Buried Nuggets

Mary Lu MacDonald. Literature and Society in the Canadas 1817- 1850. Lewiston, N.Y., Queenston, Ont., Lampeter, U.K.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1992. viii + 360 pp.

Beginning with a set of statements that many researchers and critics will find provocative, Mary Lu MacDonald furnishes findings based on archival research and alerting claims about them in terms of the social production of literature in the Canadas. This is a two-part project. To detail the latter but more important part first: an apparently comprehensive reference tool for the study of literature and society in Upper and Lower Canada/Canada West and Canada East from 1817 to 1850 takes shape in the form of four appendices and a bibliography. These appendices include the chronologically-ordered titles of monographs and periodicals seen by MacDonald and a list of such titles not seen by her; biographical and bibliographical sketches of 105 of the 108 authors whose literature she has found; biographical summaries of 108 authors in tabular form, including their political and religious affiliations; sample prices of newspapers, of subscription rates for periodicals, and of books; and tabular breakdowns of the sources of the literary content in English-language periodicals, in French-language newspapers, and, by seven regions, in English-language newspapers. The bibliography breaks down the primary sources into six sections: books, pamphlets, and broadsides; manuscripts; literary society bylaws; periodicals; religious periodicals; and newspapers. Secondary sources are listed in groups as well: books; articles; manuscripts; and unpublished theses.

     In the first part of this study eight chapters, bracketed by two others of introduction and conclusion, interpret and flesh out, often very thinly, the data laid out in the second part. They do so in the categories of "Writers and the Literary Life," "Distribution of Literature," "Social Expectations of Literature," "Confronting the Verities," "A Consciousness of Nationality," "Present Politics and Past History," "Literature and Landscape," and "Social Relationships"; these are self-explanatory except perhaps "Confronting the Verities," which is a catch-all chapter that discusses attitudes to everything from God, good and evil, and mortality to material progress, temperance, and the need for education. The discussion is carried out as a survey, in counter-distinction to methodology that has enjoyed widespread practice in social studies ever since Carl Berger's study of imperialism. Rather than interpreting either the literature or the thinking of a few individuals as the thinking of the entire age, MacDonald has amassed many voices for consideration, intentionally making room no more for one than for another. Her approach saves her from erecting false scenarios of social crises; thereby, she has avoided the chief pitfall encountered by studies that adopt Berger's approach.

     In principle it is a refreshing approach, especially for those with misgivings about sending students forth into further studies with the impression that works by Moodie, Haliburton, and Richardson adequately represent nineteenth-century English-Canadian society and thinking, or that the writings of Aubert de Gaspé fils and Garneau do the same for French-Canadian society and thinking. Of course, MacDonald is no solitary pioneer in taking this direction; the editorial projects ongoing at universities in Sherbrooke, Montréal, Ottawa, and London, at the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (CIHM), and at the National Library all direct themselves to a greater or lesser extent to increasing specificity in our understanding of early Canada. Indeed, if MacDonald is to be faulted for her approach, it is only in her study's failure adequately to situate her own contribution in terms of the other scholarly activity of our day; she exhibits a distressing inclination to formulate and confidently voice absolute statements about these thirty-four years of life in the Canadas while dismissing without addressing the work of others to whom she regularly alludes amorphously as "some critics," of which more in due course.

     As to recognizing and acknowledging where her work fits into and bears on others', MacDonald describes her methodology in a fashion that does and does not render it distinctive: "The approach here is essentially historical: searching for general attitudes, rather than the unique vision of one individual; considering each writer as having definable political, social and economic relations to the society in which he or she lived; and buttressing conclusions with reference to archival and other historical sources" (2). The approach of Berger and many practitioners of intellectual history who have followed him is also essentially historical, yet he infers general attitudes from individual visions, visions which he considers representative of society; and he buttresses his conclusions---which scholars do not?---with reference to archival and other historical sources. The point that readers of Canadian Poetry will need to keep in mind is that MacDonald examines literature for what it can tell us about the society in which its authors live: "qualitative `literary' judgments must be set aside and each literary work be seen as having equal value. The ideas, not the excellence of their presentation, are the focus of this monograph" (4). Being a survey of ideas, this approach does not call for detailed discussions of single works. Apart from occasional evaluations of individual works as good, bad, or otherwise---she considers the anonymous Mysteries of Montreal "the most unbelievable of all works written in Canada in this period" (77)---MacDonald remains loyal to her mandate.

     One is forcibly struck by the contrast between, on the one hand, the manner of part two, which draws attention to the specificity of her data about the literature, and, on the other hand, the generalized interpretive pronouncements in part one concerning the society that produced the literature. The generalizations begin in the first pages where she paints with a very broad brush and in opaque oils: "[O]nly with a few exceptions" (which the exceptions are is left to the reader to surmise) we read early Canadian literature and dismiss it "without making any effort to understand the time and place, or the personal viewpoint of those who did the writing" (1). Similarly, and in contrast to any other recently published work on the early nineteenth century, the titular "Society" is painted broadly and unproblematically as "the aggregate environment of the people of Upper and Lower Canada" (2; emphasis added). However, MacDonald's remarks regularly offer illustrations that amount to counter-claims against "aggregate environment," such as the following: "If the Literary Garland did not review Belinda or The Spirit of Love, it was not the result of a conspiracy against Western Ontario reformers; the Garlands's editor would have been completely unaware of the books' existence" (84). One is regularly given pause to reconsider MacDonald's claim. Almost needless to say, the Act of Union (1840), a constitutional yoking with violence together such as only a newcomer like Lord Durham could have proposed, hardly suggests that those brought into union shared much more than the stalemate in which this act issued. Moreover, MacDonald's reference to "[a] genuine debate . . . being carried on as to who should exercise power in the colony" (6), and her recalling plagues of pestilence and fire in parts of the Canadas during the 1830s and 1840s, and widespread economic recession at least once each decade strongly qualify, if they do not disqualify, claims of an homogenized social milieu. When one goes on to recall the upheaval experienced from massive immigration through the port of Quebec in the mid-1830s---"[i]n 1832 a total of 51,746 immigrants landed at Quebec, a figure that was not exceeded until the great Irish emigration of 1847 when 84,000 arrived" (Johnston 9)---and from the rebellions in both Upper and Lower Canada, it begins to seem that the period under study might accurately be described as exemplifying more than normal (for Canada) instability and difference.

     Then too, must one not be wary of the synthetic impulses inherent in surveys? MacDonald claims to exercise no "specific hypothesis" (3), but choosing a survey as her methodology inevitably determines one for her. That she later speaks of a single "Canadian identity" (158) begs the question, and begs it all the more insistently because she chooses throughout to treat the literature in terms of four groups of authors: native-born English-speaking; native-born French-speaking; immigrant English-speaking; and immigrant French-speaking. That the writing, taken all in all, implicitly argues for there being just one identity in the Canadas, or that all "the Canadian writers of the period are good, grey Canadians" (31) appears to distinguish the literature as much more homogenous than other aspects of the societies, especially the religious and linguistic. Still, it may be that the writers jointly saw it as their purpose to effect a cohering impulse. In her conclusion, MacDonald grants the exceptions of "a few eccentrics" (250), presumably Adam Kidd, John Richardson, William Lyon Mackenzie, Stephen Randal, and Maximilien Bibaud among them, but remains steadfastly synthetic: "Generally, they were sober, hardworking, family-oriented, church-going men and women who believed that the imagination must be kept under control, and who saw it as their duty to produce literature in which sound moral instruction, not light-hearted amusement, was the priority" (250). Without doubt, an Adam Kidd perceived a monolithic social order against which to defend himself, poetically if not otherwise, but the alternatives that he proposes to that mountainous status quo hardly come out of thin air, to which the plethora of satiric literary works from the period's newspapers attest; nor would a homogeneous society seem to be the accurate model judging by the Protestant and Anglican social and political jockeyings for position ongoing in Upper Canada in the first half of the nineteenth century (Westfall). It was one thing for John Beverley Robinson to anchor his ideal society for Upper Canada in the sober yeoman, and to bequeath him contentment and refinement, not American happiness, as his life's pursuits (see Cook 93); it seems to have been another to live out one's life within Robinson's design. That much of the literature proves to adhere to Robinson's design, is no wonder, but that it all did would be very surprising, especially if satire prevailed to the extent that MacDonald suggests it did. It should be remembered that this view pertains chiefly to English-speaking Protestants and Anglicans, yet a glance farther afield seems not to demonstrate greater homogeneity generally. Chapter Six, "A Consciousness of Nationality," does not indicate that English-language writers wrote of French Canada regularly; it even states that "English Canadians . . . ignor[ed] their Francophone contemporaries" (157-58).

