Francis X. Atherton, youngest son of J. J. Atherton and Alice Heffernon, was born in Creston, British Columbia at the tail end of his father's rollicking career as a newspaper publisher. The Creston R
Francis X. Atherton, youngest son of J. J. Atherton and Alice Heffernon, was born in Creston, British Columbia at the tail end of his father's rollicking career as a newspaper publisher. The Creston Review is the only paper founded by the elder Atherton that survives to this day.
The author moved with his family to Calgary and to Vancouver where, at age sixteen, he quit school and launched a lifelong career in the auto industry.
Employed first as a salesman and then in automotive parts, he worked for International Harvester, Studebaker and Volvo Canada Limited, in Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto.
When he retired from Volvo as Central Canada Regional Manager, in 1977, he had already begun researching the novel that would be based on his parents' life together.
Atherton died in December 1986, a few months before publication of Tuppence
Ha'Penny Is A Nickel, but not without completing the first draft of a sequel, which follows the family through the turbulent years of the First World War.
He is survived by Eileen, his wife of forty years, and by five children.
Drawing on the rich and turbulent history of the opening of the Canadian West around the turn of the century, and on the diaries, letters and stories of his parents brothers and sisters, the late Francis X. Atherton has fashioned a richly textured novel, based on the exploits and adventures of one remarkable family - a family who helped to create a nation.
This is the story of Alice Heffernon, whose life as a well brought up young Englishwoman is utterly transformed by her marriage. Here, too, is the story of her adventurous and restless husband, Joe Atherton: athlete, actor, printer, journalist, publisher and pioneer. Together with their children, they abandon the civilized comforts of England, to begin a new life, and build a new society.
Tuppence H'Penny Is A Nickel brings the manners and mores of the Victorian era to life, both in the United Kingdom and the Canadian West. It is a joyful and exuberant chronicle of a time and a way of life long gone.