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Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections > Clara McCandless Thomas

Clara McCandless Thomas

Clara McCandless Thomas (1919- ), author and educator, was born in Strathroy, Ontario, and educated at the University of Western Ontario (B.A. 1941, M.A. 1944) and the University of Toronto (Ph.D. 1962). Thomas began teaching in the English Department at York University in 1961 and remained there until retirement in 1984, upon which she was named York University Canadian Studies Research Fellow in the University Libraries and Professor Emeritus of English. She became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1983. Thomas has served on the editorial board of many academic journals, including Journal of Canadian Studies, Journal of Canadian Fiction, and Literary Journal of Canada (second edition), and has written articles on topics in Canadian literature for many journals. She is probably best known for the depth and breadth of her work on Margaret Laurence, which includes many articles and chapters in books and book-length studies of Laurence’s writings: Margaret Laurence (1969) and The Manawaka World of Margaret Laurence (1975). Thomas’ other publications include: Canadian Novelists: 1925-1945 (1946, rpr. 1970), Love and Work Enough: The Life of Anna Jameson (1967), Ryerson of Upper Canada (1969), William Arthur Deacon: A Canadian Literary Life (1982, with John Lennox), All My Sisters: Essays on the Work of Canadian Women Writers (1994), and her autobiographical work Chapters in a Lucky Life (1999).

The fonds consists of: manuscripts (1959-1994) of a variety of publications by Clara Thomas, including typescripts of her books: Love and Work Enough: The Life of Anna Jameson, with editorial corrections in pencil, The Manawaka World of Margaret Laurence, with editorial instructions, returned to her from an editor at McClelland & Stewart, and All My Sisters: Essays on the Work of Canadian Women Writers, and typescripts and printed copies of articles and chapters of books arranged chronologically; files relating to Margaret Laurence (1959-1989) which include correspondence, memoranda, reviews, and publications pertaining to Margaret Laurence; correspondence (1944-1995) between Thomas and her friends, colleagues, and others of academic or personal interest; personal files (1919-1994) of Thomas’ personal career life and her family history; and student files (1975-1976).

Finding aid available.

Some restrictions on access.

Inventory number: F0432

The joint fonds of Clara McCandless Thomas and John Lennox consists of typescripts for two works by the collaborators: William Arthur Deacon: A Canadian Literary Life, with editorial changes in pencil, and a chapter entitled “A Sense of Belonging”.

Finding aid available.

No restrictions on access.

Inventory number: F0431