Robert David Symons: Country Man
Hagios Press / 7 November 2013

Robert David Symons: Countryman: Artist, Writer, Naturalist, Rancher by Terry Fenton Published by Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery and Hagios Press Review by Keith Foster $25.95 ISBN 978-1-927516-03-4 As Robert Symons lay seriously ill in bed, a friend dropped by to check on him. Sweating profusely, Symons explained that he needed to finish reviewing the proofs for his forthcoming book because “I think I’m going to die tonight.” His friend remarked, “Boy, that’s what I call a deadline!” They both laughed so hard that Symons’ temperature dropped, his fever subsided, and the baffled doctors sent him home. This is one of the incidents related in Robert David Symons: Countryman, about a multi-talented man who was a naturalist, rancher, artist, and author of eleven books of natural life on the Prairies. Trevor Herriot, a Saskatchewan naturalist who knew Symons personally, introduces Terry Fenton’s text, which is almost a memoir or personal recollection. This is followed by a chronology by Heather Smith, curatorial director at the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery. An astute observer, Symons recorded his observations in both paint and words and illustrated his own books. He also painted many of the dioramas for the habitat exhibits in…

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