writer, researcher, editor, lecturer


R.B. (Rae) Fleming

Rae Fleming
R. B. (Rae) Fleming holding a copy of Eldon Connections. Behind is a portrait of the author holding a copy of his Railway King of Canada, by artist Glenn Priestley.
- Photograph by Toni Wrate


R B Fleming (MA, PhD) is a biographer and historian whose published works include two local histories, Eldon Connections (1975) and Argyle, A Pioneer Village (1976); a biography of a Sir William Mackenzie (The Railway King of Canada, 1991); a picture book about Canadians who came out to see King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939 (The Royal Tour of Canada, 2002); and a well illustrated book about Canadian general stores called General Stores of Canada: Merchants and Memories. He has edited several books, including Boswell's Children, The Art of the Biography (1994), which includes his own essay on Mackenzie; and The Wartime Letters of Leslie & Cecil Frost, for which Fleming wrote an extensive Introduction. His latest book is Peter Gzowski, A Biography, an acclaimed portrait of one of Canada's greatest broadcast journalists.

From 1996 to 2002, he has had five articles on Canadian history published in The Beaver, (now called Canada's History), as well as articles and reviews in academic journals. Fleming has contributed to The Canadian Encyclopaedia and to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. He is an avid writer of letters to editors. A member of organizations including the Canadian History Association, The Lindsay Canadian Club, and the Beaverton-Thorah-Eldon Historical Society, he enjoys travelling, good food and, of course, researching and writing.

For the last three decades, Fleming has travelled across Canada and to the UK for reading and speaking engagements to historical societies, Canadian Clubs, conferences, libraries, the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto, Rotary Clubs and so on. He has also been interviewed countless times on radio and television re his books.

The common denominator of his work is his local area of south central Ontario. Fleming begins with a local story or a local character or event, and develops his narrative from there. His book on Canadian general stores is a good example of that phenomenon: he was raised in a store so crammed with goods that it was often called "Little Eaton's", the once thriving department store chain, and "Little Honest Ed's," the colourful and chaotic bargain department store in Toronto. From that general store came the idea to write a history of general stores in Canada.

He makes the village of Argyle, Ontario, his home. He hopes to complete several more writing projects, including some fiction, before he ends up with teeth in a jar and mind down the hall.

© 2002, Updated 2007, Created by

Contact Rae at rb.fleming@bell.net or 705-439-2337 or 1606 Rd 46, Woodville ON, K0M 2T0 CANADA