     The justification of the period chosen for study remains unconvincing. Why, from a literary point of view, it should start at 1817 is not explained, and the one social reason given for that date---the resumption of social stability upon the conclusion of the War of 1812-1815 (3)---is not shown to be so influential on the literature as to render what was written after the war distinct in form or content from what was written before and during it.

     Further qualification is required generally, for example, in the observation that "[p]erhaps the most prevalent form which religion took in literature was the assumption that all nature came from God" (112). There is no quarrel with the statement but given that wilderness appeared as much more sinister to a Methodist than to a Roman Catholic or Anglican, it is important to anatomize the subject matter closely. (One profitable point of departure could have been a title not mentioned by MacDonald, William Westfall's Two Worlds.) Were Northrop Frye not raised chiefly by Methodist grandparents of the circuit-riding era, it is doubtful that the garrison mentality would ever have been so foundational an aspect of his psyche or so strong a light on his view of Canada. Thus, the claim, "[o]nly in Adam Kidd's The Huron Chief do we meet with a different response to nature" (113) is too sweeping even if it is pointed in the right direction; not only do works that MacDonald for one reason or another does not consider at length or at all, like Richardson's Wacousta, Traill's The Backwoods of Canada and Canadian Crusoes, and Mackay's Quebec Hill, come to mind right away, but so too do Richardson's The Canadian Brothers and his other works of the period under discussion, Holmes's Belinda, Longmore's The Charivari, either for the competing view of nature that they present or for the fact that nature is not a chief concern.

     Almost always in her study, MacDonald sounds more comfortable as an authority on literature than on society. But in both cases, her references to scholarly and critical work are often outdated; why, for example, a literary-critical study like Carole Gerson's Purer Taste goes unmentioned while her thesis is cited, remains a puzzle. The same holds for books and theses by Fred Armstrong (354) and Elinor Senior (355), while more recent work than their theses should have been listed for Carl Ballstadt, Mary Jane Edwards, and Charles Steele. In other cases, the references remain unavailingly unspecified. Quite simply, some of MacDonald's blanket statements lack the critical context that scholarship in the 1990s requires of them. Not only the extensively introduced editions of prose published by the Centre for the Editing of Early Canadian Texts, and of poetry published by the Canadian Poetry Press, but, no doubt sparked in part by MacDonald's own contributions to periodicals, a variety of studies in more than one discipline relating to the three decades on which her work focuses can reasonably be expected to receive discussion during the course of this study. However, disciplinary discussions and "an interdisciplinary point-of-view" (3) of the period, all of which are well under way now, are not advanced by this work. This absence also serves to deny MacDonald's research the context it deserves; so it remains unhelpfully unincorporated into or undistinguished from the body of research known to her readers, whose collective "failure [of] . . . understanding" (1) her book aims to correct.

     This is not to say that the rewards of the overview or survey are not in evidence. Each of the following observations seems to me just what a survey alone is disposed to find. "Regardless of their background, no one wrote of Canada as a frontier" (138). Apparently, expansionist-minded Canada West was a creation of the 1850s, as Owram's study, not mentioned by MacDonald, suggests. Perhaps this observation connects with one of my own: that this study could be completed without more than infrequent mention of the fur trade. Clearly, the romance of it along the lines of caesars of the wilderness awaited other decades. Another inference by an absence of evidence is that poetry seldom took the tone and form of elegy; the term is not mentioned by MacDonald. To continue with her observations: "While the native-born English show little interest in a particular Canadian identity, the French seem to have a much stronger sense of who they are" (144). Plus ça change. . . . Although MacDonald does not make a connection between this discrepancy and her observation that neither United Empire Loyalists nor the theme of them are present in the literature (183), it awaits making. "French-Canadian authors of this period did not write much about the natural world. [The prose concentrates on humans.] In their poetry, nature is used to support human emotion" (199-200). The picturesque truly seems an aesthetic, perhaps even a mentalité, derived exclusively from English culture. "In a country whose economy was so bound up with agriculture the absence of poems celebrating autumnal harvests is most striking" (205). "There is no evidence in literature that anyone, other than Mrs. Moodie, thought education was an important factor in determining the social hierarchy" (226).

     On the other hand, not all such observations can rest unchallenged. Following is a sampling of interesting insights that, because they amount to blanket statements based on evaluation and unsupported by documentation, cannot yet make salutary or convincing contributions to the field. The circulation of periodicals "was limited and few paid their contributors, so there was little to recommend them over newspapers as a publishing medium" (22). Where are some data to illustrate this? "The significance of American writing appearing in Canada is in the indication as to the source of reading for Canadians, not in thematic or stylistic influence" (56). This is a value judgment; as such it must be buttressed with reference to archival and other historical sources. "At the beginning of the period under study Byron would probably have been the British poet whose works were most frequently reprinted in English in the Canadas" (56). Given MacDonald's emphatic observation of the insistence throughout the period on moral correctness (67ff.), the popularity of Byron, whose poetry and life hardly seem epitomes of moral rectitude, requires explanation. Next, Adam Hood Burwell is considered "better known today as the best of the early Canadian lyric poets" (59). "Customs rolls show that large quantities of novels were imported" (82). "Local newspapers generally printed their subscribers' contributions, provided they met minimum standards of form and content" (84). These statements demand substantiation.

     As to particular gaps in MacDonald's interpretations, the extremely brief discussion of gender (82) occurs without reference to and discussion of Gerson's Purer Taste. Generally in this fourth chapter, "Social Expectations of Literature," Gerson's arguments about society and reading practices ought to have been contended with at length. Moreover, any discussion of societies' debates over the moral correctness of fiction written during this period must grapple with the points raised by Susanna Moodie's "Word for the Novel Writers," a fine distillation of the debate, which appeared in the Literary Garland in August 1851, and which is perhaps better known today in its reprinted form in the "revised" (and neither the first [1955] nor the third [1974]) edition of Canadian Anthology (Klinck and Watters 58-63). Next, on the national subject matter in French-language literature (98-99), MacDonald does not draw on a very wide body of other criticism. Certainly Trofimenkoff's brief history, still the best in the English language, touches on most of the points that MacDonald raises and links them to a wider body of social phenomena than MacDonald offers her reader. Her argument, often unsubstantiated, would have benefited measurably by reference to this historian's work. Science and progress are noted as themes (124), but no mention is made of Zeller's comprehensive treatment of this topic. In a study that is both avowedly and resolutely uninterested in remaining within the discipline of literary criticism, every expectation is raised that a broad set of references will emerge. If, on the other hand, treating literature from the point of view of thirty-four years of history is MacDonald's modest aim finally, she has misled readers and given rise to misplaced expectations in calling hers an "interdisciplinary point-of-view" (3).

