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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $16.50
  • April 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92667-5
  • 640 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Roughing It in the Bush

Norton Critical Editions


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Susanna Moodie (Author), Michael Peterman (Editor, Trent University)


In 1832, Susanna Moodie immigrated to Canada from Britain with her husband and daughter in search of comfort and independence in the unsettled Canadian backwoods.

She went on to chronicle her experiences in this personal, accurate, and often humorous account.  This Norton Critical Edition of Roughing It in the Bush provides everything that a student needs to analyze and enjoy Moodie’s tale.

A thorough “Backgrounds” section includes images, a map, contemporary reviews of Roughing It, and letters written by Moodie to her husband during the winter of 1839, at which time he was serving a military appointment in the Victoria District and she and her children were facing life-threatening illnesses.

“Criticism” contains ten essays by leading Canadian scholars and authors, among them Margaret Atwood, Carl Ballstadt, D. M. R. Bentley, Susan Glickman, and Michael Peterman.

A Chronology of Susanna Moodie’s life and a Selected Bibliography are also included.



    List of Illustrations

    Facsimile title page of the first edition

    Choice of Text and Editing Strategy

    The Text of Roughing It in the Bush


    1. Illustrations
    2. Advertisement for the First Edition
    3. C.F.B. – Preface to Roughing It in the Bush
    4. Susanna Moodie – Introduction to the 1871 Edition
    5. Canadian Sketches
    6. Mrs. Moodie – Old Woodruff and His Three Wives: A Canadian Sketch
    7. Jeanie Burns
    8. Lost Children
    9. Susanna Moodie to John Moodie, January 11, 1839
    10. Susanna Moodie to John Mooodie, February 14, 1839
    11. Susanna Moodie to John Moodie, March 6, 1839
    12. Susanna Moodie to John Moodie, March 20, 1839
    13. Susanna Moodie to John Moodie, July 16, 1839
    14. Catharine Parr Traill – A Light Sketch of the Early Life of Mrs. Moodie
    15. [Frederick Hardmann] – From Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine
    16. Anonymous – From The Literary World
    17. [Charles Lindsay] – From the Toronto Examiner
    18. [Anonymous] – From The Provincial: or Halifax Monthly Magazine
    19. [Anonymous] – From The Canadian Monthly and National Review


    1. Margaret Atwood – Afterword to The Journals of Susanna Moodie
    2. Carl Ballstadt – Susanna Moodie and the English Sketch
    3. David Stouck – “Secrets of the Prison-House”: Mrs. Moodie and the Canadian Imagination
    4. John Thurston – Rewriting Roughing It
    5. D.M.R. Bentley – Breaking the “Cake of Custom”: The Atlantic Crossing as a Rubicon for Female Emigrants to Canada?
    6. Bina Freiwald – “The tongue of woman”: The Language of the Self in Moodie’s Roughing It in the Bush
    7. Susan Glickman – The Waxing and Waning of Susanna Moodie’s “Enthusiasm”
    8. Michael Peterman – Roughing It in Michigan and Upper Canada: Caroline Kirkland and Susanna Moodie
    9. Carole Gerson – Nobler Savages: Representations of Native Women in the Writings of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill
    10. Michael Peterman – Reconstrucing the Palladium of British America: How the Rebellion of 1837 and Charles Fothergill Helped to Establish Susanna Moodie as a Writer in Canada
    11. Misao Dean – The Broken Mirror of Domestic Ideology: Femininity as Textual Practise in Susanna Moodie’s Autobiographical Works
    12. Helen M. Buss – Two Exemplary Early Texts: Moodie’s Roughing It and Jameson’s Studies and Rambles

    Susanna Strickland Moodie: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography