Book review


b. Use 12 point type and double space your essay.

c. Write the review in formal academic English. There will be a late penalty of 5% (after the Mercy Date of 15 June).  The essay will be a review of Catharine Parr Traill’s The Backwoods of Canada. (Please note that book titles are always italicized; also note the “thar” in Catharine.)  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.  This book is a primary source 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?

d. 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 including the page number, 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.  Do not use outside sources. All your footnotes should refer to Traill’s book. Put the footnote numbers after the periods at the ends of the sentences.

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