     Within the literature that she does treat there are connections to be made that would have leant more cohesion to her survey. I am grateful to her for learning of Maximilien Bibaud's amateur ethnohistory. Learning as well that there is a modern microcard reprint of it available would have helped, as would the information, found in the entry for him in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography (DCB) (Morel and Lamonde 70), that one of the middle names he added for himself later in life was Uncas, taken directly, one supposes, from Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales; this idiosyncrasy helps to indicate the extent of his interest in noble savage versions of Indians (were he alive today, he would probably be German). But all this is incidental when compared to learning of his book's stated aim, not mentioned by MacDonald, to do in prose what fellow Montrealer Adam Kidd had done in verse:

Le sort déplorable qui semble réservé à la plupart des tribus, prête à cette histoire un intérêt d'un autre genre: aussi longtems [sic] qu'il en restera une seule sur ce vaste continent, elle sera méprisée et pourchassée; mais la dernière famille n'aura pas plutôt disparu, que les sentimens [sic] des hommes seront changés. Le philosophe regrettera de ne pouvoir converser avec une race d'hommes qu'il jugera la plus intéressante du globe; et le dessinateur, de ne pouvoir nous retracer des traits qui se seront effacés dans l'oubli. Adam Kidd a chanté en vers "le Chef Huron." On offre maintenant une histoire; mais la nature l'a faite riche de la poésie des choses.
(Extrait du Prospectus ix)

One statement that is supported by examples seems to me to be defeated by them: "The use of accents and dialects to denote social status was not uncommon in literary works" (228). To substantiate this `litotesic' claim, MacDonald cites only the works of Richardson and J.W.D. Moodie. How representative are these two writers, especially in a study that takes pains to discriminate not only between native-born and immigrant writers, but also against any work not published in the Canadas for Canadian readers?

     In terms of individual works, other gaps amount to missed opportunities or careless oversights. For example, in her only and entire mention of the poem, MacDonald states that "[a]mong Canadian writers in English, we find J.H. Willis' `Canadian Boat Song' in six publications" (56): in which six publications and in which issues of them did it appear, and how does that poem relate, if no more than titularly, to the one that has been attributed to at least eight other authors, including Sir Walter Scott, and to the poem by Thomas Moore from 1805? If only to distinguish it from its namesakes, the discussion ought to have cited D.M.R. Bentley et al. Despite Willis' place of birth being unknown, MacDonald lists him as Canadian-born (278); if this poem's content resembles its famous namesake, Willis' authorship would be a most interesting matter, and not only from the point of view of literary criticism. One recalls a related observation made much later in her book: " . . . most immigrant writers, when they described their life `at home', wrote, not of the hardships which forced them to leave, but of the family, friends, and childhood scenes which they had left" (224). How does Willis' poem bear on this observation, one wonders. Next, "Alexander M'Lachlan, who found Canada a land of freedom, also called it a cold and lonely place" (148). Where did he express this view? "When Brock's monument at Queenston was destroyed in 1840, Canadian poets rushed into print with poems in his praise" (155). Where were these poems published and who wrote them? In one case at least, even less information is provided: a poem by "F. Cinq-Mars" (presumably, François Cinq-Mars, as named in the DCB [Audet, 75]), editor of "L'Aurore des Canadas," is quoted in part, but MacDonald does not provide the title of the poem (116), and if his name appears elsewhere in the book, it is not in the index. No further information is provided about either The Canadian Temperance Minstrel or The Canadian Son of Temperance than that they were notable (128), apparently not notable enough to be included in the index, the bibliography, or any of the appendices. Whether they are monographs or periodicals also will remain a mystery until one consults other sources.

     Omissions abound. The reader learns that Standish O'Grady's "intense dislike of French Canadians . . . is just as noticeable as his hatred of the environment, but is never mentioned by any of the critics who take his word as gospel on the hardships of settlement" (210). Who are these critics? Do they, in MacDonald's view, include Brian Trehearne, whose article on O'Grady she cites 175 pages earlier (35), but whose edition of The Emigrant (O'Grady) she does not? One is left similarly perplexed after hearing the following, potentially important, contribution:

If one examines the publishing rhythm it is easy to believe those theorists who see French Canada turning its back on revolution and developing a national consciousness expressed in non-violent ways. The publishing rhythm is more independent of economics and more closely related to political events than that of the English.

For both the names of the theorists and examples of those close relations between politics and publishing, one looks down the page for a helpful note and finds none. Stumped at this, the end of the paragraph, the reader presses on in hopes of an expansion on either of these points, but the topic has switched to the lack of Canadian content in "French[-language]" periodicals. Yet, MacDonald is unpredictable. When she states that there is some question as to whether or not George Copway wrote The Ojibway Conquest, she opens a note of explanation (143), and cites the critic---Donald Smith---with whom she disagrees. When she advances the view that Alexander M'Lachlan is "generally considered the most class conscious of our early writers," she opens a note to cite E.M. Fulton's work as, one presumes from its date, the origin of that view (223).

     It is seldom the case, however, that her notes provide full bibliographical information. On occasion (40, note 4) they are full and correct; at other times (105, note 84; 113, note 15) they come close, but generally they do not satisfy normal scholarly expectation, lacking one item or another (eg. 15, note 4; 41, note 5). Printers' and publishers' names, which often appear in the bibliography, are usually not given in the footnotes (there are exceptions); why not? Page numbers to newspapers and periodicals are seldom given; bracketed numbers for unpaginated publications ought to have been provided as a matter of course and of courtesy. At least once, partial citations begin to turn up in the text rather than in notes; for example, "Fred Landon's Western Ontario and the American Frontier (Toronto, 1941)" (63); "Trifles from my Port-Folio [sic] (Quebec 1839)" (168). As with this last example, italics are occasionally not used for titles (244); in one case, the lack of italics in the title of Charles Durand's "Reminiscences" (183) suggests that it is a manuscript rather than a monograph. In a different case, concerning Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau's novel, italics are used for only a portion of the title: "Charles Guérin" (199). Lack of consistency in this regard causes untold problems with newspapers, as will be seen momentarily. Underlining is substituted for italics at random points (32, 286-87). The acronym for the National Archives of Canada is unhelpfully given as both the "PAC" (32), where MacDonald does not state what the letters stand for, and the "NAC" (40). "The Patriot" is alphabetically ordered by definite article and in the midst of titles beginning "Toronto" in the bibliography (345). The specificity that one expects of a scholarly work simply is lacking much of the time. In a work that clearly aims to be a reference resource for other scholars, such a desultory effort guarantees to make splenetic Wilcockeses out of those who read and certainly those who consult it.

     Such blemishes occur less often in the style, but they occur. MacDonald discusses the literature inspired by the rebellions of 1837 and 1838 in Upper and Lower Canada before the literature pertaining to the War of 1812. The adverb "next," which initiates the move from the rebellions to the War of 1812, suggests a succession when the discussion obviously aims to regress chronologically. The resultant figure is nonsensical: "However, when we come to the War of 1812, the balance shifts . . . " (174-75). As in the following, a few errors cannot be resolved: "The decade in unimportant" (79); "in" was perhaps meant to be "is," but the correction, while it satisfies the grammar, renders the meaning unfathomable. Typographical errors are only slightly more common than usual: "probably" for probable (43), "than" for then (50), "Faction" for Fiction (75), "then" for than (144), "Sadleir" for Sadlier (314). Carl Klinck does not escape unscathed: he is "C.F. Klinck" most often (eg. 301, 347), but becomes "C.F. Kinck" (351), and is credited with publishing an article in "(1854)" (321).

