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Welcome to Poplar Lane Press

Poplar Lane Press  publishes and distributes books by Margaret Derry. It also publishes biographical works by Douglas Derry.

Margaret Derry is a historian who writes on two different themes. The first is her Life and Living series of books which address a range of topics central to people’s lives. The second series on Animals and Culture builds on her experience as a leading historian of genetics and its relationship to culture.

In the Life and Living Series, Dream of my People: A Home on Lake Erie’s Shore (2013) is the story of 19th century life and an Ontario country home, from the perspective of Adelaide Shay Bell and her female descendants over four generations. This book is complemented by Margaret’s 2012 book, Liberty is Dead: A Canadian in Germany, 1938. This diary and correspondence of lawyer Franklin Wegenast about his travels in central Europe as Hitler tightened his grip, is edited and contextualized by Margaret. She has also written  three books on northern Georgian Bay, the most recent being Manitoulin and Region: Voices from the Past which provides insight into  the story of Manitoulin as expressed by the people who experienced it over time. Georgian Bay Jewel: The Killarney Story, winner of the Ontario Historical Society’s Fred Langdon award for regional history, is a fascinating story of the history of Northern Georgian Bay. It is complemented by Killarney Memoir: Summers over a Century, which describes holidays in a remote Georgian Bay fishing village, as experienced by a family over five generations. Also as part of this series, Pathway: Life as Art, Science and History builds on Margaret’s experience as a painter in watercolours and oils to reveal the art in science and the science in art.

Her Animals and Culture series of books address the history and culture of purebred animal breeding, with a focus on various breeds of poultry, horse, cattle and dog. In 2012, Art and science in Breeding: Creating Better Chickens was published on the development of the poultry industry in 19th and 20th century North America. Her three previous books addressing this theme are Horses in Society, Bred for Perfection: Shorthorn Cattle, Collies and Arabian Horses since 1800, and Ontario’s Cattle Kingdom.

Forthcoming in 2014 is Mastermind Nature: the Rise of Livestock Genetics and its effects on Animal Breeding. This book looks at science’s attitudes to animal breeding from 1750 to 2010.

Douglas Derry has completed the third book in his biographical trilogy, being MINING EXPLORATION: The Life and Times of Duncan R. Derry. The book is a biography of this internationally recognized exploration geologist together with contextualized extracts from his diaries, supplemented by his watercolour sketches. It builds upon the story of his grandfather described in Making it Big: The Life of William Ramsay of Bowland and the story of the young Duncan Derry’s 1924 trip across Canada in Unforgettable Journey.