The Many Deaths of Tom Thomson

  • Type: Ebooks
  • By: Gregory Klages
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Biography & Memoir, Non-Fiction
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781459731967
  • Check Catalog

One of Canada's Greatest Visual Artists and His Final, Fatal Canoe Trip

The reputation of landscape artist Tom Thomson has ascended markedly since his death at age 39, the apparent result of a canoe accident in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park.  Thomson and the school of painters inspired by his vision, who came to call themselves the Group of Seven, are often seen as one of the first artistic movements that employed a distinctly Canadian style, which celebrated the rugged beauty of the Canadian Shield.


But as Thomson’s reputation has grown, so has the controversy surrounding his death.  Why did Thomson, an experienced canoeist and outdoorsman, drown in a quiet lake under calm weather?  Did he commit suicide after an unsuccessful love affair, or was he murdered following a quarrel with a local resort owner?  And why was Thomson buried so quickly, only to be disinterred and reburied under mysterious circumstances?


Author Klages sorts through a small mountain of primary and secondary source material as he attempts to answer these and other questions that have arisen since Thomson’s 1917 death.   Besides being an interesting detective story, this is an enjoyable journey into Algonquin Park of 100 years ago.  It also amounts to a useful bibliographic essay for those who would like to read more about this very Canadian artist and his final days.