     Other sorts of frustrations occur and recur in this user-unfriendly book. Two examples must suffice. "With one exception," MacDonald writes, "the English-Canadian critics were immigrants" (88). Who the exception was, one does not learn, and cannot find out in any obvious place in her book. It happens that patience is repaid thirteen pages later (still in the same chapter) with the name of Mary Graddon Gosselin (101). But thirteen pages are as nothing compared to the case of Matilda, which appears first as a one-word title without footnote (88). Sixty-seven pages later (155) it surfaces again, still referred to only as Matilda, with some page numbers offered in a footnote explaining that both its hero and villain are British officers. Nearly one hundred pages after the title's first sighting, the name of its author, James Russell, as well as its place (Three Rivers) and date (1833) of publication turn up in a footnote (186). Almost sixty pages later again, the first of the work's subtitles, or the Indians' Captive, is revealed, and the reader can, as a result, probably make the first good guess at the genre of this work, and that it is not poetry, though the entire title, Matilda or the Indians' Captive; A Canadian Tale founded on Fact, something one never learns from MacDonald's book, would have helped to eliminate doubt. Because nothing is known of Russell, no entry appears on him in Appendix D, but a final detail---the fact that George Stubbs printed the book for its author---is given in the bibliography (333), the page number of which, like the second reference, is not listed in the index, which has a listing for the novel by title but no listing for its author.

     Meanwhile, two details that were offered when the novel was first mentioned---that a complete copy of it is "held in the United States," and that it was seen by MacDonald (88)---receive no further elaboration. Nor does MacDonald seem to consider worthy of mention three other bibliographical facts, all of them useful: that Garland Publishers of New York published a facsimile reprint edition of this novel (Russell) in 1977 as number 51 of its Garland Library of Narratives of North American Indian Captivities; that in the reprint alone one learns that a complete copy, the one from which the reprint was made, is held by the Houghton Library at Harvard University (this is probably the copy to which MacDonald alludes but which she does not cite); and that the copy at the library of the Seminaire du Québec, the one that MacDonald points out is incomplete, was reproduced by the CIHM (no. 52391) in 1986. Once all these facts are known, one wonders what help MacDonald's partial and scattered information could be to a fellow tiller in the field who might be interested in tracking down and reading the complete copy. Her Introduction's statement, that "[t]his historical study is intended to correct some of our misunderstandings about our early literature and, by placing it in its context, to spark further consideration and re-evaluation" (1-2) haunts her readers through their necessarily labyrinthine and seemingly subterranean peregrinations.

     Finally with regard to Matilda and MacDonald's argument, the copy made by the CIHM goes the extra yard and furnishes "photoreproductions" of the missing pages in order to produce a full text (regrettably, which copy was used for these photoreproductions is not clarified on the fiche). Examination of the contents of the pages goes some way towards confirming her view about censorship: "Pages 69 and 70 are missing from the book. Neatly removed just at a point when the author seems to be suggesting that not all British officers are gentlemen" (88). Yet, doubts linger: if the motivation were censorship, why would page 71 not have been removed as well? On it is printed the completion of the suggestive (rather, declarative) paragraph, including the following transparent statement, as vitriolic as any in the omitted portion, lacking a subject perhaps but one that can be pretty readily inferred: " . . . obtain a commission through some rotten interest or for money perhaps but indifferently obtained, act according to their origin, and only disgrace their profession, and make the unthinking throw odious reflections on their more noble comrades in arms."

     A detailed reading of one of the chapters in part one of MacDonald's study is all that can be offered here. In chapter eight, "Literature and Landscape," it is clear from her definition and subsequent preliminary remarks on the sublime (192) that MacDonald has fallen into the trap of not discriminating between the awe with which unsettled nature inspired nineteenth-century writers, and the agreeable pleasure by which, with tedious regularity, they encoded settled and cultivated landscapes. By means of their widespread use of "sublime" as the stock adjective to fill out stock descriptions of landscape that rather please, divert, or enchant than enthral the observer, these writers, like their counterparts in Britain, managed so to blur the distinctions among the beautiful, the picturesque, and the sublime, which British theorists such as Uvedale Price, William Gilpin, and Richard Payne Knight attempted to draw, that the categories became at times almost indistinguishable. But in the Canadas, where wilderness hinterland forest was being relentlessly converted into baseland settlements and fields, the distinctions serve telling purposes vis à vis conceptions of society, and ought to be remarked with care where occasionally they are drawn. However, overdetermining her quoted sources, MacDonald sees only examples that fit her constrained expectation. Thus, she topples her argument for the ubiquity of the sublime by quoting from Adam Hood Burwell's Talbot Road at the precise juncture where the industrious pioneer, "Whose hands would soon transform the rugged wilds / To fruitful fields, and bid tam'd nature smile," dreams the quintessential picturesque dream of reining in sublime nature with domesticity, order, productivity---in short, cultivation (196).

     A comprehensive corrective to this argument, and one that pertains specifically to the literature of the Canadas, is offered by D.M.R. Bentley (297). And while MacDonald helpfully directs her reader to Dow's standard bibliography on Niagara Falls from early in this century (212), an important recent critical study apparently was not consulted. Among many other contributions, McKinsey offers salient distinctions among the beautiful, the picturesque, and the sublime as they pertain to Niagara, notably the following:

The source of the imaginative appeal of nature as an improvable resource is its promise of fruitful industry and progress for human society. Similarly the beautiful and picturesque aesthetics are essentially social in nature, based on human hospitality and interest. But the power of the sublime lies in its isolation---indeed, in its potential for destructiveness and terrible aspect. As the explorers at Niagara discovered for themselves and as Burke and Kant articulated in their theories, it was the ungovernable or unknowable element that made it at the same time delightful and compelling. And it is precisely this uncontrollable or mysterious side of the sublime that sets it forever and necessarily apart from the picturesque or improvable.

Elsewhere, MacDonald mistakenly argues that "[f]or them [Canadian writers], there was no conflict between the aesthetic rules for beauty and what they saw when they visited Niagara" (213), the epitome of the sublime, not the beautiful. And she mistakenly quotes a quintessentially picturesque word-picture to exemplify the sublime even though the passage obviously distinguishes itself from the sort of nature that overwhelms the mind. The quoted passage, from William Benjamin Wells's story, "Deer Stalking on the South Branch," ends thus:

We did not waken for a length of time from the revery into which we were thrown by the exquisite charm of this winter landscape---yes, this unapproachable scenic effect of our forests in winter, will amply repay the beholder for the absence of those mountain prospects regretted by many accustomed to countries more broken and wildly sublime than our river-countries can pretend to be.

This is the stuff of Christmas greeting cards, the quintessence of picturesque schlock. Furthermore in this chapter, the brevity of aesthetic commentary on Longmore's "Tecumthé" and Richardson's Wacousta (196-97), especially in view of all the attention that has been paid to the latter in the past fifteen years, makes no advance on criticism. And the failure to connect to Paleyite philosophy the literary convention of associating landscape and God limits the usefulness of any points raised on that score.

