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The Journals of Susanna Moodie

Atwood, Margaret

795 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1551990601 / ISBN 13: 9781551990606
Published by Macfarlane, Walter & Ross, Toronto, 1997
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

Blue cloth spine over confetti-patterned paper with black and gilt titles. Glassine DJ. With a memoir by Charles Pachter and a Foreword by David Staines. A lavish trade production of this work. Near fine in like DJ. Unpaginated. Bookseller Inventory # 13438

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Journals of Susanna Moodie

Publisher: Macfarlane, Walter & Ross, Toronto

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Illustrator: Charles Pachter

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Thus.

About this title

Synopsis:

The Journals of Susanna Moodie, arguably Margaret Atwood’s finest work of poetry, was first published by Oxford University Press in 1970. In it, she adopts the voice of Susanna Strickland Moodie, an English woman who came to live in the rural area near Peterborough, Ontario in the mid-nineteenth century, and who wrote about her experiences for English readers in her classic account of Canadian pioneer life, Roughing it in the Bush. Atwood’s poetry, based on the Moodie prose, covers Moodie’s arrival in Canada in 1832 and ends with a prophetic commentary by a dead Susanna Moodie on twentieth-century Canada.

Charles Pachter began illustrating the poems in 1968, when Atwood sent him a first manuscript. Of his first reading, he has written: “It was a fateful moment. I was so stunned by its beauty and power that I realized that every early Atwood folio I had done up until now (there were five) must be a rehearsal for this.” The thirty images were completed within a year, but the original folio was not produced until 1980, when 120 copies were hand-printed in a boxed edition, which is now in public and private collections around the world. In 1997, Macfarlane Walter & Ross published a small-format edition in hard covers.

Review:

The poetic/artistic exploration of what it means to find yourself thrown into a hostile environment, these poems by Margaret Atwood and silk-screen illustrations by Charles Pachter are based on the journals of Canadian pioneer Susanna Moodie. The setting allows Atwood to write cutting lines about the fundamental tensions in creating and defining a self. One such tension, the assertion of will on the world as well as on one's self, set against the spirit-crushing tribulations of loneliness and hopelessness, is especially electric. The Journals of Susanna Moodie is a beautiful and hypnotic book.

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