MB: living and writing the early days of parks canada

JC Campbell to MB Williams, Jan 1936

Transcription / Additional Information


Department of the Interior
National Parks of Canada
4th January, 1936.

My dear M.B.,

            I had a letter from Grey Owl recently in which he was asking for an extension of time as he does not want to leave England until about the middle of March. He expects, I understand, to complete his lecture tour by the end of February and would like to have a couple of weeks to visit some worth while people, which I trust includes you. I told him I was anxious for him to get in touch with you as he has some ideas regarding a feature picture along the lines that he and I have been talking for the last two years. 

            I think that Lovat Dickson people are quite slick enough to see that he is not disillusioned as they have him on a contract to write three more books and it would not do them any good to irritate him or disillusion him too much. If he does not get in touch with you in the next two or three weeks I would suggest your dropping him a line when you know he is in London reminding him that it is my wish that he should arrange a meeting with you. Of course the feature will be a tremendous job and needs a lot of money. There has got to be a human story running all through it as I am positive that a wilderness picture such as he has in mind would not be a best seller. He is obsessed with one idea and that is that he a great backwoodsman. He tells me in his letters that he does not want to be known as an author as he thinks that is synonymous with being a crooner or gigolo par-fumier. I mention this again so that you will get a proper perspective of what he will want to do in connection with a picture but there must be a running story of human interest or it will be a waste of money. I have been getting more materialistic since you left me for the simple reason that all anybody seems to be concerned in is to get the tourist in irrespective of what becomes of the country and I feel quite certain that a picture such as he has in mind, as well as part of what I think you have in mind, would not be a big success. I feel if we are willing to give the picture a theatrical turn it might go over but I would be very doubtful of its success if we are depending on Grey Owl and a Canadian background.

- I am enclosing -

Miss M. B. Williams,
24 Wendover Court
Finchley Road,

The second page of this letter is unavailable.




J.C. Campbell, “JC Campbell to MB Williams, Jan 1936,” MB: Living and Writing the Early Years of Parks Canada, accessed April 24, 2018, http://mbwilliams.academic-news.org/items/show/16.


Click on an image to enlarge or to download a file. Audio files, if available, can be found above (right click to save).