* * *

When one moves to reviewing the merit of the second part of this study, matters worsen. The glaring case in point is the index. Surveys characteristically do not offer sustained discussions of individual works; rather, titles appear in the text at various points, once when the handling of landscape is the point of discussion, again when the political dimensions of literature are being examined, and so on. It is perhaps especially important in a survey, then, that the scholarly book's infrastructure be thorough; error- and omission-free is the ideal at which one aims, of course. And the chief component of that infrastructure is the index. MacDonald's is not only badly incomplete; it is occasionally inaccurate, at least once alphabetically deranged (L'Ecuyer), and laid out in a format that precludes quick consultation because no indentation has been used in multi-line entries. No places or events, such as the Annexation Movement (165) and the Rebellion Losses Bill (166), receive an entry in the index. Excluded are even some of the nineteenth-century writers---Byron (56), Haliburton (65), the Cary family of Quebec (61), Anne Langton (110), Charles Powell, Mrs. Hemans, Caroline Bowles, Thomas Moore, T.H. Bayly, and Francis Goring (111), Cinq-Mars (116), Mrs. H. Bayley (118; when the preceding name---Walter Henry---in the same sentence is indexed, though no reference to page 118 appears under it), Keefer (125), Hippolyte Minier (128), Darwin (132), and Miss H.B. MacDonald (241). Most of the nineteenth-century clergy, editors, and politicians mentioned in the text are not indexed, including Colin Ferrie and Allan McNab (128), Bishop Strachan and Sir Charles Bagot (130), Governor Thomson, later Lord Sydenham (156), William Sibbald, editor of the Canadian Magazine (156), William Lyon Mackenzie (162, 253), and Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine (331), both of whom have publications listed under their names in the bibliography, neither of whom is listed as an author in the tables of Appendix C, or receives a biographical sketch in Appendix D; Louis-Joseph Papineau (162), Egerton Ryerson (187), and Lord Durham. There is no inclusion of the names of scholars contemporary with MacDonald, including Jan Errington (55), Carole Gerson (75), L.S. Fallis Jr., Alison Prentice, Katz and Mattingly, and Allan Smith (130), Jacques Monet, and W.L. Morton's edition, The Shield of Achilles (165), David Mills, and Dennis Duffy (184), S.F. Wise (185), Northrop Frye (191), Margot Northey (196), Carl Ballstadt (209), Leslie Monkman (239), and so forth. These examples are indicative, not exhaustive. Yet, frustratingly, some names from each of these categories are indexed. The index offers a listing for "Brock as hero" but fails to index the following: "General Brock was probably the greatest hero of the day to English-speaking Canadians and he makes frequent appearances in English-Canadian literature" (155). Such oversights occur with a regularity that dispirits the eager reader. Meanwhile, there is a corollary: no mention is made in the text or its footnotes of a great many of the titles that turn up in the secondary sources listed in the bibliography, so there is no certainty that, had readers the time, patience, and commitment, they would be rewarded by a search for a particular title in the chapters themselves.

     The first three appendices and the bibliography are not indexed. As to the fourth appendix, Appendix D (297-326), the surnames of all 105 authors whom MacDonald has sketched biographically and bibliographically can be found in the index. (One hundred and eight authors are included in the study, but three of these are excluded from this appendix due to an absence of information. Who are they? MacDonald makes no reply. They are James Keogh, John Newton, and James Russell; the name of only the second of these three is indexed.) In so far as the alphabetical listing of Appendix D makes the surnames the easiest information to find, the index ought to have proceeded to cover the host of other material, sources, and titles, mentioned in the biographical sketches of this appendix.

     The entry in the index for a dozen of these surnames bears only the page number for the corresponding sketch in Appendix D. This is the case for the name of Patrice Lacombe; the index lists neither of the appearances of his name in the text (199, 222), although both these page numbers await the resourceful hunter farther along in the index, beside La terre paternelle (360), the title of Lacombe's novel.

     Since titles are by no means usually indexed, only the undiscouraged or wayward reader is likely to encounter these. Entries appear for novels and poems such as John Richardson's The Canadian Brothers, F.B. Ryan's The Spirit's Lament, and John Newton's The Emigrant and other Poems (given as The Emigrant and other Pieces in the bibliography [332], a regrettable discrepancy in view of the fact that the usually reliable CIHM appears to have missed this title in its first stage of work), but not for Abraham Holmes's Belinda (84), the anonymous Reminiscences of a Soldier (155) and The Victims of Tyranny (160), John Howard Willis' Scraps and Sketches of a Literary Lounger (53), Alexander McLachlan's The Spirit of Love (84, 223), and Standish O'Grady's The Emigrant (147). Neither have contemporary periodicals, such as this one, Canadian Poetry (35, 48, 52, 303, 309, 313, 317, 325), qualified, but nor have some, but not all, nineteenth-century periodicals, such as L'Aurore des Canadas (116). Some newspapers, such as "Le Télégraphe" (117), 1 are excluded; others, such as the "Western Herald," are not (360). The "Bathurst Courier" is mentioned first at page 17; this appearance is not indexed. Only by reading the entire "Primary Sources---Newspapers" section of the bibliography, by guessing that further information about the paper will come when the title next appears and looking for it, or by waiting seventy-seven pages for that next appearance can ignorant readers like me learn that the "Bathurst Courier" was published in Perth, Upper Canada (94). This dimension of the index's unreliability beleaguers readers in yet another way: it precludes learning whether or not a title that appears in MacDonald's unindexed bibliography---the "Upper Canada Herald" (Kingston), for example (341)---is mentioned anywhere in the text. In the lights of the deficiencies, readers are counselled to draw up a working index of their own, at which point the thought of libraries and non-reviewers remitting the full $US79.95 for this book begins to wither the courage of even the most resolute proponents of the published dissemination of scholarship at any price.

     Meanwhile, one comes to worry that MacDonald has not consulted as wide a run of this last-named newspaper, of the "Montreal Herald," and perhaps of others, as are extant, since the dates she gives for the run of the "Upper Canada Herald"---"May 20, 1826 to December 22, 1847" (341)---do not extend back as far as the issues containing advertisements for and the announcement of the publication of the first Canadian novel, Julia Catherine Beckwith Hart's St. Ursula's Convent, or The Nun of Canada, containing Scenes from real Life (1824), issues of the Kingston paper from 1822 to 1824 which appear to be in the National Library of Canada, and which are quoted and cited in the introduction to the recent edition of the novel for Carleton University's Centre for Editing Early Canadian Texts (Lochhead xxi-xxiii), which probably appeared too late for MacDonald's consultation, though her Acknowledgements are dated April 1992. (By the way, it should be noted that other information provided by Lochhead---that the novel was written when Hart was still a resident of New Brunswick---implicitly calls into question MacDonald's decision to include this novel in her rigorously delimited study, which does not concern itself at all with the literature of the Maritime colonies during the same period, perhaps mentioning Haliburton once, but never drawing parallels or distinctions between writing in the Canadas and that in the Maritimes.)

     In reverting to Appendix A, "Books and Periodicals Published in Upper and Lower Canada 1817-1850 Which Have Not Been Located" (265-67), one wonders why newspapers were not listed as well? But one is wrong to infer that there are none to list: MacDonald states in a note to her text that the "Woodstock Gazette . . . has not survived" (220), and there are a not inconsiderable number of others. Meanwhile, two unlocated titles that are listed may be found in as accessible a source as the CIHM. One is her anonymous "Cubber [sic] Burr, or a tree of many trunks" (265), which is probably Adam Thom's Cubbeer Burr; The Tree of Many Trunks, a thirty-three-page essay, which was printed in Montreal by James Starke and Company in 1841; in 1982, the copy held by the Public (now National) Archives of Canada was reproduced by the CIHM (no. 37382). Four years later, the CIHM made available a microfiche version of the copy of To Whom are We to Belong? (no. 62398) that is held by the Legislature du Québec. This is a fifteen-page-essay printed as a pamphlet by C. Flanagan in Quebec in 1846. MacDonald attributes this to John Richardson, presumably because his name is given in the advertisement for it that she states appeared in the "Quebec Mercury" on 9 July 1846 (266); the author's name is concealed in the full title by the moniker, "Canadian Protectionist." One other item in Appendix A's list of works not located is intriguing. MacDonald lists The Miser Outwitted as a one-act farce, the title of which appears in newspapers in Chatham and Perth in 1841 (266), and she attributes it, presumably based on information accompanying the title, to John Richardson. Might Richardson have reworked He Must be Married; or the Miser Outwitted: an Operatical Piece. In three Acts, the libretto of which has, for uncertain reasons, been attributed to John Galt, and which appeared first in England in 1815, a quarter century earlier (New British Theatre, IV, [221]-26; Nicoll and Freedley, box 9)?2

