Forest and Other Gleanings: The Fugitive Writings of Catharine Parr Traill

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University of Ottawa Press, 1994 - 250 pages

Forest and Other Gleanings reclaims for the contemporary reader a number of stories and sketches written by Catharine Parr Traill after her emigration to Canada in 1832. While most of the pieces collected here appeared in magazines in Britain, the United States, and Canada, a few have been drawn from archival holdings and edited here for their first appearance in print.

Taken together, they offer a richer and fuller picture of Traill's interests and preoccupations than has heretofore been available to Canadianists and literary students. As well, they present fresh evidence of her range and virtuosity as a writer. Traill herself envisioned and executed several collections of sketches, letters, and stories that had the misfortune of not making it into print. Her "sequel" to The Backwoods of Canada apparently died in dismemberment, a few pieces from it appearing here and there, while later collections with titles like "Forest Gleanings" and "Under the Pines" did not find publication in book form.

This collection seeks, as it were, to complete her aspirations and to offer the reader interested in Traill and nineteenth-century Upper Canada (Ontario) a "gleaning" of her better sketches and stories. It stresses both her achievements and her struggles as a writer in nineteenth-century Canada. Forest and Other Gleanings will be of interest to students engaged in women's studies, Canadian studies, Canadian social history, and early Canadian literature and culture. It will also be of interest to those who simply like reading short fiction.


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