The Backwoods of Canada

The Backwoods of Canada

Book - 1997
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Catharine Parr Strickland Traill (1802-1899) emigrated from Great Britain to Upper Canada in 1832 with her husband Thomas Traill, a retired officer. The Blackwoods of Canada (1836), Catharine's epistolary narrative based on her experiences in the country north of Peterborough in the years immediately following her arrival in North America, is an important record of nineteenth-century pioneering and a rich personal memoir of a woman. It has become a foundation work of Canadian literature.
Publisher: Ottawa : Carlton University Press, 1997
ISBN: 9780886293062
0886293065
9780771099779
0771099770
Branch Call Number: 971.36703092 Trail
Characteristics: lxix, 335 p. : map
Additional Contributors: Peterman, Michael A. 1942-

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rb3221 Jun 20, 2015

The letters of Catherine Parr Traill are particularly vivid in her description of the natural world (flora and fauna) and overall shows a resourceful woman adapting to her new life as a settler in 1835.
This book is still to this day an important source of information about early Canada, most notably the area around Peterborough, where she lived for 60 years. But it was also a practical guide for emigrants in the 1830's with very specific information about new home construction, cultivating the land, hardships faced and an entire chapter on emigrants best suited for Canada and the qualities requisite to ensure success. She delves into the everyday life of a new emigrant, including the difficulties of homesteading (e.g. two days travel to buy food, 7-9 years before the stumps decay: all very interesting information. One of Traill's strengths was her very detailed descriptions of numerous species of animals, tress and plants, especially flowers, one of the things she was passionate about.
Over time Catherine Parr Traill came to "love Canada" and "achieved a local, if not Canadian identity, a sense of self and place."

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