Assignment is based upon Catharine Parr Traill’s The Backwoods of Canada and will be approximately 1000 words long (4-6 double spaced pages). Use 12 point type and double space your essay. Write the review in formal academic English. The essay will be a review of Catherine Parr Traill’s The Backwoods of Canada. (Please note that book titles are always italicized.) This book, first published in London, England, in 1836, is not a novel!  It is a series of letters from Mrs. Traill, the wife of an ex-British Army officer who has immigrated to Canada from Scotland, to her mother in England.  It is a narrative, it is an epistolary account, and perhaps even a journal, but it is not a novel which is a work of fiction.  You are to review the book from the point of view of a modern historian.  To historians this book is a primary source document written by a person who lived at that time. What does this book tell us of Canada in the 1830s?  What experiences does Mrs. Traill have?  What are her impressions of Lower Canada? Montreal? Upper Canada?  The Bush country?  The Canadians, French, English, and First Nations? Americans? Social classes?  Recent British immigrants? How does she change over the course of the book?  What advice does she give?  What can you see of a distinctly Canadian national character forming?  What parts of the book impress you the most? What did you learn from her account? You must quote from the book at least twice and footnote your quotations using the Chicago Style. Your first footnote must be in full Chicago style but then you should shorten the footnotes while always giving the page number.  Footnotes are also for ideas or paraphrases of the book as well as direct quotations. Note: do not use Wikipedia as an academic source.  If you are giving a word definition cite the Oxford English Dictionary.  Please also note that in the first part of the book Mrs. Traill is in a ship going up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal.  Yes, Montreal is to the south of Quebec city, but it is up the river, not down the river. What is now the province of Quebec was then known as Lower Canada because it is down the St. Lawrence River from Upper Canada (now Ontario). Upper Canada is further south than Quebec and so warmer and better for farming.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *