The Backwoods of Canada

The Backwoods of Canada The toils troubles and satisfactions of pioneer life are recorded with charm and vivacity in this portrayal of pioneer life by Catharine Parr Traill who like her sister Susanna Moodie left the co

  • Title: The Backwoods of Canada
  • Author: Catharine Parr Traill
  • ISBN: 9780771099779
  • Page: 451
  • Format: Paperback
  • The toils, troubles, and satisfactions of pioneer life are recorded with charm and vivacity in this portrayal of pioneer life by Catharine Parr Traill, who, like her sister Susanna Moodie, left the comforts of genteel English society for the rigours of a new, young land.

    One thought on “The Backwoods of Canada”

    1. Catherine Parr Strickland was an experienced writer who first work was published in 1818; her writing helped to support herself and her family financially after her father’s death. She married half-pay Lieutenant Thomas Traill and emigrated to Upper Canada in 1832 to homestead in the bush. Her sister Susanna, married to Traill’s friend, also emigrated to Upper Canada in 1832 to homestead. They both wrote books about their experiences.The Backwoods of Canada is in epistolary form, and was wri [...]

    2. These are the letters of a British Army Officer's wife writing back to her family in England as she begins her new life in the untouched Backwoods of Canada in 1832. They arrive on their newly purchased plot of land at 10pm at night, the wagon driver throws their belongings from his wagon and drives off. I very much enjoyed Catharine's story, and feel like I've made a new friend in her. She touches on many points of important history, including describing the Chippewa and Otonabee people she mee [...]

    3. After reading Susannah Moodie's memoir of settling in Canada and absolutely hating it, I was dubious about committing myself to reading her sister's published letters on the same subject. I need not have worried, Catherine Parr Traill comes over as a much more pleasant person and I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with many of her views of life in her new country. I share her obsessions with the wildlife and flora of Ontario and am equally fascinated by the weather and the formations of ice [...]

    4. There are no fancy plot twists and turns. But for those who enjoy hearing a beautiful voice from the past, I highly recommend it.

    5. Reason for Reading: Reading letters, journals and diaries is one of my most favourite types of genres whether they be non-fiction, as here, or fictional.McClelland & Stewart's New Canadian Library series is a staple of Canadian Literature publishing. The series started in the 1960s and continues to this day re-printing the classics of Canadian authors of the past. This version I read of The Backwoods of Canada is New Canadian Library's original 1966 edition with a 1971 introduction, in which [...]

    6. Though written in the early 1800's (the editor rightly accords it the tone of Elizabeth Bennet "ife and Mr. Darcy had deemed emigration necessary for the future of their family fortunes), Mrs. Traill seems surprisingly prescient. She predicts the patterns of future population, the regret for all the great forests necessarily destroyed to populate Ontario, even notes the local climatic effects of deforestation. The letters give a very vivid sense of social differences in the emigrants (her husban [...]

    7. What a difference from 'Roughing it in the Bush'! Susanna Moodie's younger sister Catherine went out to Canada not only prepared, but determined, to get her hands dirty (the book ends with some very useful recipes for maple sugar, bran bread, maple vinegar etc) As soon as their log cabin was finished, she was planting, carrying water, and, I have no doubt, milking cows and making butter and cheese. Every time she looked around her, she saw something to enjoy - the trees, the lake, the red squirr [...]

    8. Must be read along with Roughing it in the Bush by her sister Susanna Moodie - because the sister's experiences are similar but their different personalities and interests convey very different perspectives.Great early history of what life was like in and around Peterborough, Ontario in the mid 19th century.Catharine was a botanist as well as a writer, so lots of info and images of plant life enrich her book.She was less socially inclined as her sister Susanna - more the historian.

    9. This is a book I have waited to read for some time, acquired my copy from the used book sale at Word on the Street, Toronto. Quite enjoyed the stories as told by the writer. They faced many adversities, both themselves and their neighbours, however came out as they had planned for their lives. A great read! I understand her sister Susanna Moodie wrote a book as wellwill keep my eyes open for it also. Enjoy early Canada fellow readers.

    10. As I've already written a paper on this book (focusing on only one letter no less) I don't feel inclined to go into detail about how important this source is to building the Canadian identity and also providing a unique perspective into a settler's life in the 1830s. I would, however, like to note that I personally liked how optimistic and practical she was in her descriptions - a perspective I've heard that her sister Susanna Moodie does not share.

    11. I really enjoyed this book of letters. The writer could have easily been an author. Her descriptions of everything about her journey was so detailed I could imagine being there. Along with her describing the journey she went into detail about the plants, animals, birds, her property, the native americans and in the end of the book she described how to make sugar, vinegar and more. I learned so much history that I didn't know before too.

    12. I am partial to Canadian pioneer authors. Although Parr Traill didn't set out to be a writer, she was the first pioneer to name most of the native plants in Eastern Canada. She does chronicle the move, the first shack they lived in, building, the desperate hardships of early emmigrants to Canada.

    13. Very enjoyable to read after a run of fiction. There is something romantic in the fashioning of an agrarian life from a forest. My ancestors were of Acadian stock and undertook the task no less than five times in the last four hundred years. Their view of it was likely more that of hard work and misery however.

    14. An interesting read about early life in the backcountry of upper eastern Canada. There were times that it got quite wordy but all in all a good read.

    15. In the 1830s, when people left England for Canada, they didn't expect to return. Catherine's mother, left behind in England, must have treasured these evocative letters.

    16. I read this along side Susanna Moodie's Roughing it in the Bush. And I have studied both texts twice. I prefered Moodie's text to Parr Traill's but the only real way to draw a comparison between the two is that they were sisters and that they are taking place around the same time. The portrait of Canada that Parr Traill presents I had a hard time finding the motives. I'm also not a fan of novels that are written in letter format. Publishing letters that have been sent, I find publishing it as a [...]

    17. This was a captivating story of Canadian pioneer life from the perspective of a woman facing severe hardships. It is hard to imagine such a difficult life until I immersed myself in this book. The pacing and emotion gives an honest feel for the events.

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