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.
SUSANNA MOODIE was born Susanna Strickland in Bungay, Suffolk, England, in 1803. The sixth and final daughter of a retired dock manager, she grew up in a middle-class family that encouraged the children in reading and in writing. Susanna's juvenilia include poetry and many fiction tales for young adults.
In 1831 Susanna Strickland married John Wedderburn Dunbar Moodie, a military officer who had returned to England from South Africa to explore publication projects and to find a wife. A year later, they emigrated to Upper Canada (Ontario). For their first seventeen months in Canada, the Moodies lived on cleared farmland near Port Hope, and later on a bush farm in Douro Township, north of Peterborough. Roughing It in the Bush (1852), describes their life in these two backwoods areas.
Susanna Moodie died in Toronto, Ontario, in 1885.