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Tom Thomson death-tweets being developed into manuscript

Tom Thomson

A self-portrait by Tom Thomson, courtesy @TTLastSpring

For the fourth year in a row, “Tom Thomson” live-tweeted a re-enactment of the Group of Seven artist’s death in Algonquin Park, thought to have taken place somewhere on Canoe Lake amid mysterious circumstances 97 years ago today.

“A sudden cloudburst of rain. I look at my watch. Water has leaked in. It has stopped at 12:14,” @TTLastSpring tweeted ominously this afternoon. A few minutes later, a YouTube video entitled “Tom Thomson Struck by a Paddle on Canoe Lake” depicts a view of a lake, a tobacco pipe jutting out to one side, until a paddle comes abruptly into frame, toppling the camera into the lake.

Such minutiae are being developed into a manuscript, the anonymous account holder tells Q&Q. The Twitter moniker, Tom Thomson’s Last Spring, is a reference to art historian Joan Murray’s 1994 account of the artist’s death, Tom Thomson: The Last Spring (Dundurn Press), but the book will include “new information,” according to its author.

“I’ve been focusing on developing material for the manuscript which is pretty much complete. This next year I plan on revising, fact-checking, and elaborating aspects of the story,” the unnamed author writes in an email. “I have had some contacts regarding publishers and agents but don’t plan to pursue in earnest until this fall. I’m having too much fun writing the story for now.”

When asked about the account holder’s background and credentials, “Tom” replied, “I have a deep and personal connection to Tom Thomson,” though the two are not related.