The love story of Susanna Moodie and her husband John has always been a shadowy area in Canadian literary history. Susanna did not reveal much about the relationship in her most famous book, Roughing it in the Bush, not only a little more revealed about it in the 1985 collection of her correspondence, Susanna Moodie: Letters of a Lifetime. But in 1988 a large number of 'new' Moodie papers came to light. Among them was an exchange of letters between husband and wife, never before seen outside the family. These letters reveal an enduring mutual love and respect. They cover the days of their courtship and emigration, the periods apart from each other during and after the 1837 rebellion, life in Belleville as public figures in their respetive ways; their involvement with spiritualism, their later years and eventual separation of death.
The essays and notes which accompany each section provide information useful for understanding the letters themselves, and the volume is extensively cross-referenced to Susanna Moodie: Letters of a Lifetime. Partly a love story, partly a fascinating view of nineteenth-century social history and developments in early Ontario, these letters are a moving revelation of two important Canadian ancestors.
About the authors
Carl Ballstadt is a member of the Department of English at McMaster University.
Elizabeth Hopkins is a member of the English Department at Glendon College, York University.
Michael Peterman is professor emeritus and past Chairman of the Department of English, Trent University. He is a co-editor of Susanna Moodie: Letters of a Lifetime and Letters of Love and Duty: The Correspondence of Susanna and John Moodie.