Settlers of the Marsh was first published in 1925, after a struggle by the author to persuade publishers that his first novel would meet public acceptance. Some critics immediately condemned this hypnotic story of the loss of innocence on the Manitoba frontier, calling it “obscene” and “indecent.” Churches issued warnings to their congregations to avoid its scandalous contents. Only several decades later was Settlers of the Marsh recognized for what it is – a landmark in the development of the Canadian novel, and a work of realism in the tradition of Thomas Hardy.
A psychological portrait of life in the Canadian West, Settlers of the Marsh presents with chilling accuracy the hopes, passions, and anxieties of young pioneers.
FREDERICK PHILIP GROVE, born in West Prussia, began his career as a poet and translator. After emigrating from Germany to the United States, he moved again to Manitoba, where he worked as a teacher and devoted himself to writing. Settlers of the Marsh was his first novel in English, and his other works included Over Prairie Trails,and two autobiographies: A Search for America, and In Search of Myself. He eventually moved to Ontario, where he continued to write essays and novels. He died in Simcoe, Ontario, in 1948.