This week I received two novels in the Formac Fiction Treasure series: Under Sealed Orders by H.A. Cody and A Changed Heart by May Agnes Fleming.
Formac’s site explains the need for reprinting these all-but-forgotten classics from Canada’s past:
Though little known today, from 1860 to 1940 Canadian novelists from the Maritime provinces were writing highly successful books which were widely read in Canada, the US, and Britain. Although today only Lucy Maud Montgomery is remembered and read, there were several dozen writers who enjoyed the same level of success and renown.
In 2001, Canadian literature specialist Gwen Davies and Formac publisher James Lorimer set out to republish books by these largely forgotten Maritime authors. Readers can now discover 35 of their novels, all reprinted in Formac’s Fiction Treasures series. As Gwen Davies notes,
The Formac Fiction Treasures series is aimed at offering contemporary readers access to books that were successful, often huge best-sellers in their time, but which are now little known and often hard to find.”
As I write this, I am enjoying Under Sealed Orders, a book published in 1917 and much in the style of Anne of Green Gables: lots of kind-hearted people, a few unscrupulous ones, and a mystery thrown in to keep you guessing up to the end. I look forward to reading more of the books in this series.