Roughing it in the Bush


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First published in 1852, and in its third edition by 1854, this description of pioneer immigrant life in Canada by Susanna Moodie (1803-85) is unsentimental and frank. In contrast to similar works, which often seem to be advertisements aimed at potential immigrants, Moodie's book emphasises not only the triumphs but also the tribulations as she and her family begin their new lives. Initially criticised in Canada for painting an unflattering picture of the country, it was later recognised as a key work of early Canadian literature, and has influenced writers up to the present day. In Volume 2 the family continue their efforts as farmers, moving to a second property in the hope of better prospects. However, neither husband (a former soldier) nor wife were well equipped for their lives as pioneer immigrants, and they finally leave for the town of Bellville when Dunbar Moodie obtains a government post.

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