Author Marsha Boulton is a journalist and writer whose work has appeared in Maclean's, Canadian Business, Chatelaine and Toronto Life magazines, to name only a few. Her "Letter from the Farm" is a regular feature on CBC Radio. Her historical anecdotes, under the heading "Heritage Highlights" were syndicated by the Thomson chain, and reached grassroots Canada through over 450 weekly community newspapers nationwide from Dawson Creek, Northwest Territories to Happy Valley, Labrador. Her jottings about country life and her anecdotal histories have appeared in dailies such as the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and the Ottawa Citizen.
Her books are national bestsellers. In its eleventh printing Letters from the Country, which won the Leacock Award for Humor in 1996, is a cross between Garrison Keillor's semi-fictional small town musings and Peter Mayle's fanciful A Year in Provence. With a dollop of James Herriot and a pinch of Red Green, Ms. Boulton's "letters," comprise a chronological, seasonal memoir of contemporary life in the rural countryside of the late twentieth century. Subtitled "From High Heels to Wellington boots" her stories are timeless but particularly of this time.
A second volume, More Letters from the Country was published in 1997 and is now in its third printing. The third volume, Letters from Across the Country was published in 1999 and in 2001, Ms. Boulton's publisher, McArthur & Co. brought out a clothbound Omnibus Edition entitled Letters from the Country Omnibus. It too is a bestseller.
Just A Minute, Glimpses of Our Great Canadian Heritage, now in its ninth printing, is a spirited compendium of anecdotal Canadian history replete with stories of heroism, adventure, innovation and villainy perpetrated by both men and women.
The second and third volumes, Just Another Minute, More Glimpses of Our Great Canadian Heritage and Just A Minute More, published in 1997 and 1999 respectively, carry Ms. Boulton's unique tone and perspective forward into the past. In 2000, McArthur & Company published the Just A Minute Omnibus and it too climbed onto the bestseller charts where it has remained.
Did you know that Sir John A. Macdonald almost lit himself on fire in his bed during the Constitutional talks? Or that the first European child born in North America was a direct descendant of Iceland's Ragnor Shaggypants? That Laura Secord never had a cow, the McIntosh Apple came from one accidental tree and Canadians were playing baseball a full year before American Abner Doubleday claims to have invented the game?
These and other fascinating historical facts come alive in all of Ms. Boulton's remarkably readable and accessible volumes.
Allan Fotheringham has called the Just A Minute series the "best bathroom books" ever published.
According to the peripatetic Mr. Fotheringham, the chorus of Canadians exclaiming "I didn't know that" from behind closed doors can be heard from coast to coast across Canada.
Ms. Boulton has worked with Heritage Project Creative Director Patrick Watson on the research and scripting for many of the 60 "Heritage Minutes" which have been shown on national television and in Cineplex Odeon theaters throughout the country.
Marsha Boulton lives on a farm near Mount Forest, Ontario where she raises sheep, horses and exotic fowl. She is currently working on a novel, researching a new book of histories, tentatively called Indiscretions: A History of Philandering and Abuse by Men in Power, and either planting or planning her not insubstantial garden.
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