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Literary Criticism Canadian

Colony and Confederation

Early Canadian Poets and Their Background

edited by George Woodcock

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2011
Canadian, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2011
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1974
    List Price

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The selections in this survey of the narrative and lyric poets of Confederation and the later nineteenth century have been chosen to remind readers of the distances and diversities involved as Canadians struggled toward nationhood. Along with essays on Sangster and Mair, the first poets consciously writing of the Canadian scene and the Canadian identity, there are individual studies of Crawford, Roberts, Lampman, Scott and Service.


Some of the authors analyse a single work in a poet's canon; others consider several themes or evaluate a poet's philosophical or religious position. To these essays are added three by Norman Newton, George Woodcock and Roy Daniells on the era of "high colonialism".


The book contains ten pieces published in the journal Canadian Literature over the last thirteen years and five new ones written specifically to enhance this collection.

About the author

George Woodcock (1912-1995) is one of Canada's best-known and most prolific authors. He was born in Winnipeg and educated in England, where he socialized with some of the century's most prominent writers and intellectuals including Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Herbert Read and T.S. Eliot. He returned to Canada in 1949 and taught at the University of British Columbia for many years. In 1959, he founded the journal Canadian Literature. His contribtution to Canadian culture is immeasurable; he either wrote or edited over one-hundred books including The Crystal Spirit, his Governor-Genral's award-winning biography of Orwell; Gabriel Dumont, another bestselling biography; and Anarchism a guide to the political philosophy which continues to be read around the world. His wide range of writing includes literary criticism, poetry, travel writing, plays, social history, biography, politics and essays.

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