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HUMANITIES 419 Three of the contributors teach at universities in the United States, the rest in Canada. One hopes that there are scholars in other parts of the world who, if asked, might provide valuable contributions on the cultural history of eighteenth-century Canada - perhaps even its 'Anglophone' aspects, somewhat neglected here; there were, after all, English speakers who lived in what is now Canada before 1800. There is one small detail in the volume that I find a little irritating: the use by Carl E. Swenson, of Brock University, of the term 'King George's War' in his interesting piece on the impressment of shipmen for the Royal Navy on the American eastern seaboard. This seems to be a reflection of the narrow provincialism of United States history textbooks, which insist on calling the War of the Spanish Succession 'Queen Anne's War,' and the Seven Years' War 'the French and Indian War,' although far more than French and Indians, and Queen Anne's domains, were engaged in those world-wide conflicts. For 'King George's War' - which King George? - read 'the War of the Austrian Succession.' But no reviewer can be happy unless he finds at least one small point to grumble about. The Canadian Society - if one who maintains his membership in it may say so without immodesty - deserves much congratulation for the variety of subject and scholarly excellence of its first volume, and one looks forward to the same standards in its successors. (DONALD GREENE) David R. Raynor, ed. Sister Peg: A Pamphlet Hitherto Unknown IJy David Hume Cambridge University Press. 127 The political satire Sister Peg was published anonymously in 1760. It was written as a sequel to, and in the style of, Arbuthnot's History of John Bull. John Bull's sister Peg is, of course, Scotland, and what is at issue is a bill of 1760 to make possible the raising of a Scottish militia, the occasion for it being the threat of a French invasion of the Lowlands in the previous year. The Bill was overwhelmingly defeated, for although England had recently acquired a militia it was not thought that the Scots could be trusted with one also. This colonial-style indignity provides Hume with the matter of his satire. The work has up until now usually been attributed to Adam Ferguson because the Reverend Alexander Carlyle in his memoirs written forty years later testifies that Ferguson, not Hume, wrote it. But Professor Raynor argues very convincingly that on the contrary it was Hume, not Ferguson, who was the author. There exists a letter to Carlyle in which Hume lays claim to being the author, but because of the plaUSibility of Carlyle's version of the circumstances of publication that claim has generally been explained away as being for one reason or another disingenuous. Raynor ingeniously disposes of 420 LETTERS IN CANADA 1982 Carlyle's seeming plausibility and puts forward a new explanation for the letter. There is, however, a letter from Rear Admiral George Murray to his brother General James Murray, Governor of Quebec, which so clearly identifies Hume as the author that no explaining away is here possible. But what carries complete conviction is the meticulous set of annotations which show frequently the same sentiments and expressions occurring elsewhere in Hume's writings. Apart from this the annotations are indispensable for a modern reader's understanding of the allegorical references. A gIeat amount of research and scholarship has gone into providing the key to these references. In Sister Peg we have Hume the historian giving the necessary backgIound of Scottish history, the political philosopher weighing the case for a citizen's army against a professional army, and the literary wit and author of other satirical pamphlets. He is at his best in treating the characters of his main victims Pitt Oowler), Lord Chancellor Hardwick Oohn Bull's Nurse), Newcastle (Hubble-Bubble), and Robert Dundas (Bumbo). Chapter xiii, 'How Bumbo discoursed with John Bull's Nurse and found her not so great a fool as he thought her,' is very funny indeed. (ROBERT MCRAE) Jay Macpherson, The Spirit of Solitude: Conventions and Continuities in Late Romance Yale University Press. xv, 349...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 419-420
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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