John Charles Dent, the author of the following remarkable stories, was born in Kendal, Westmorland, England, in 1841. His parents emigrated to Canada shortly after that event, bringing with them, of course, the youth who was afterwards to become the Canadian author and historian. Mr. Dent received his primary education in Canadian schools, and afterwards studied law, becoming in due course a member of the Upper Canada Bar. He only practised for a few years, then returned to England to pursue a literary career, writing mostly for periodicals. After remaining in England for several years, Mr. Dent and his family moved to Boston, in America, for about two years. But he finally returned to Canada, accepting a journalistic position in Toronto. Mr. Dent proceeded to write ‘The Canadian Portrait Gallery’, which ran to four large volumes, ‘The Last Forty Years: Canada since the Union of 1841′, and a ‘History of the Rebellion in Upper Canada’.This collected work of his short fiction, contributed by their author at considerable intervals to different periodicals, was published posthumously. The stories themselves are delightfully anchored in the physical geography of Upper Canada (or in the case of ‘Gagtooth’s Image’, Illinois), and have a mystical and spooky air about them.
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