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Literary Criticism Canadian

Literary History of Canada

Canadian Literature in English (Second Edition) Volume I

edited by Carl Klinck, Alfred Bailey, Claude Bissell, Roy Daniells, Northrop Frye & Desmond Pacey

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 1976
Canadian, General, Books & Reading
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    Publish Date
    Dec 1976
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Hailed as a landmark in Canadian literary scholarship when it was originally published in 1965, the Literary History of Canada is now being reissued, revised and enlarged, in three volumes. This major effort of a large group of scholars working in the field of English-language Canadian literature provides a comprehensive, up-to-date reference work. It has already proven itself invaluable as a source of information on authors, genres, and literary trends and influences. It represents a positive attempt to give a history of Canada in terms of writings which deserve attention because of significant thought, form, and use of language.


Volume I comprises Parts I to III of the original edition, and covers the years from the beginning of Canadian literature in English to about 1920.


The contributors to this volume are David Galloway, Victor G. Hopwood, Alfred G. Bailey, Fred Cogswell, James and Ruth Talman, Carl F. Klinck, Edith Gordon Roper, Rupert Schieder, S. Ross Beharriell, Brandon Conron, Elizabeth Waterston, Alec Lucas, John A. Irving, A.H. Johnson, A. Vibert Douglas, and Frank W. Watt.

About the authors

Carl F. Klinck (1908-1990) was a Canadian literary historian and academic. In 1928, he became an associate professor of English at Waterloo College, becoming head of the department in 1940. From 1943 to 1948, he was the Dean of Waterloo College. He was the general editor of Literary History of Canada in 1965.

Carl Klinck's profile page

Alfred G. Bailey (1905-1997) was born in Quebec City. He served as the first head of the University of New Brunswick History Department from 1938 to 1969. His literary interests led to the founding of the Bliss Carman Society in 1940 and to his co-founding of The Fiddlehead, Canada's oldest literary magazine, in 1945. From 1965 to 1969, he served as the university's Vice-President Academic. He published several scholarly historical and anthropological works, including The Conflict of European and Eastern Algonkian Cultures (1937; 1969). Bailey was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1951 and an officer of the Order of Canada in 1978.

Alfred Bailey's profile page

Claude Bissell (1916-2000) was a Canadian author and educator. In 1952 he was made assistant professor at the University of Toronto. From 1956 to 1958 he was president of Carleton College (now Carleton University), and returned to the University of Toronto in 1958 to become the eighth president from 1958 to 1971.

Claude Bissell's profile page

Roy Daniells (1902-1979) was a Canadian poetry professor. In 1965, Daniells was named the first University Professor of English Language and Literature. He helped build the University of British Columbia's creative writing department and fostered the careers of several major Canadian writers.

Roy Daniells' profile page

Northrop Frye (1912-1991) was one of Canada's most distinguished men of letters. His first book, Fearful Symmetry, published in 1947, transformed the study of the poet William Blake, and over the next forty years he transformed the study of literature itself. Among his most influential books are Anatomy of Criticism (1957), The Educated Imagination (1963), The Bush Garden (1971), and The Great Code (1982). Northrop Frye on Shakespeare (1986) won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction. A professor at the University of Toronto, Frye gained an international reputation for his wide-reaching critical vision. He lectured at universities around the world and received many awards and honours, including thirty-six honorary degrees.

Northrop Frye's profile page

Desmond Pacey (1917-1975) is a major figure in Canadian Literature and criticism. Member of the Royal Society of Canada, he was an outstanding scholar, leader in University education, and a significant creative artist. His works Frederick Phillip Grove (1945), Creative Writing in Canada: A Short History of English-Canadian Literature (1952), and Ten Canadian Poets (1957), to mention only a few, have had leadership impact on Canadian Scholarship. He won the Lorne Pierce Medal in 1972.

Desmond Pacey's profile page

Editorial Reviews

'Delightfully readable ... Ideal for courses in Canadian literature, the book should be read by every English major. Strongly recommended to all libraries.'



Saturday Night

'The variety of theme – there are chapters on history, philosophy, travel books, animal stories, and children's books as well as on the conventional poetry, novels, drama, and belles-lettres – and the freshness and vigour of writing, based for the most part on the original investigations of the authors, combine to produce a volume which is itself an important event in Canadian literary history ... No one can fail to be grateful for the labour and learning which have gone into the production of a remarkable contribution to our cultural and intellectual history.'

The Canadian Historical Review

' ... this book performs a rare and valuable service: it relates literature to the culture and history of the land.'

Library Journal

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