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Mark Abley is a Canadian poet, journalist, editor, and author of literary non-fiction. He was born on May 13, 1955, in Warwickshire, England, and grew up in Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. He studied literature at the University of Saskatchewan and, after winning a Rhodes Scholarship, at St. John’s College, Oxford. As a young man, Abley travelled to over twenty countries in Europe and Asia. Aspiring to be a poet, he began work as a freelance writer, becoming a contributing editor of Maclean's, Saturday Night, the Times Literary Supplement, CBC Radio's Ideas, and the Canadian Forum. His first book was a work of literary travel, “Beyond Forget: Rediscovering the Prairies” (1986). Between 1987 and 2003, he worked at the Montreal Gazette as a feature writer, book-review editor, and literary columnist. In 1996, he won a National Newspaper Award for critical writing. In 2003, he returned to freelance writing and continued to write the "Watchwords" columns on language issues for the Gazette. In 2009, Abley joined McGill-Queen's University Press as a part-time acquisition editor. In 2010-2011, he served as the first writer-in-residence for the city of Pointe-Claire, Quebec. He lectured at Oxford University, Cambridge University, Ohio State University, McGill University, Queen's University, and the University of Toronto. He has written four books of poetry, two children's books, and several non-fiction books, e.g., “Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages” (2003), "The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches From the Future of English" (2008), and "The Tongues of Earth: New and Selected Poems" (2013). The memoir of his father, "The Organist: Fugues, Fatherhood, and a Fragile Mind" (2019) was named by BBC Music as one of the top ten classical music books of the year. Abley is married to Annie and is the father of two adult children. He lives in the suburbs of Montreal.
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The family of Mr. and Mrs. S. Abracen had a summer residence on Lake Patrick, Quebec in 1978.
John Abraham was the second child named John of Thomas and Orpah Abraham, the first having died in infancy the year preceding John A.’s birth in Carlisle, Cumberland. He married Maria Hayes Tyerman. He was the younger brother of one-time Montreal Gazette newspaper owner and editor, Robert Abraham. John died in Grassendale, Lancashire, at the age of 66.
Mary Abraham was born to Orpha Clarke and Thomas Abraham in Carlisle, Cumberland, England. In 1840 she married Henry Murray and they had three children. Her older brother Robert Abraham was the first editor of the Montreal Transcript in 1834 and briefly the owner and editor of the Montreal Gazette in the mid-19th century. She died in San Francisco, California, USA.