From the Back Cover
Though her life was largely circumscribed by domesticity and poverty both in England and in Canada, Catharine Parr Traill's interests, experiences, and contacts were broad and various. Her contribution to our knowledge of nineteenth-century Canadian life, from a literary, historical, social, and scientific perspective, was significant. Chosen from her nearly 500 extant letters, the 136 presented here vividly reflect typical aspects of social and family life, attachments to the Old World, health and medical conditions, travel, religious faith and practice, the stresses of settlement in Upper Canada in the 1830s, and the dispersal of families with the opening up of the Canadian and American West. Together with the introductory essays, Traill's correspondence offers an intimate and revealing portrait of a courageous, caring, and remarkable woman - mother, pioneer, writer, and botanist.
About the Author
As one of the first voices to write from the wilds of newly-settled Canada, Catharine Parr Traill s books continue to be considered important sources of early Canadian history. In particular, The Backwoods of Canada, first published in 1836, details the everyday life of Canada s founding communities. Together with her sister, Susannah Moodie (who penned the equally historically significant Roughing it in the Bush), Traill became an important resource for settlers arriving in Canada during the nineteenth century. Continuing to write and publish well into her nineties, Catherine Parr Traill is celebrated as one of the first authors in Canadian literary history. She died in 1899 at the age of 97.
Michael A. Peterman teaches Canadian and American literature at Trent University.
Elizabeth Hopkins is a member of the English Department at Glendon College, York University.
Carl Ballstadt is a member of the Department of English at McMaster University.