Roughing It in The Bush: or, Forest Life in Canada, by Susanna MOODIE
(London, 1852; Toronto, 1871), is Moodie's best-known book and has been variously described as a novel, a romance, a diary and a history. Its subject, less elusive than its form, is Moodie's experience as an immigrant who settled with her husband near Peterborough, Canada West. Unlike the account by her sister, Catharine Parr TRAILL
, of the settler's experience, Moodie's opens with a grim warning to prospective immigrants that Canada is not the Eden it is widely promoted to be in England, and that the settler's lot is a harsh one. Moodie's tone is more sombre than her sister's, but her descriptions of place and character are more imaginative, alloying the documentary with the fictional; and the personality she presents is more complex. Moodie's character inspired Margaret Atwood's fine book of poems, The JOURNALS OF SUSANNA MOODIE
Roughing It in the Bush
The original title page (courtesy Bruce Peel Special Collections/University of Alberta).