Voyages: Short Narratives of Susanna Moodie

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University of Ottawa Press, 1991 - Fiction - 256 pages
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Susanna Moodie is, of course, best known for her books Roughing It in the Bush and Life in the Clearings, which are largely comprised of short sketches that she had previously published. What is not widely known, however, is that Mrs. Moodie had a long and prolific literary career in which short sketches and tales were among her favoured genres. This book offers a selection of these narratives, unavailable in print since the nineteenth century but essential to an understanding of Susanna Moodie's work.

In her writing, Mrs. Moodie repeatedly explores the position of women in nineteenth-century society. She was profoundly influenced by her family s early misfortune and consequent fall from gentry status, her gender, and her husband's decision to emigrate to Canada. These concerns recur with such frequency and insistence in the narratives collected here that it becomes impossible to doubt the importance of them in her life and in her writing out of that fife. Most of the stories are concerned with emigration, and are set in the country from which emigration takes place or is contemplated. Financial disaster and loss of social status are the causes of emigration for characters in "The Vanquished Lion," "The Broken Mirror," and many of the other narratives.

This collection will be of interest to those who wish to understand more fully Roughing It in the Bush, the problems of class and gender as they affect writers, and the difficulties of immigrants in a developed colonial society. It will also be of interest to those seeking to understand the development of short fiction or those who simply like reading it.

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A Dream
Old Hannah or The Charm
The Vanquished Lion

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About the author (1991)

Susanna Moodie (1803-1885) is the Canadian pioneer and critically acclaimed author of Roughing it in the Bush and Life in the Bush Versus the Clearings, frank portrayals of life as a settler in 19th century Canada. She was the younger sister of writers Agnes Strickland and Catharine Parr Traill, who also wrote about her experience as a Canadian settler in The Backwoods of Canada. Before immigrating to Canada Susanna Moodie was a successful author of such children's books as The Little Quaker and The Sailor Brother, and was an active abolitionist. Moodie's works continue to influence contemporary writers like Margaret Atwood, and her contribution to Canadian literature was commemorated on a Canadian postage stamp in 2003.

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