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HUMANITIES 257 industriousIingeniousI cheerful.' However, Michael PetermanIs introduction reminds us that trus 'carefully crafted' accountI written to reassure British families of emigrants as well as those contemplating emigration, should not be taken at face value. In the absence of the original letters from which the book derives, we will never know whether the rustorical Mrs Traill coped withher first Canadianwinters, illness, childbirth, and cultural deprivation quite as blithely as does her persona. Surviving correspondence from subsequent decadesI recently edited by the team of Carl Ballstadt, Elizabeth Hopkins, and Michael Peterman, recounts suffering and depression that never enter Traill's uplifting published accounts of Canadian flora, fauna, and social life. Peterman's thorough acquaintance with archival sources for Traill's personal and publishinghistory, accumulated through many years ofwork on the Strickland farnilYI resonates tluough his introduction and notes. With scholarly ease and affection for his subject, he deftly interweaves the story of her life with the production history of her best-known book. The account ofits appearance under the auspices ofthe Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge reminds us that books cannot be separated from the material contexts of their production; it is instructive to learn that Traill's publisher was prepared to pay almost as much for the illustrations as for the text. Especially significant is Peterman's solution to the problem of determining the reliable text for this edition, given the imperfect nature of the first edition and Traill's many emendations over the course of her long life. Whereas the work of some CEECT editors has been to restore corrupt texts, Peterman's task has been to establish a version that represents what is discernible of the author's final intention, without creatmg narrative confusion by inserting later reflections into passages describing earlier times. The final result invites the reader to flip between the core text, Traill's notes, her later reflections appended as 'Authorial Perspectives,' and the editor's 'Explanatory Notes' (not to mention six appended letters from 1834 to 1843, three by Catharine and three by her husband, Thomas Traill). The effort required to engage with all the layers of this edition compels our attention to the complex history of a book that has rutherto received little in the way of probmg analysis. (CAROLE GERSON) Susanna Moodie. Roughing It in the Bush; Of, Life in Canada Edited by Elizabeth Thompson Tecumseh Press 1997. xxviii, 534 Elizabeth Thompson's edition of Susanna Moodie's Roughing It in the Bush is one ofthe CanadianCritical Editionspublished byTecumseh Press under the direction ofJolmMoss and Gerald Lynch. Designed'for academic study and the interested reader,' these volumes aim. to provide 'authoritative texts 258 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 ofsignificant Canadian works within a comprehensive critical setting.' This edition, then, modelled on the Norton critical editions, should present a rationale for a choice of copy text, an explanation of its reproduction, and an 'appropriate' bibliographical, biographical, and critical apparatus. The first impression of the first edition of Roughing It in the Bush was published by Richard Bentley in London in January 1852. As Carl Ballstadt explains in the edition of this work published in the CEECT (Centre for Editing Early Canadian Texts) series of scholarly editions, from which Thompson takes much of her information, this version was set from the manuscript that Susanna Moodie sent to England and that a friend of John Moodie saw through the press. The Moodies also prepared additional material for Roughing It, but it only arrived in time for (partial) inclusion in Bentley'ssecond impression ofthe first edition. This impression, which was issued twice, in 1852 and in 1854, also incorporated 'a few corrections' that Susanna requested in July 1852. In addition to the authorial changes made to the standing type during this year, however, there were other revisions. Many of these had to do with the text's punctuation, especially its number of exclamation marks. By the time the first issue of the second impression of Roughing It was ready for publication, in fact, its accidentals were far from authoritative. Susanna Moodie's voice, furthermore, had become less humorous and more hysterical than in the first impression. Despite these characteristics of the second impression, this is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 257-259
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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