     A sub-section of Appendix B, titled "Chronological list of separately-published books, plays, pamphlets and broadsides, published by residents of Upper and Lower Canada between 1817 and 1850, mentioned in the text" (269-72), does not include Richardson's Tecumseh. The other sub-section of Appendix B, "Chronological list of periodicals mentioned in the text" (272-74), apparently lacks four titles---Roseharp, The Colonial Magazine, Le Magasin du Bas-Canada, and Montreal Museum---and apparently repeats one: "1818: L'Abeille Canadienne - 1818-19," "1833: L'Abeille Canadienne - 1833-4" and "1843: L'abeille canadienne" (272-73). However, a check of "Primary Sources---Periodicals" in the bibliography reveals that if the omissions are not warranted, the repetition is, for the latter represents three publications of the same name, published at different times, two in Montréal and the second in Québec. Matters are made no clearer by the bibliography's capitalization and italicization of all three of these names (336); none is presented these ways in Appendix B. Finally on this title, one is left to guess which of the three titles is meant by the index's single and incomplete entry for "Abeille Canadienne, L'."

     As to Appendix C, discrepancies often arise between the forms which titles take in this appendix and the forms they take elsewhere. For example, the reader of the text (117) is not told that "Le Télégraphe" is the same newspaper referred to in the tables of Appendix C as the differently-named and unitalicized "Quebec Telegraph" (285), and it remains unclear which name would be more expeditious to follow if one were interested in reading extant issues; the bibliography gives a further, italicized, option: "The Telegraph/Le Télégraphe" (343). Similarly, the "St. Catherines Journal" of Appendix C (295) appears as both the "St. Catharines Journal" and the "St. Catherines Journal" on the same page (128) in the text, and as the "St. Catharines Journal" in the bibliography (343); the paper appears under none of these spellings or forms in the index. Likewise, a "Peoples Magazine" appears in the text (52) and, unitalicized, in Appendix D, but "People's Magazine" also appears in the text (132, 227), in the index (which omits a listing for page 132), and, unitalicized, in the seventh table of Appendix C (286); finally, the bibliography's nearest candidate is "The People's Magazine" (338). Names undergo a similar fate. The "William Gillespy" of Appendix C (279) is apparently the same man as the alphabetically out of order "William Gillesby" of Appendix D (307), and the alphabetically in order "William Gillesby" of the bibliography (330) and the index. The author R.J. Macgeorge of the text (24, 119), Appendix D (313), and the index is "R.J. McGeorge" of Appendix C (279), which alphabetically orders surnames beginning M'C, Mac, or McC differently than do the Appendix D and the index, which also differ from one another in this respect. That an author named MacDonald could err in this respect is surprising. While it is a relief to encounter no errors of such magnitude as the attribution of The Charivari to Levi Adams, which is to be found in another recent critical study (Kamboureli 19-20), startling errors of form and content are encountered.

     In Appendix D, there is no clear reason why entries are not offered for some writers, Henry Scadding (23) and W. Gresley (118), for example. As with people, so with details: some information given in the text is not provided in the appendix, such as Burwell's being the only UEL descendant among the 108 authors studied (183), Richardson's having edited a newspaper (181), and Garneau's having published poetry in Album littéraire et musical de la Revue canadienne (233). However, much of the information offered is new and welcome; the frustrations of fitting the appendices' information to the bibliography's, the index's, and the text's cannot be exaggerated, but should not blind one to the bibliographical and biographical nuggets made available, in many cases for the first time.

     If MacDonald is as concerned about our general neglect of the nineteenth-century as her strident and uncompromising introduction suggests, it is odd that her references are as unforthcoming as they often are. Initially, it is heartening to find that she has cross-referenced her biographical and bibliographical sketches in Appendix D to entries in the DCB, but she ought to have been as enterprising and helpful in other respects; for example, a separate appendix could have been opened to cite the corresponding numbers in the fiches prepared by the CIHM, or these numbers might have been appended to the bibliographical entries; furthermore and expanding on this idea, listings ought always to have been given to indicate if titles of monographs, periodicals, or newspapers are otherwise available on microfilm or microfiche, for example, through the Canadian Library Association's series, or that of la Société canadienne du microfilm. Equally, an appendix showing which of the works under discussion had received modern editions up to, say, 1991 ought to have been included. This information is given very sporadically, if at all. For example, in the case of Abraham Holmes's Belinda; or, the Rivals (1843), the bibliography provides a full citation only of the edition published in 1970 in Vancouver by the Alcuin Society. Full particulars of the first edition are not given, and there is no mention of the edition published in 1975 in Toronto by Anansi. To return to a treatment discussed once already, a full citation is given for St. Ursula's Convent, but neither the 1981 nor the 1991 editions are listed, and only in Appendix D (308) is mention made of the edition published in Sackville in 1978. (The text's first citation of this title [54] is not to be found in the index's entries for either Hart or the novel's title.)

     Another appendix certainly should have alphabetically listed authors and their contributions to periodicals and newspapers; one has to roam the text to assemble these for oneself, and is left with little confidence of having managed a thorough job. In a separate or an existing appendix, clear delineations of lacunae in newspaper runs and issues of periodicals should have been provided. In combination with this, a comprehensive list indicating where each publication was consulted and in what form would have assisted greatly, not least because apparent mistakes, to which all research, however carefully carried out, is prone, might be confirmed or quickly corrected.

     Moreover, a certain horizon of expectation is engendered in a reader when the author does provide source material. At the start of Appendix D, MacDonald states that "[r]eferences are given to information already in print, and that information is not generally repeated here" (297). It is in this connection that she cross-references entries in the DCB. However, it appears that she does so for fewer than half of the fifty-one names for which an entry in the DCB is available. The twenty-eight missing ones may as well be listed here to save readers the labour of tracking them down, even if such a list hardly goes far towards allaying readers' lingering doubts about how fully the contents of the other eight reference works listed by MacDonald (297) were cross-referenced (disagreements in names are shown, but in dates are not):

Angers, François-Réal (VIII 16-17)
Barthe, Joseph-Guillaume (XII 65-68); MacDonald: "-Guillaune" (299)
Bibaud, Michel (VIII 87-89)
Burwell, Adam Hood (VII 124-25)
Cawdell, James Martin (VII 161-63)
Chisolme, David (VII 179-81)
Fletcher, Edward Taylor (XII 320-21)
Friel, Henry James (IX 287-88); MacDonald: "Henry John" (306)
Hagarty, John Hawkins (XII 399-400)
Haskins, James (VII 389-90)
Hawley, William Fitz (VIII 386); MacDonald: "Williams F." (309)
Henry, Walter (VIII 391-93)
Lévesque, Charles-François (VIII 502-03);MacDonald:"Charles" only (312)
Lévesque, Guillaume (VIII 503-05)
McLachlan, Alexander (XII 660-64); MacDonald: "M'Lachlan" (315)
McQueen, Thomas (IX 528-29); MacDonald: "Macqueen" (331)
Menzies, George (VII 600-01)
Mézière, Henry-Antoine (V 590-91); MacDonald: "Henry" only (315)
O'Grady, Standish (VII 659-61)
Petitclair, Pierre (VIII 701-02)
Randal, Stephen (VII 733-34); MacDonald (318) does not mention that Katharine Greenfield's entry on Randal includes the facts that he was a friend of George Hamilton, founder of Hamilton, that he began two short-lived periodicals, Voyageur (Hamilton) and Randal's Magazine (Hallowell [Picton]), or that, according to Charles Morrison Durand, he "`prided himself on walking and looking like Lord Byron, in whose day he lived. He and Byron had club feet and curly hair and a look of genius'" (VII, 734).
Richardson, John (VIII 743-48)
Rubidge, Frederick Preston (XII 930-31)
Smyth, John (VIII 829-30)
Soulard, Auguste (VIII 834-35)
Sullivan, Robert Baldwin (VIII 845-50)
Tessier, Ulric-Joseph (XII 1032-33)
Traill, Catherine Parr (XII 995-99)

