Canadian Essayists

Canadian Essayists-23
Phillips Thompson pointedly argued that the labouring class was largely excluded from prevailing theories of progress. Outside the country, the Canadian border was frequently represented as a guarantee of justice and freedom: for example, as "Jordan, the crossing to the Promised Land" in African-American song, and as the protective "Medicine Line" to Blackfoot, Lakota, and other Indigenous nations.

Phillips Thompson pointedly argued that the labouring class was largely excluded from prevailing theories of progress. Outside the country, the Canadian border was frequently represented as a guarantee of justice and freedom: for example, as "Jordan, the crossing to the Promised Land" in African-American song, and as the protective "Medicine Line" to Blackfoot, Lakota, and other Indigenous nations.

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She also went on to write a series of comedies of manners, set in India, Canada, the USA and England, each book revealing distinctions of national character and conventions that shaped and limited gender roles. Women were active in the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the Canadian Women's Press Club, the Women's Political Equality League, and the Toronto Women's Literary Club (est. Emily Howard Stowe as a centre of suffragist reform). Gordon), in a series of bestselling novels based in Glengarry County, combined a version of manliness with a commitment to Presbyterian morality that came to be called "Muscular Christianity." Robert Barr and Gilbert Parker penned adventures of war and wilderness.

Anna Leonowens (made famous as the title figure in , the poetry of Isabella Valancy Crawford and Marjorie Pickthall, the fiction of Joanna Wood and Lily Dougall: all expressed feminist commitments. Robert Service, still in print and widely enjoyed, published several volumes of rolling rhymes of the Yukon. Partly in response to such enterprises, the journalist Peter Mc Arthur wittily satirized social pretensions, and the economist Stephen Leacock parodied literary fads, among them the mannered comedies, melodramas, and historical romances that had by then become clichés.

By expanding continentally through Cree, Blackfoot, and Métis lands, however, this ostensibly orderly version of Canada would have to face a series of alternatives with long-term impact: Louis Riel's resistance movements, an increase in non-British immigration, and the continuing cross-border threat, and appeal, of the USA.

With growing literacy and increasing technology came a series of challenges to received notions of cultural uniformity.

The historian Goldwin Smith championed economic union between Canada and the USA, while the educator George Parkin, drawn to the Imperial Round Table Movement, imagined Canada as Anglican and agrarian.

Parkin, like George Monro Grant, was an educator; he headed Upper Canada College (est.The Social Gospel movement would have greater impact on society in the 1920s and 1930s, with the formation of the United Church of Canada and the CCF.A second set of debates fastened on education and political options.With Confederation came immediate calls for Maritime separation but also a quickened interest in the growth of a national culture.Journalists and academic essayists earnestly disputed Canada's political destiny.Mc Clung, who wrote vigorous volumes of autobiography about her political activism, also deliberately crafted her fiction as conventional romance so that her political message on the rights of women would be widely heard. Engagingly ironic, Leacock's (1910), Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912), Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich (1914) and other works established his lasting fame as a writer of humour.Likely reaching an even wider readership was the internationally successful work of the children's writers Margaret Marshall Saunders and Lucy Maud Montgomery, the latter with Anne of Green Gables (1908) and its sequels. Less well known are two novels prized now for how they depart from Victorian convention.A railway to the Pacific (completed 1885) would bring new provinces into Canada during these decades.Author, minister and educator George Monro Grant in 1872 travelled 5000 miles across the country, with Sandford Fleming (who later developed the international system of standard Time Zones) and the railway surveying expedition.Influential journalists and educators took diverging sides on the future of the new nation.The poet and dramatist Charles Mair (, 1886) cast the War of 1812 as a battle between natural law and the forces of materialism, early espousing the anglo-Protestant Canada First movement (est. Sara Jeannette Duncan, now generally regarded as the leading novelist of the period, was attracted to the cause of Imperial Federation.

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