Immagine dell'autore.

Susanna Moodie (1803–1885)

Autore di Roughing it in the Bush

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Susanna Moodie, born in Suffolk, England, was the youngest of five daughters, four of whom became writers of fiction and poetry. (Moodie's elder sister, Catharine Parr Traill, a lesser-known British colonial author, wrote The Backwoods of Canada). Before immigrating to Canada, in 1832, Moodie mostra altro penned numerous poems and stories, all heavily didactic and decidedly second-rate. However, once she had settled in Upper Canada (now Ontario) with her husband, John Dunbar Moodie, the harsh life of the settler provoked a more realistic literary response. Her autobiographical Roughing It in the Bush, published in 1852, is a series of sketches stitched into a larger narrative. It is a book expressing the hopes and defeat, the pride and the anger the early settlers felt toward their new home, the Canadian bush. A sequel, Life in the Clearings versus the Bush, appeared in 1853. Throughout her life Susanna Moodie's literary output continued to be prolific. Yet it is the frank and colorful quality of Roughing It that has placed her in the forefront of early Canadian writers. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra meno
Fonte dell'immagine: Library and Archives Canada

Opere di Susanna Moodie

Opere correlate

Nineteenth-Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology (1996) — Collaboratore — 23 copie


Informazioni generali

Nome canonico
Moodie, Susanna
Altri nomi
Strickland, Susanna (birth name)
Data di nascita
Data di morte
Luogo di sepoltura
Belleville Cemetery, Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Luogo di nascita
Bungay, Suffolk, England, UK
Luogo di morte
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Luogo di residenza
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Duoro Township, Upper Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Suffolk, England (birth)
Attività lavorative
Traill, Catharine Parr (sister)
Strickland, Agnes (sister)
Strickland, Samuel (brother)
Breve biografia
Susanna Strickland was the younger sister of authors Agnes Strickland and Catharine Parr Strickland (later Traill). She wrote her first children's book in 1822. Susanna was involved in the Anti-Slavery Society in London. In 1831, she married John Moodie, a retired officer of the Napoleonic Wars. The next year, the couple and their daughter emigrated to Canada, following sister Catharine Traill and her husband. The family settled on a farm in Douro township, near Lakefield, north of Peterborough, Upper Canada, where her brother Samuel worked as a surveyor. Susanna Moodie continued to write in Canada and her letters and journals contain valuable information about life in the colony.




I must admit I was disappointed that there wasn't an overall narrative, the book is a series of sketches and episodes. Entertaining in its way but I wanted more of the camera focused on the Moodies than what was portrayed. But still worth reading, gives a broad picture of life in Ontario in this era. Rough, beautiful and very dangerous at times.
charlie68 | 7 altre recensioni | Jul 30, 2022 |
This is one of those classic Canadian books that most Canadians have heard of but I wonder how many have read. I've had this copy in my possession for over 7 years but it was the impetus of Canada's sesquicentennial and the CBC list of 100 True Stories that Make You Proud to Be Canadian that pushed me to pick this as my first read of 2017.

Susanna Moodie and her husband J. W. Dunbar Moodie (JWDM) emigrated from Britain in 1832 to Canada. JWDM had been a captain in the British army and then farmed in South Africa. He received half-pay as a retired captain but when he returned to England and married Susanna Strickland he realized that would not be enough to support a family in England. He had intended to return to South Africa after his marriage but Susanna was afraid of the wild beasts there. So they chose to go to Canada where JWDM would receive a grant of 400 acres of land as a British officer. Susanna's brother and her sister were living on land north of Peterborough and that was where JWDM received his grant. They spent seven years living in the bush in total. JWDM's experience farming in South Africa did not do him much good in Canada and Susanna was totally unused to pioneer life. Although Susanna continually bemoans their lack of funds they did have sufficient to always hire a maid for the house and they often also had a farm hand. But it is no doubt that they really did "rough it" during their sojourn in the bush. JWDM was called up to put down William Lyon Mackenzie's rebellion of 1837 and he stayed on with the miliitia for some time after. The salary he received enable him and Susanna to pay down debts accumulated but when his time with the militia came to an end they would again have a hard time. Fortunately (thanks to Susanna writing to the governor) JWDM was offered the job as a sheriff located in the thriving community of Belleville. That was the saving of the family which had then grown to include 5 children.

The style of writing is so old-fashioned. Each chapter is prefaced and concluded with a verse or a complete poem composed by the author or JWDM or, in one instance, Susanna's brother. Although, at the time of writing, the poetry was probably perfectly common it now seems quaint and overdrawn. Then there is the habit of only using the first initial for people's names and even towns. I can understand that the names might belong to people still alive when the book was first written and so, to avoid law suits, they needed to be obscured. However, I can't really understand why the town of Cobourg was shown as C_______ especially when Peterborough was shown in full and the Moodies journeyed north from C______ to Peterborough. Anyone with a map could figure out that the town on Lake Ontario that the Moodies started from could figure out it was Cobourg. Once you get your head around the old-fashioned style it does add some verisimilitude to the story and thus it is a "True Story that Makes You Proud to be Canadian".
… (altro)
gypsysmom | 7 altre recensioni | Jan 6, 2017 |
I thought I would read this book but it begins with Chapter "A Journey to the Woods" and follow through the rest word for word. Enjoyed it once. Will not read it twice!
skyrad43 | Feb 12, 2016 |


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