Hiram Alfred (H.A.) Cody

Hiram Alfred (H.A.) Cody, clergyman, novelist (born at Codys, NB 3 Jul 1872; died at Saint John, NB 9 Feb 1948). Born in Codys, New Brunswick, a town named after his family, H.A. Cody moved to Windsor, Nova Scotia to study at KING'S COLLEGE. After graduation, Cody was ordained as an ANGLICAN minister on 20 December 1896. His first assignment was as rector of the parish of Greenwich in his home province. A few years later, Cody travelled to Whitehorse to do missionary work. He arrived in 1904, and stayed for five years. While there Cody began to keep extensive journals about his experiences. He served in the ministry for 43 years, and compiled a total of 43 journals. Though he had written short stories in his younger years, Cody's focus on fiction came later in his life. H.A. Cody published 25 books, in addition to several poems and newspaper articles. In 1927 he was appointed Archdeacon of Saint John; he served until his retirement in 1943. While more commonly recognized for his work in the ministry than for his writing, H.A. Cody was one of Canada's most widely read authors. His publications, like those of the bestselling Ralph CONNOR, were amongst the first to be mass-produced in North America due to their accessible prose, Christian themes and appeal to a broad audience.

It was during his time at King's that Cody had his first prose published. "An Episode of the Miramichi Fire," published in the King's College Record (Jan 1895), is a story of survival during the great Miramichi fire of 1825. While a student Cody published other work in the Record, including pieces of literary criticism. Some of his more famous novels include The Frontiersman: A Tale of the Yukon (1910), The Long Patrol: A Tale of the Mounted Police (1912) and The King's Arrow: A Tale of the United Empire Loyalists (1922). Most of Cody's novels adhered to the conventions of the adventure genre. He often included romantic sub-plots in an effort to expand his readership beyond men. His faith played an important part in his novels, which always included a Christian message. While H.A. Cody is not considered a pioneer of Canadian literature, his novels deftly capture the interests and spirit of the age in which he lived and wrote.