by George J. Dance

K dobbs

Kildare Dobbs. Courtesy The Porcupine's Quill.

Kildare Robert Eric Dobbs, OOnt (October 10, 1923 - April 1, 2013[1]) was a Canadian poet and a short story and travel writer.


Dobbs was born in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India.[2]

He was educated at St. Columba's College (in Rathfarnum, Ireland) and Jesus College, Cambridge, with time off to serve in the Royal Navy during World War II.[2]

He graduated from Cambridge in 1947 and took a teaching diploma at the University of London, then became a magistrate in Tanganyika.[2]

Dobbs came to Canada in 1952, becoming initially a high school teacher, and then a book editor for Macmillan of Canada for nearly 10 years. During that time he began writing scripts for the CBC. He became a regular contributor to CBC's literary program Anthology, produced by Robert Weaver, and with Weaver he founded the Tamarack Review in 1956.[2]

Between 1965 and 1967 Dobbs was managing editor of Saturday Night. He became a columnist for the Toronto Star in 1968.[2]

Dobbs's earliest book was a travel book, Running to Paradise, in 1962. He and photographer Robet Searle produced the coffeetable book Canada in 1964 (revised in 1969). Through the 1970s and 1980s he produced more travel books, and began packaging his CBC and magazine essays in book form. In 1981 he turned to fiction, with a book of short stories (Pride and Fall set in Africa, and in 1997 (at 74 years of age) he published a debut collection of poetry, The Eleventh hour: Poems for the third millennium.[2]

Dobbs lived in Toronto, Ontario. He is survived by his wife, painter and photographer Linda (Kooluris) Dobbs, to whom he was married for over 30 years.[1]


Dobbs won the Governor General's Award for English language fiction in 1962 for Running to Paradise.

He was awarded the Order of Ontario in 2000,[3] and the Order of Canada in 2013.[1]



  • The Eleventh Hour: Poems for the third millennium. Oakville, ON & Buffalo, NY: Mosaic Press, 1997. ISBN 978-0-88962-637-9
  • Casablanca: The poem. Victoria, BC: Ekstasis Editions, 1999. ISBN 978-1-896860-58-9
  • "Casanova in Venice: A raunchy rhyme" (with nine original wood engravings by Wesley W. Bates). Erin, ON: Porcupine's Quill, 2010. ISBN 978-0-88984-332-5


  • Running to Paradise. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962.
  • Pride and Fall: A Novella and Six Stories. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1981. ISBN 978-0-7720-1368-2)


  • Imagination in History. Ontario Historical Society, 1959.
  • Ontario 67. Toronto: Ontario Dept. of Economics and Development, Special Projects and Planning Branch, 1967.
  • Reading the Time. Toronto, Macmillan, 1968.
  • Canada. New York: Viking Press, 1964; London: Thames and Hudson, 1964.
    • London: Thames & Hudson, 1969.
  • The Great Fur Opera (illustrated by Ronald Searle). Toronto, Montreal: McClelland & Stewart, 1970; Brattleboro, VT: Stephen Greene Press, 1970; London, D. Dobson, 1970.
  • Not in Vain (with (C.P. Stacey). Toronto & Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 1973.
  • Historic Canada. Toronto & New York: Methuen, 1984. ISBN 978-0-458-98530-2
  • Coastal Canada. Toronto : Discovery Books, 1985.
  • Away from Home: Canadian writers in exotic places. Toronto: Deneau, 1985.
  • The Living Heritage: Nova Scotia. Halifax : Nova Scotia Museums, 1986.
    • (also published as) The Heritage of Nova Scotia. Halifax: Nova Scotia Dept. of Tourism, ca. 1986.
  • Anatolian Suite: travels and discursions in Turkey. Boston & Toronto: Little, Brown, 1989. ISBN 978-0-316-18779-4
  • Ribbon of Highway: By Bus Along the Trans-Canada. Toronto : Little, Brown (Canada), 1992. ISBN 978-0-316-18784-8
  • Smiles and Chukkers & Other Vanities. Boston & Toronto: Little, Brown, 1994. ISBN 978-0-316-18776-3
  • Running the Rapids:A Writer's Life. Toronto: Dundurn Group, 2005. ISBN 978-1-55002-594-1
  • The Gardens of the Vatican (with Linda Kooluris Dobbs). London: Frances Lincoln, 2009.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[4]

See alsoEdit


  • Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada (edited by W.H. New}.Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002. Print.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kildare Dobbs dead: Author, editor was an Order of Canada recipient, National Post, April 1, 2013. Web, July 10, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Kildare Dobbs, Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature (Oxford University Press, 2001),, Web, July 8, 2012.
  3. "Kildare Dobbs," Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Web, July 8, 2012.
  4. Search results=Kildare Dobbs, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, July 8, 2012.

External linksEdit

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