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Literary Criticism Poetry

The St Lawrence and the Saguenay and Other Poems

Hesperus and Other Poems and Lyrics

by (author) Charles Sangster

edited by Gordon Johnston

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 1972
Poetry, 19th Century, Canadian
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    Publish Date
    Dec 1972
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Once called 'The Father of Canadian Poetry,' Charles Sangster was much praised by his contemporaries. His two major works, The St Lawrence and the Sagunay and Other Poems (1856) and Hesperus and Other Poems and Lyrics (1860), received favourable reviews in England and the United States as well as home.


Charles Sangster's poetry reflects the cultural atmosphere of Canada West in the middle of the nineteenth century. As Gordon Johnston points out, Sangster was the first to look poetically at the Canadian wilderness; and although the poet sees it as God's creation, he also recognizes its dangers and terrors. As poet Sangster also deals with his reasons for writing poetry and the problems of writing.


The two volumes reprinted here in the complete text have long been out of print. They will be welcomed by many who wish to read this important nineteenth-century Canadian poet.

About the authors

CHARLES SANGSTER was born in Kingston, Upper Canada, and was self-educated. From the age of fifteen he worked at various jobs. In 1849 he was editor of the Amherstburg Courier and later was on the staff of the Kingston Whig and the Daily News. His last position was with the post office department in Ottawa.

Charles Sangster's profile page

GORDON JOHNSTON is a member of the Department of English at Trent University.

Gordon Johnston's profile page

Other titles by Gordon Johnston