James Carscallen

Fonds number:
Title: James Carscallen
Dates of Material:

12 cm of textual material
1 scrapbook (textual material, 16 photographs : b&w, 42 postcards)
2 photographs : col.
Biographical sketch

James (Jim) Andrew Carscallen was born on the 21st of July 1934 in Wallaceburg, Ontario to Elsie and Roland Carscallen.

A Rhodes Scholar, James Carscallen received a B.A. in English from Victoria College in the University of Toronto in 1956, and then went to Oxford where he received a BLitt in 1958. He then returned to Victoria College to pursue a PhD under the direction of Northrop Frye while, at the same time, teaching English at the University of Waterloo. He completed his doctorate in 1964 and the following year was hired by Victoria College (1965), where he taught until his retirement in 1996. James Carscallen wrote his first book The Natural World of Vaughan and Marvell in 1964. His last book The Other Country: Patterns in the Writings of Alice Munro was published in 1993.

In 1996, he was appointed Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies. He was an active member of the Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium, the Graduate English Renaissance Group and was also a gifted pianist, performing with the Victoria College Ichthyology Ensemble.

James Carscallen died in 2016.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings, congratulatory messages and letters, photographs and postcards related to his Rhodes Scholarship and his time at Oxford. James Carscallen's thesis from Oxford is also included along with manuscripts and notes for other works.

Fonds also contains a collection of playbills and concert bills for various performances in Toronto and overseas, as well as notices for Victoria College events including performances of the Ichthyology Ensemble, for which James Carscallen played the piano, as well as the Victoria's Winter Musical Interlude. 

James Carscallen was a member of the Graduate English Renaissance Group, and the fonds contains notices for several of this group's events.  There is also a file related to an event held at Victoria College called An Evening of Romanticism in Literature, Music and Art, which contains a thank you note from Northrop Frye.  Fonds also contains 2 photographs from James Carscallen's retirement from Victoria College in 1996.

Source of supplied title

Title based on contents of fonds.

Immediate source of acquisition

Records were received from Charlton Carscallen, James Carscallen's nephew in 2016.


Records arrived at the archives in no discernable order. Order was imposed by the archivist.

Finding aids

Box/file list available.

See Special Collections photograph database for photo descriptions.


No further accruals are expected.

Related groups of records

See the Kingsley Joblin fonds held in the Victoria University Archives.

Access points

Provenance access point:

  • Carscallen, James Andrew, 1934-2016.