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Roughing It in the Bush

Susanna Moodie

Book Overview: 

'Roughing It In the Bush' is Susanna Moodie's account of how she coped with the harshness of life in the woods of Upper Canada, as an Englishwoman homesteading abroad. Her narrative was constructed partly as a response to the glowing falsehoods European land-agents were circulating about life in the New World. Her chronicle is frank and humorous, and was a popular sensation at the time of its publication in 1852.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .turedly, and made it the subject of many droll, but not unkindly, witicisms. For myself, I could have borne the severest infliction from the pen of the most formidable critic with more fortitude than I bore the cutting up of my first loaf of bread.

After breakfast, Moodie and Wilson rode into the town; and when they returned at night brought several long letters for me. Ah! those first kind letters from home! Never shall I forget the rapture with which I grasped them—the eager, trembling haste with which I tore them open, while the blinding tears which filled my eyes hindered me for some minutes from reading a word which they contained. Sixteen years have slowly passed away—it appears half a century—but never, never can home letters give me the intense joy those letters did. After seven years' exile, the hope of return grows feeble, the means are still less in our power, and our friends give up all hope of our return; their letters grow fewer and . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I once saw Jon Stewart on Just for Laughs doing a bit of standup, talking about Canadians (paraphrased here). " It's amazing", he said, "that your ancestors got off the boat at the first frozen port and, looking around at the snow and ice and wilderness, said, 'Yep, looks good to me'. And stayed. 'W


A very interesting book about one woman's experience in settling in Canada from England and the difference between what they were told in England and the reality in Canada.

I really enjoyed reading about her interactions with the First Nations people and the Americans who were settled in southern On

Five stars for readability, fascinating detail and historical importance of this document of farmstead life in Upper Canada.

A timeless book that is beautifully written and each story is either led by or accompanied with terrific poetry. Susannah Moodie was a settler in Upper Canada in Pre-Confederation days. The interesting thing is that this book is relevant to anyone in North America. The shared history of moving to a

Roughing it in the Bush is one of those books that is undeniably important (within its own limited sphere of influence). But it is also way more important than it is readable.

As an icon of Canadian Literature, Susanna Moodie has particular importance for Feminist Canadian writers. Her work has direc

I read this book because the author was living in the same area of Canada, at the same time, as my ancestor Peter Huffman (near Port Hope, Ontario in the 1830s). It was fascinating to hear of her account and see just how "rough" the American immigrants were (and Peter was an ex-American). Also, Pete

Susanna Strickland, a published writer in England, married half-pay officer John Moodie and emigrated to Upper Canada in 1832 to homestead in the bush. Her sister Catherine also emigrated with her husband Thomas Traill in 1832, and homesteaded in the same area. Both Susanna and Catherine wrote books

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