R. D. Lawrence (1921-2003)

Ronald Douglas Lawrence (1921-2003) lived in many places and tried many things. Among his accomplishments he and his second wife, Joan, maintained a wilderness property, “The Place”, near Uphill (page 219, The Place in the Forest) in Kawartha Lakes (then Victoria County) where Lawrence studied the local wolf pack. He wrote about it in The Place in the Forest. Then they bought a 350-acre farm of mostly wilderness, “North Star Farm,” where they cared for orphaned and abandoned animals. He chronicled the humorous account of this time in the book, The Zoo That Never Was. Lawrence sold the property after Joan’s death.

Lawrence was a Canadian naturalist and wildlife author of over 30 books.

Born on a ship off the coast of Spain, Lawrence was raised in Spain and at age 14 lied about his age so he could fight in the Spanish Civil War. He served for two years until he found himself outnumbered in the Pyrenees and fled to France. He made his way back home just in time for the arrival of WWII. He enlisted with the British and went to war again. He participated in D-Day at Normandy where he was seriously injured.

After the war, Lawrence he enrolled at Cambridge University where he studied biology for three years but did not complete his degree. He returned to Spain where he worked as a journalist and novelist.

He moved to Canada in 1954 and became a reporter for the Toronto Star. He also worked for the Winnipeg Press and Toronto Telegram. Among his reporting duties, he went to Africa as a foreign correspondent.

Lawrence and his third wife bought property in Haliburton. Lawrence helped establish the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre.

He died in Haliburton in 2003.

Books set in Kawartha Lakes:

The Place in the Forest (1967)

The Zoo That Never Was (1981)

Books:

Wildlife in Canada (1966)

The Place in the Forest (1967)

Where the Water Lilies Grow (1968)

The Poison Makers (1969)

Cry Wild (1970)

Maple Syrup (1971)

Wildlife in North America: Mammals (1974)

Wildlife in North America: Birds (1974)

Paddy (1977)

Discover Ste. Marie (1978)

The North Runner (1979)

Secret Go the Wolves (1980)

The Study of Life: A Naturalist’s View (1980)

The Zoo That Never Was (1981)

Voyage of the Stella (1982)

The Ghost Walker (1983)

Canada’s National Parks (1983)

The Shark (1985)

In Praise of Wolves (1986)

Trans-Canada Country, 1986

The Natural History of Canada (1988)

For the Love of Mike (Pour L’Amour de Mike) (1989)

Wolves (1990)

The White Puma (1990)

Trail of the Wolf (1993)

The Green Trees Beyond (1994) – memoir

A Shriek in the Forest Night (1996)

Owls, the Silent Fliers (1997)

One thought on “R. D. Lawrence (1921-2003)

  1. Pingback: 2022 in Review – Kawartha Lakes Writers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.