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David Beasley

David Beasley

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, David Beasley graduated in English Literature and History from McMaster University. He lived in Europe for five years, studied modern French Literature in Paris at the Sorbonne and read German Romantic Literature in Vienna, then worked in New York City for thirty-five years as a research librarian and union leader. He has an MLS and a PhD. (Economics) .

Beasley wrote Through Paphlagonia with a Donkey; an adventure in the Turkish Isfendyars, three New York Library mysteries, historical fiction, political-economic history, social novels about Canada, creative nonfiction and other works of fiction and biographies on artists and the first great Canadian actor. He wrote the standard biography of Canada's first novelist and introductions to Major Richardon's rare novels which he reissued for their value as the keystones of Canadian literature. Major John Richardson's Newsletter can be found on David's Blog on his website. He lectures to groups interested in literature and history and gives a power-point presentation on modern art. See his web site for reviews and ordering information.

Dr Beasley was given the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian history and literature. His historical novel Sarah's Journey about a slave escaping from Virginia to Upper Canada in 1820 was awarded the Brag Medallion [see,] and the Hamilton Art's Council's best novel award. His creative nonfiction From Bloody Beginnings; Richard Beasley's Upper Canada, tracing Canada's development out of the American Revolution was awarded the Brag Medallion by the International Authors Association. His recent publication Episodes and Vignettes; an Autobiography in two volumes begins with his childhood in Hamilton, Ontario and traces his years in Europe and Manhattan in pursuit of his dream to be a writer and reveals the escapades and politics which formed his life.

His latest publications, Hypocrites and Other Stories, appeared in September 2015 and Spiral, an hiostorical novel with a Hamilton Ontario background in 2017.



Understanding Modern Art: The Boundless Spirit of Clay Edgar Spohn. Simcoe, ON: Davus, 1999.
Who Really Invented the Automobile? Skulduggery at the Crossroads. Simcoe, ON: Davus, 1997.
Chocolate for the Poor: A Story of Rape in 1805. Simcoe, ON: Davus, 1996.
That Other God: A Metaphysical Novel. Simcoe, ON: Davus, 1993.
McKee Rankin and the Heyday of the American Theater. Wilfrid-Laurier University Press, 2002
Beasley's Guide to Library Research. University of Toronto Press, 2000
Sarah's Journey. Davus Publishing, 2004
Canoe Trip. Davus Publishing, 2006
The Canadian Don Quixote; the life and works of Major John Richardson, Canada's first novelist. Davus Publishing, 2004
Douglas MacAgy and the Foundations of Modern Art Curatorship. Davus Publishing, 1998
From Bloody Beginnings; Richard Beasley's Upper Canada. Davus Publishing, 2008
Violet's Flight. Davus Publishing, 2010
The Jenny/The Grand Conspiracy/Overworld-Underworld; a trilogy. Davus Publishing, 1994, 1997, 2012
Overworld/Underworld; a New York Library Mystery. Davus Publishing, 2012
Pagan Summer. Davus Publishing, 1998
Aspects of Love; three novellas. Davus Publishing, 2000
Hamilton Romance. Davus Publishing, 1996
Episodes and Vignettes; an Autobiography. Davus Publishing, 2015
Hypocrites and Other Stories. Davus Publishing, 2015
Spiral. Davus Publishing, 2017
The Watercolours of Charlotte Hills Beasley. Davus, 2007
The Grand Conspiracy, a New York Library Mystery. Davus, 1997
The Role of Memory in the Poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson. Davus [by Violet Beasley], 2010
The Suppression of the Automobile; Skulduggery at the Crossroads. Greenwood [shortened ed of Who really Invented the Automobile?], 1988
How to Use a Research Library. Oxford U P [1sr ed of Beasley's guide to library research], 1988


Shortlisted, Hamilton and Region Arts Council Best Book Award for Chocolate for the Poor: A Story of Rape in 1805, 1995.
Hamilton and Region Literary Award for best Novel for Sarah's Journey, 2005
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for for contributions to Canadian history and literature, 2012
Brag medallion for Sarah's Journey, 2013
BRAGG Medallion for From Bloody Beginnings; Richard Beasley's Upper Canada, 2008
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

I will talk on various subjects taken from my writing: [1] powerpoint presentations on modern art [2] Upper Canadian history [3] Life and Writings of Canada's first novelist within his social environment [4] North American theatre [5] War of 1812 from my creative nonfiction as told by my ancestor, Richard Beasley, first settler at the Head of the Lake. [6] Invention and economic history as told in my automobile book. [7] Escaped slaves in Upper Canada and the black communities, re: my historical novel Sarah's Journey [8] World War II in Asia, re: Violet's Flight [9] The writing of the entertainment novel, i.e. detective, social, etc [10] The experience of self-publishing vs publication by establishment presses. [11] How to do research [12] Powerpoint presentation on floral paintings; Re: Charlotte Hills Beasley. [13] About my autobiography growing up in Canada and experiences in Europe and Manhattan as I developed my writing skills, rejections by publishers and the politics of the work place—i.e The New York Research Libraries and through my wife at the United Nations.

As reviewers have emphasized, my biography of Richardson, our first novelist, should be known to all Canadian students. Sarah's Journey, about a slave escaping to Upper Canada, is essential reading for the later years in High School. From Bloody Beginnings would re-establish the importance of teaching history in our High Schools. For students interested in art, my powerpoint presentation on Abstraction as developed by Clay Spohn and the contributiions of the Canadian curator Douglas MacAgy who developed the art movements of the 20th century will be powerful incentives to learning and practice.

Presentation Length:
60 min.
Fiction, Non-Fiction
Audience Size:
ca 20+