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of a roman Ii clef, with a handsome young officer and the spirited young wife of a local merchant generally perceived as the models for Ed Rivers and Arabella Fermor. This scholarly edition is the first publication of the Centre for Editing Early Canadian Texts at Carleton University. This landmark project, the first for the editing of English-Canadian literary texts, has five additional texts in progress, two of which are in press. Since 1981 it has received funding of upwards of $500,000 from SSHRCC. The text's scholarly apparatus includes an introduction by the editor, Mary Jane Edwards, which for the most partdiscusses the Brookes'slife in Canada; a bibliographical description of the Dodsley edition, which was the copy text for this edition; a list of other editions and translations; a list of emendations; and explanatory notes which identify the sources of quotations and allusions as well as real persons and actual events referred to in the text. This edition is an excellent quality paperback, with a moderate price which puts it within the reach of students. Edwards is General Editor of the series as well as editor of this volume. She has given her colleagues in the project a superb example to follow. (LORRAINE MCMULLEN) Cart Ballstadt, Elizabeth Hopkins, and Michael Peterman, editors. Susanna Moodie: Letters ofa Lifetime University of Toronto Press. 390. $29.95 The details of Susanna Moodie's rough years in the bush - hunger, toil, disease, fire - are well known to Canadian readers. So too the mixture of regret and release in Roughing It, Moodie's valediction to the bush, persists in our literary view of our beginnings. Now Susanna Moodie: Letters ofa Lifetime puts those abiding details in the context of a lifetime, and explains the regret Moodie expressed when, in Belleville, she composed the conclusion to Roughing It in the Bush. Letters ofa Lifetime offers little news about the bush period of Moodie's life: Roughing It will still be our main source of information about that time. However, the new volume will let readers know that, when the Moodies left the wilderness, they were not leaving their troubles behind. On the contrary, they were delivered from their struggle in the bush only to face another struggle for survival- this one taking place in a legal and political wilderness. Dunbar Moodie's career as sheriff of Belleville was turbulent to say the least, and deeply damaging to the family's welfare, for the Moodies' innocence left them vulnerable to the shifty practices and partisan swindles of some cold-blooded Belleville scoundrels. Although HUMANITIES ] 65 the Moodies did not prevail materially over these setbacks, they did prevail in spirit. Susanna Moodie's letters from these years demonstrate a fortitude which shows that her way of telling about her own stamina in Roughing It was neither self-aggrandizing nor only a manner of speaking: although she could never surmount affliction in her life, she had a vigorous capacity to endure it. The letters themselves are absorbing, and worth any reader's time. But Letters ofa Lifetimehas more to offer. The editors have prepared substantial biographical chapters which account for each era in Moodie's life, and introduce the people and events which the letters refer to. These chapters not only make the letters more accessible, but also provide a coherent picture of this woman's long and complicated life. They tell about her Suffolk girlhood - and provide an illustration of Reydon Hall, her home, that justifies her consternation at the makeshift dwellings she later inhabited in Canada. They also tell about Moodie's early literary career, and they explain the legal ordeals that finally led the Moodies to a nearly destitute old age. ' . ' The biographical chapters are worthy contributions to literary scholarship , efficiently gathering up what we know about Moodie at the same time as they introduce the editors' valuable findings. Yet, finally, the letters speak for themselves, documenting Susanna Moodie's sensibility as mother and gentle wife. As a mother, she shares the sufferings and satisfactions of her children and throng of grandchildren as they make their way in the New World - or fail to do so. And, as wife to Dunbar, she...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 164-165
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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