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Arthur Stringer House

Arthur Stringer House
Plaque no. 48
Date of plaque unveiling
1 October 2000
This plaque was erected in November 1975 but not unveiled until 2000.
Speakers
Prof. David Bentley and Dale Manias
Location
64 Elmwood Avenue East, London, Ontario

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History

Future writer Arthur Stringer was born in Chatham, Ontario, on February 26, 1874, a descendant of a fugitive of the 1837 Rebellion.

The Stringer family moved to this house in 1884, and Arthur attended London Collegiate Institute. He later studied at the University of Toronto and briefly at Oxford University.

During these years, his poems were published in Toronto’s Canadian Magazine and Saturday Night. In 1895, he took a position at the Montreal Herald. He later moved to New York where he became friends with such literary figures as Bliss Carman and Charles G. D. Roberts and wrote for Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s Magazine.

In 1903 his first novel, The Silver Poppy, was published and he married Jobyna Howland, an actress. They spent several summers at a fruit farm on Lake Erie and wintered in Europe and North Africa. After they divorced in 1914, Stringer married his cousin, Margaret Arbuthnott.

By this time, he had published several other books, including The Prairie Wife and The Wire Tappers. In 1918, Stringer spent a year in Hollywood, where he wrote screenplays. Some thirty of his stories were made into films.

In 1921, he and his wife moved to Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, where he continued to write. He spent time leading camping expeditions in the woods, and traveled extensively in Canada, Europe and the United States. An eclectic personality, Stringer was equally comfortable as backwoodsman, bohemian, journalist, novelist, poet and screen-writer. Actress Mary Pickford (about whom he had written a book) once aptly called him “Chameleon Arthur.”

Stringer published fifteen volumes of poetry, 45 works of fiction, and countless articles. He died at Mountain Lakes on September 13, 1950.