Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
August 2004

Biographies of Prominent Quebec and Canadian

Historical Figures


William Benjamin Basel King



Damien-Claude Bélanger,

Department of History,

McGill University.


Clergyman and novelist, was born at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He was educated at King's College, Windsor, Nova Scotia. He was ordained an Anglican priest and served as the rector of St Luke's pro-cathedral, Halifax, from 1884. In 1892 he became the rector of Christ Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts, but was forced to resign his charge in 1900 as a result of failing eyesight. King would devote the rest of his life to literature. He died at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1928. A successful author of popular moral fiction - several of his books became bestsellers -, almost all of Basil King's twenty-two novels are set in the United States. However, quite a few of his works of fiction contain Canadian characters. In The High Heart (1917) the struggle of a well-born Halifax girl to be accepted by New England high society is explored, while in The Dust Flower (1922) the upward mobility of Canadians in New York is contrasted with the poverty of other immigrants.


© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College