Searching in the bibliography for any references to perhaps the most notorious newspaper in Upper Canada, William Lyon Mac-kenzie's Colonial Advocate, one finds only the "Canadian Advocate" (344), alphabetically out of order under Toronto in the "Primary Sources---Newspapers" section (there is no separate listing for York). The added information shows that this publication commenced in the same year, 1824, as Mackenzie's paper, but apparently differs from it. However, the bibliography does not list Mackenzie's paper in the Toronto section (there is no section for Queenston), and neither its name nor his appear in the index. It is difficult to remember if they were encountered anywhere in the text or appendices. Since the "Canadian Advocate" also receives no listing in the index, a mistaken conclusion remains an easy possibility. Like most libraries, I presume, the one at the University of Alberta holds the microfilm copy of Mackenzie's Colonial Advocate, issues beginning at 18 May 1824 and continuing, with interruptions, until 18 November 1834, with the name reduced to Advocate in December 1833. All this information resembles without quite matching that given by MacDonald for her "Canadian Advocate." Complicating the problem of this title, however, is the fact that the name of Mackenzie's paper does appear in "Sample Prices of Canadian Newspapers" (284), the sixth table of Appendix C, and again in "Source of Literary Content in English Newspapers---Toronto" (294), the fifteenth table of the same appendix. That the name "Canadian Advocate" makes no appearance in these tables cannot be cited as proof that an error has been committed, since, as their titles indicate, these tables are, however impressively informative in other respects, samplers only.

     Is the study of early Canada the richer for this contribution, one is bound to ask. The answer is undoubtedly affirmative, but more muted than the affirmative answer to the subsequent question: could this work have, with more attention and care, been offered in a manner more accessible and more informative?

     And more complete, or so it appears once one begins to habituate oneself to not just the discrepancies but also the omissions in the second part of the study. At the outset, MacDonald's readers are told that the literature under discussion is that "intended for Canadian readers" (4). Apparently, this does not include travel literature (212); nor does it include publications of the period by Canadians that were issued in Britain or France only, although some of these, Wacousta, for example, are mentioned more than once; and all "[s]hort, rhyming enigmas and riddles . . . less than one column long in a newspaper, or one page long in a periodical, [were] also eliminated" (275). The justifications are only implied but at least the statements are clearly given. The definition of what remains for consideration is imprecise:

In the nineteenth century, literature was a very general term applied to everything in print and most of what was spoken or sung. The definition here is not that inclusive, but it will be broader than is common today, including works in both prose and poetry which were essentially political, critical, or didactic.

The overwhelming impression by book's end is that MacDonald has stayed very close to only poetry and fiction; she mentions numerous titles of a political orientation but pays little attention to them. Certainly, although they are mentioned, one has no sense that the writings of Mackenzie, Papineau, or La Fontaine have been any more than fleetingly regarded. Thus, the claim of broader than normal coverage, if it does not ring hollow, results in nothing remarkable.

     Similarly, the introduction promises the reader an exhaustive study: "The methodology used was to assemble all the extant literary works whether published in book, periodical, or newspaper format" (4; emphasis added). Clearly, MacDonald aims at an encyclopedic treatment. But does the resultant book assemble all the extant literary works? The impression of a complete survey is consolidated particularly by Appendix A, which, it will be remembered, lists titles known to MacDonald from elsewhere in her research but which she was not able to locate for study. Surely it is appropriate to infer from this that what she could locate is all that there is. Yet, given the wording of the titles of the various appendices, one is unsure. It seems that all 108 authors whom MacDonald has been able to identify are mentioned somewhere in her book, but Appendix B lists only those "separately-published books, plays, pamphlets[,] and broadsides," as well as "periodicals" that are "mentioned in the text" (269, 272; emphasis added). Are there others? Nothing even this vague is offered concerning the newspapers, the implication being that all have been examined that are extant; or so one infers from the description of the tables of Appendix C as "dealing with the source of literary content in the periodicals and newspapers of Upper and Lower Canada between 1817 and 1850" (275). Nowhere does one encounter a clear statement that this survey arises out of only a sampling of the literature. This point is important obviously because surveys derive their authority less from their depth than from their breadth.

     In view of the foregoing, MacDonald's readers are left wondering about those titles of monographs, periodicals, and newspapers that turn up in reference sources but not in her book; has she overlooked them in her effort to assemble them all, or are they left unmentioned because they contain, by her definition, no literature? One example is L'Argus; journal électorique, begun by Ludger Duvernay in Trois-Rivières in August 1826 and moved by him to Montréal four months later, continuing through mid-March 1828. Given that the source for this information (Henry 4) is not listed in MacDonald's bibliography, one cannot be sure whether this newspaper was examined or not; at the same time, its subtitle, by suggesting that the paper might not have published literature, encourages the inference that the paper did not qualify for inclusion in this study. Only a trip to a distant archive or, if it is available in a microreproduction, to one's local interlibrary loans desk could, in time, yield a definite answer.

     Were this an odd exception, the scales would tip in favour of disqualification of this particular title. However, a most baffling experience occurs when one consults the first edition of the Union List of Canadian Newspapers (ULCN), the one certainly available when MacDonald was researching the literature, but not listed in her bibliography by any of its editions. It appears that more than one hundred other newspapers, not mentioned by MacDonald's text or bibliography, are available for at least one issue in at least one of the thirty-four years (some of them for a great many more) studied by her.3 Beyond pointing out that these titles number more than MacDonald's bibliography of newspapers includes, and that her study excludes from consideration the only Gaelic and all three German-language newspapers of the period---perhaps, it must be remembered, because they contain no "literature"---one notes that the ULCN also indicates that, as was seen regarding advertisements for St. Ursula's Convent in Kingston and Montreal papers, some of the dates given in MacDonald's bibliography do not cover all the issues that are extant. From a considerable number of others, one might take just the Kingston papers as a case study. MacDonald gives a date of 6 Jan. 1846 for the commencement of "The Argus"; this accords with the date given in the ULCN (164) for the Argus. Her later date is, as it invariably is, the date of the last available issue before 1851, the cut-off date for her study, although some terminal dates seem to be for the last issue of 1849. Therefore, the later date seldom correlates with the one given in the ULCN; that is, her reader must remember that the later date given does not represent when a newspaper ceased publishing, only when MacDonald ceased consulting it.

     MacDonald dates the next Kingston paper, the British Whig, from "February 3, 1836" (341), whereas the ULCN lists as available a run of issues on microfilm positive copy at Queen's University dating 1 Feb. 1834 - 26 Jan. 1836 (164); similarly, Queen's can also provide issues of the Upper Canada Herald in the same format dating from 28 Dec. 1819 (165), much earlier than MacDonald's starting date of "May 20, 1826" (341). Her later date for the short-lived Canadian Loyalist and Spirit of 1812 agrees with the entry in the ULCN (164), but it shows an issue dated 18 May 1843 as available in the original at Queen's, whereas MacDonald's starting date is "June 29, 1843" (341).

