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Author: J Leigh Hirst

Leigh Hirst was born in 1939 in Nanaimo, British Columbia, the year that the last coal mine in that city shut down. All four of his antecedent families, starting in 1863, came to Nanaimo from the UK – the men to work in the coal mines. Leigh graduated with a BA from the University of British Columbia in 1963 and soon thereafter married his wife Gillian and began a 32 year career in the investment business, from which he retired in 1998.

Leigh, during his working years and in retirement, has written articles and stories for local publications including the Victoria daily newspaper. He has also contributed a column on human interest subjects to a monthly magazine. In the UK, three of his stories about coal miners appear on the website He is presently writing a book of short stories to be published in 2013 in Canada.

In 2006 Leigh graduated with a BFA (Writing major) from the University of Victoria. His main project in the ensuing years has been researching and writing The Tormented Prince which is the result of the unexpected appearance in his life of an elderly stranger - Mark Holloway - who, on an impulse, had flown from London to the west coast of Canada in pursuit of information about a friend from the Soho era, the legendary Paul Potts, whose biography Mark intended to write. That biography was never written. Instead Leigh Hirst has written The Tormented Prince – Mark’s story.



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