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MSR ( 2010-05-13 )
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Kenneth Roberts (December 8, 1885 - July 21, 1957)was a noted historical fiction writer, who got his start writing for the Saturday Evening Post from 1919-1928. Born in Kennebunk, Maine, the majority of the subject matter of his most remembered and revered books, involved Maine and New England historical topics, whose time line encompassed the colonial and early 19th century period. A graduate of Cornell University, he was a member of the notable Quill and Dagger Society. His most famous work is Northwest Passage (c 1938)which is an historical fiction centering around the persona of real-life (Some say larger than life,)Major Robert Rogers, the founder of Roger's Rangers and the predecessor of the modern Army Ranger Corp. The book is divided into two books; the first dealing with the near legendary attack on the both feared and hated (by the colonial settlers,) St. Francis (near present Odenak, Quebec Province, Canada,)in 1759 while Book two deals with his posting at Ft. Michilimackinac, (UP) Michigan, a British fort and trading post and his failed attempts to use that as an embarkation point from which to search for a Northwest Passage, hence the title of the book. Of all his works, Northwest Passage was made into a major Hollywood Film starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Young and Walter Brennan (released in 1940). His other noted works include: Arundel, Rabble in Arms and Oliver Wiswell (out-of-print,)and Boon Island (a tale of a shipwreck and subsequent cannibalism by the crew in order to stay alive,); all very good works. In later life Roberts, was considered a bit eccentric and he was a big proponent of "dowsing" or the art of locating ground water sources using a "Y or L" shaped tree branch or rod.
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