Roughing It in the Bush

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Told with wit, spontaneity, and candour, Susanna Moodie's account of life on a backwoods farm captures an important part of Canadian history, now available as a Penguin Modern Classic.


Roughing It in the Bush chronicles Susanna Moodie's harsh and often humorous experiences homesteading in the woods of Upper Canada. She describes a life of backbreaking labour, poverty, and hardship on a pioneer farm in the colonial wilderness. Her sharp observations, satirical character sketches, and moments of despair and terror were a startling contrast to the widely circulated optimistic portrayals of life in British North America, written to entice readers across the Atlantic. A frank and fascinating account of how one woman coped, not only with a new world, but with a new self, this unabridged text continues to justify the international sensation it caused when it was first published in 1852.

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