- The Envy of the American States: The Loyalist Dream for New Brunswick by Ann Gorman Condon, and: The Bicentennial Lectures on New Brunswick Literature by Malcolm Ross, Fred Cogswell, and Marguerite Maillet (review)
- University of Toronto Quarterly
- University of Toronto Press
- Volume 56, Number 1, Fall 1986
- pp. 232-234
- View Citation
- Additional Information
familiar with, for example, Anne Hebert's Kamouraska or the poems of Rina Lasnier, or in readers unacquainted with the lesser-known writers such as playwright Fran~oise Loranger whom they will encounter primarily through plot summaries. Under this umbrella fall Paula Gilbert Lewis's 'Feminism and Traditionalism in the Early Short Stories of Gabrielle Roy' (because she discusses uncollected stories which readers are unlikely to have read), James Gilroy on Rina Lasnier, Susan Rosenstreich on Anne Hebert's poetry, Carrol Coates on Fran~oise Loranger, Maurice Cagnon on Louise Maheux-Forcier, Murray Sachs discussing Kamouraska, and Micheline Herz comparing Marchessault and Maillet. The strongest essays, then, are those that present detailed analysis of contemporaryferninistwritersand in whichthereis informed engagement with feminist theory and discourse; this may becoincidental or may reveal Lewis's own preference and expertise. Given the diversity, tradition, and vitality of writing in Quebec, the naivete and colonizing superiority of Elaine Marks's opening remarks rankle; the energy and foresight of Lewis in assembling a collection, which despite its weaknesses stands as a tribute to the women writers ofQuebec, is commendable. (KATHY MEZEI) Ann Gonnan Condon. The Envy of the American States: The Loyalist Dream for New Brunswick New Ireland Press 1984. 237. $12.95 paper Malcolm Ross, Fred Cogswell, and Marguerite Maillet. The Bicentennial Lectures on New Brunswick Literature Mount Allison University Centre for Canadian Studies. 62. $7.50 paper New France, British North America, Riel's Montreal papacy: our history abounds in dissolved dreams. After their defeat in the first us civil war, Loyalistemigres sought a colony of their own. There they could recreate a purer, foolproof version of the coloniaUimperial relationship whose collapse they had just witnessed. The establishment of New Brunswick was the result. Ann Gorman Condon now recounts how that visionary entity collapsed as well. Our century's history abounds in emigre groups. Of all these governments -in-(permanent)-exile over the years, only the Loyalists were given .the opportunity to start again, when Nova Scotia north of the Bay of Fundy was handed over to them. Another of history's many ironies is that eventually the most prosperous and powerful of the Loyalist-founded political entities in British North America turned out to be Upper Canada. And that prOvince was stocked largely with those who had left Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in search of greater opportunity. HUMANITIES 233 Perhaps economic determinism explains this lack of consistent growth and prosperity. The St Lawrence Valley had been and continued to be the chief commercial axis of what became Canada. History and geography conspired in bringing the Atlantic provinces into the commercial orbit of New England, and in a subordinate fashion. The sole chance afforded them to develop economically in their own right was snatched away by the imperial government when in 1799 it reopened the lucrative West Indies trade to the Americans. Henceforward New Brunswick would function as a source of timber rather than as a thriving, autonomous commercial economy. Assume, however, that economic factors had proven more favourable to the colony. Condon still analyses both in depth and detail how its political culture was fated to develop contrary to the wishes of the Loyalist leaders. Her treatment, distinguished by its objectivity and balance, may well inspire sharper views in its audience. A reader scanning her account of the articulate, tightly knit group of Loyalistleaders cannotignore their resemblance to the Bourbons: they too seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. This grew out of a classic emigre situation that developed during the Revolutionary War. Throughout, they were convinced that a little more force would wean the Citizenry from the rebel usurpers.Ifonly the imperial power would land a few more detachments in disaffected areas, then loyal citizens would seize the opportunity they had been waiting for and rally round. The same way they were in a later revolution to rally round General Wrangel and Admiral KoJchak. Prominent Loyalists carried these out-of-touch attitudes in their baggage. If only the new colony had strong royal government, a leadership aristocratic in style and in its economic ilase, and lavish imperial bounties, then it was fated to become the envy of the American States...