wild Animals I Have Known, Lives of the Hunted, Animal Heroes, Survival
Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: William Sansom (William Norman Trevor Sansom) Biography to Dr Seuss [Theodor Giesel] Biography
Canadian naturalist and writer, born in England at South Shields and taken to Canada in 1866. He studied art in Canada, London, and Paris and educated himself as a naturalist, subsequently combining his two interests as a writer and illustrator of books about birds and animals. Throughout his life he published serious naturalist studies, but he is best known for his animal stories, the first collection of which was the immensely popular Wild Animals I Have Known (1898). Lives of the Hunted (1901) and Animal Heroes (1905) are among the best of his subsequent collections. He was known in his own day as the founder, along with Sir Charles G. D. Roberts, of the realistic animal story, and was post-Darwinian in his stress on affinities between animals and humans. In Survival (1972) Margaret Atwood sees Seton's animal stories as typifying the victim consciousness which she argues is central to Canadian literature. Seton spent the last sixteen years of his life in Santa Fe and became an American citizen in 1931.