Canadian Essayists

She also went on to write a series of comedies of manners, set in India, Canada, the USA and England, each book revealing distinctions of national character and conventions that shaped and limited gender roles. Women were active in the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the Canadian Women's Press Club, the Women's Political Equality League, and the Toronto Women's Literary Club (est. Emily Howard Stowe as a centre of suffragist reform). Gordon), in a series of bestselling novels based in Glengarry County, combined a version of manliness with a commitment to Presbyterian morality that came to be called "Muscular Christianity." Robert Barr and Gilbert Parker penned adventures of war and wilderness.

The realities of financial constraint nevertheless drew many patriotic writers, such as Lavallée, C. Anthropologists vigorously gathered First Nations stories on the West Coast, but popular English-language renderings of Inuit and First Nations tales repeatedly expurgated them, recasting them as quasi-Christian fables for children.

The greater presence that some First Nations writers began to acquire in the early 20th century--notably the Mohawk poet and tale-teller Pauline Johnson--marks a slight shift in cultural attitudes.

In fiction, many writers also looked back to the past, reconstructing Canadian History as costume gothic, a romantic engagement between Protestant manliness on one side and corruption (configured variously as Napoleon, the wilderness, Catholicism, Americans, and the in France) on the other. While some writers espoused patriotic causes, others critiqued the emptiness of much political rhetoric and practice.

Examples include William Kirby's The Golden Dog (1877) and the novels of T. Wilfred Grenfell served as a devout medical missionary in Newfoundland (his life recast in the Christian tales of Norman Duncan) and Canon F. Scott wrote poems that espoused an ideal social order; T.

1829), where education was deemed to encourage leadership and good breeding among boys.

Ideas were crossing disciplinary boundaries while technology and real life were altering social boundaries. Although in 1880 the Quebec pianist Calixa Lavallée composed the music for what later became the Canadian National Anthem, "O Canada," a more familiar patriotic song at the time in anglophone Canada was Alexander MUIR's imperialist "The Maple Leaf Forever" (1867).

Independent journalist and gadfly William Dawson Lesueur rejected all orthodoxies and called for objectivity.

Some writers viewed Christian morality and Darwinian theory ( lay behind social change.

By expanding continentally through Cree, Blackfoot, and Métis lands, however, this ostensibly orderly version of Canada would have to face a series of alternatives with long-term impact: Louis Riel's resistance movements, an increase in non-British immigration, and the continuing cross-border threat, and appeal, of the USA.

With growing literacy and increasing technology came a series of challenges to received notions of cultural uniformity.


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