Roughing It in the Bush: Or, Life in Canada (Paperback)
First published in 1852, and in its third edition by 1854, this description of pioneer immigrant life in Canada by Susanna Moodie (1803 85) is unsentimental and frank. In contrast to similar works, which often seem to be advertisements aimed at potential immigrants, Moodie's book emphasises not only the triumphs but also the tribulations as she and her family begin their new lives. Initially criticised in Canada for painting an unflattering picture of the country, it was later recognised as a key work of early Canadian literature, and has influenced writers up to the present day. The family left England reluctantly, as Moodie (nee Strickland) makes clear in the introduction to Volume 1. She chronicles their early struggles and describes the characters of the people they encounter, particularly their troublesome 'Yankee' neighbours. Writing with honesty, clarity, humour and a journalistic immediacy, she provides a fascinating insight into the country's infancy.