Virna Sheard

Virna Sheard

Virna Sheard was a Canadian poet and novelist, born in 1862. In 1884 she married Dr. Charles Sheard (1857-1929), a surgeon at Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer, and for years she devoted most of her time and energy to domestic and social duties. In the early years of motherhood, during her late twenties, Virna began to write, sending her first poem to the famous American children’s magazine, St. Nicholas. With the encouragement of the editor of the latter she became a regular contributor of poems and short stories to The Globe, Saturday Night and Mail and Empire as well as to prominent American magazines. Her first novel, Trevelyan’s Little Daughters (1898), was well received. As each of her four sons began to enroll at Upper Canada College, Virna began to write for a more mature audience. Her stories and novels demonstrate an interest in reconstructed pasts and religious themes . The first of her five volumes of poetry, The Miracle and Other Poems (1913), was dedicated to her younger brother, the victim of a tragic accident at Niagara Falls in 1912. Virna Sheard was widowed in 1929, and died in 1943, aged 81 years. Her papers were destroyed by her family after her death, apparently because they disapproved of her literary work.

 

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