     MacDonald's dates for the "Kingston Chronicle. January 1, 1819 to December 31. 1845" accord with those in the ULCN (166), but she shows the paper's change of name to the "Chronicle and Gazette" as occurring for the years "1834-45." According to the ULCN, this is not quite accurate on two counts: the name changed on 29 June 1833 to the Chronicle and Gazette, and Weekly Commercial Advertiser. And it changed again, on 7 Jan. 1835, to the Chronicle and Gazette and Kingston Commercial Advertiser (166). Finally concerning this title but still within MacDonald's study period, a merger occurred in late 1847 with the News, which issued in the "Chronicle and News" (ULCN 166). Next, MacDonald's "Kingston Spectator" begins on "January 9, 1834," but, according to the ULCN (166), original copies of incomplete holdings beginning with the issue of 21 May 1833 are available at the National Library in Ottawa.

     According to MacDonald, "The News" runs from "November 2, 1843 to October 31, 1844" (341), but a run of issues dating from 20 Jan. 1842 to 5 Nov. 1846 is available on microfilm positive copy at the Sir George Williams campus of Concordia University (ULCN 165). Finally, the ULCN (165) lists as available original and microfilm copies of the Upper Canada Herald/Upper Canada Herald, a Political, Agricultural, and Commercial Journal/Kingston Herald in single issues with dates as early as 28 Dec. 1819, whereas MacDonald's run begins at "May 20, 1826" (341). All this is not to say or imply that where the ULCN differs from or exceeds (by two titles) MacDonald's information the former must be right and the latter must be wrong; however, in terms of bibliographical precedence, it behooves the subsequent publication to acknowledge the information made available in the former, and to clarify corrections for the reader when discrepancies occur, as they do in nearly every case regarding the newspapers of Kingston and environs.

     Furthermore, neglect leaves MacDonald's reader confused about the connections among newspapers and periodicals that replaced and were replaced by others at some point. No effort is rendered in the bibliography to explain, for example, the relation between Spectateur canadien, and Aurore, the latter having been absorbed by the former in 1819, and between the former and Canadian Spectator; that the dates MacDonald provides for the run of this last title are either wrong ("October 89 [sic], 1822") or at variance with standard reference sources makes one hesitate to depend upon hers. Another example is her bibliographical entry for the "Toronto Herald. December 30, 1841 to June 22, 1848" (344): according to the ULCN (228), this name applied to the paper only in the years 1841-1846; before 1841, beginning on 28 June 1837, it was known as the Commercial Herald, and after 1846 it was known simply as the Herald; neither name turns up in MacDonald's bibliography. Another example of disagreement between MacDonald's information and a standard reference source, a different one, is the following. Her bibliography lists, among others, the following two entries under newspapers published in Montreal (342):

The Gazette. January 7, 1818 to June 30, 1850.
La Gazette Canadienne. August 14, 1822 to July 9, 1823.

How, one is left to wonder, do these entries relate to the information, given in a reference source that is listed in MacDonald's bibliography (345), for a Montreal Gazette, published between 1824 and 1867, and La Gazette de Montréal/The Montreal Gazette, published between 1785 and 1824 (Beaulieu and Hamelin 4)? But this source seems less dependable than the ULCN (293), which makes an effort to sort out the host of different titles for the same publication that MacDonald simply calls "The Gazette." Meanwhile, it is a relief to discover that the dates she gives for her second title, "La Gazette Canadienne," accord with those given in the ULCN for the Gazette canadienne (294), but this is just an anomaly: one finds that MacDonald's cavalierly simple title, "The Herald" (342), comprehends the four different titles for this Montreal paper, none of which appears in her bibliography, none of which exactly matches the name she provides for a newspaper that began publication in 1811 (ULCN 296), not, as the date she provides suggests, in 1832. A similar case of over-simplification occurs with her "The Pilot" (342). Of distinct advantage to any reader intent upon consulting her work as a reference would have been information concerning where and in what form (original or microfilm/microfiche) MacDonald consulted the sources on which she bases her survey.

     Another oversight leaves MacDonald's reader uncertain as to how she has categorized various titles. For example, more than a few of the titles that she lists as periodicals appear in the ULCN, having qualified under that publication's relatively clear definition: "A newspaper is printed and distributed daily, semi-weekly, weekly or at some other regular and short interval. It consists of news, editorials, features, advertising and other matters of current interest" (xiii). MacDonald offers her readers no such guideline. Fifteen titles that appear in the ULCN are listed in MacDonald's appendices and bibliography as periodicals (336-38) or, in a separate section for some reason, as religious periodicals (339). This discrepancy does not automatically render the former correct and the latter incorrect, but, again, it is incumbent upon MacDonald, by virtue of being the subsequent compiler, to explain discrepancies. The fifteen titles that MacDonald lists as periodicals are as follows, asterisks representing discrepancies in dates between the ULCN and MacDonald: Abeille canadienne (1 Aug. 1818 - 15 Jan. 1819), semi-monthly (ULCN 281); Abeille canadienne (4-11 Aug. 1843, only two issues published), daily (ULCN 281); Ami de la Religion et de la Patrie (18 Dec. 1847 - 20 March 1850), daily, later thrice-weekly (ULCN 319); Artisan (10 Oct. 1842 - 26 Sept. 1844), semi-weekly (ULCN 320); Banner (18 Aug. 1843 - 23 June 1848*), weekly (ULCN 216); Berean (4 Apr. 1844 - 22 March 1849*), weekly (ULCN 320); Canadian Watchman (13 Aug. 1830* - 18 Oct. 1832, which had been the Kingston Gazette and Religious Advocate, and would become the Kingston Spectator, two titles not listed in any form by MacDonald), weekly (ULCN 165); Castor (7 Nov. 1843 - 23 June 1845*), semi-weekly (ULCN 321); Charivari canadien (10 May - 3 Oct. 1844), semi-weekly (ULCN 286); Diable bleu (8 Nov. - 28 Dec. 1843), daily (ULCN 291); Glaneur (Dec. 1836 - Sept. 1837), monthly (ULCN 335); Mélanges religieux (14 Dec. 1840* - 6 July 1852*), daily, later semi-weekly (ULCN 299); Register (5 Jan. 1842 - 25 July 1849), semi-monthly, later weekly (ULCN 310); Revue canadienne (4 Jan. 1845 - 3 Oct. 1848), daily, later semi-weekly (ULCN 310); and Witness/Montreal Weekly Witness/Montreal Weekly Witness and Canadian Homestead (5 Jan. 1846 - 1938), weekly, later semi-weekly (ULCN 316).

     This review only scratches the surface of the work that readers will need to do in order to make this study useful to their or their students' own work. Without doubt, nuggets of information and insight await discovery in Literature and Society in The Canadas 1817-1850, but the number unearthed will vary with readers' thresholds of frustration.


1 Quotation marks are used with the italicized titles of newspapers to denote as clearly as possible that these newspapers have their titles italicized in the work under review. Because the names of newspapers are not italicized when not being quoted, the reviewer apologizes for the consequently inconsistent format.

2 Although Nicoll and Freedley attribute this play to Galt, it is not included in the list prepared by Aldrich (25-26) of eleven plays by Galt that were published, all anonymously, in The New British Theatre.

3 Readers interested in a list of these titles are welcome to contact the reviewer at the Canadian Studies Program, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB T6G 2E1.

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