Roget's Int'l Thesaurus
Fowler's King's English
The King James Bible
Brewer's Phrase & Fable
Frazer's Golden Bough
Shelf of Fiction
The Victorian Age, Part Two
INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS
The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.
§ 7. Novelists.
There are some novels that have honestly died, and some that have never lived. Canadas fiction may, with few exceptions, be classed in one or other of these categories. The
Bibliography of Canadian Fiction
gives the titles of nearly one hundred and fifty novels written by authors deceased.
Mrs. Brook has the distinction of producing, in 1769, the first novel,
which essayed a description of Canadian conditions at that interesting and remote time. Canadian fiction proper is supposed to date from the year 1832, when John Richardson published
It is a curious book. To a certain point midway in the narrative, it holds the readers attention, and then breaks down into a series of wildly impossible situations without one redeeming human touch to save them from utter absurdity.
The Canadian Brothers
is a still weaker effort. Mrs. Leprohon was a constant contributor in prose and verse to
The Literary Garland,
a periodical of some repute in the middle of the last century. Her novels are gracefully written, with some idea of construction, and no little discernment of character and motive.
Antoinette de Mirecourt
is the best of her eight books. Catharine Parr Traill and Susanna Moodie were sisters who diligently devoted themselves to writing. Mrs. Traill, whose chief distinction was gained in natural history, wrote also several novels, of which
Lost in the Backwoods,
published in London in 1852, under the title
The Canadian Crusoes,
is the best. Her sister Mrs. Moodie has been referred to for her interesting descriptions of pioneer life. James de Mille was prolific and popular in his day. His novels were extravagantly romantic.
William Kirby wrote the best Canadian novel,
Le Chien dOr, or The Golden Dog,
published in 1877. It is an ambitious book, cast in a large historic mould. The scene is laid in the middle of the eighteenth century, and the actors of the drama are the notabilities of Quebec, with such subsidiary characters as are necessary to drive the plot along. Signs of an unpractised hand abound in the book, but its merits are very considerable.
William McLennan wrote two novels, a book of short stories and a useful volume of verse,
Songs of Old Canada,
translated from the French.
his only independent novel, possesses much literary merit which, until recent years, has not been a conspicuous virtue among Canadian writers.
The Span o Life,
written in collaboration, is a stirring tale of the days of prince Charlie. McLennans collection of short stories
In Old France and New
is described in its title. His
tales are an interesting prose counterpart of the work of Drummond.
The Literature of Australia and New Zealand
INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS
to shop the