The Canadian Brothers; or, The Prophecy Fulfilled: A Tale of the Late American War
Published: September 1976© 1976
480 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
The Canadian Brothers combines all the excitement of a sentimental wilderness romance – mysterious and surprising occurrences, terrors by night and day, deadly combats, haunted minds, consuming passions – with an account of first-hand experiences during the War of 1812.
The author, John Richardson (1796-1852), was a professional soldier but also the first man in the Candas who attempted to live on the monetary rewards of creative writing. He wrote a considerable amount of non-fiction, some poetry, and several novels, the most famous of which was Wacousta; or, The Prophecy: A Tale of the Canadas. This historical romance set in the Detroit-Amherstburg area in the 1760s made effective use of the ‘conspiracy’ of Pontiac, the Indian uprising of 1763.
The Canadian Brothers, originally published in 1840, is a sequel to Wacousta and takes up the family history about fifty years later, having its historical basis in Richardson’s own experience (and that of his brother) in the War of 1812. As a young man, Richardson took part in much of the military action described in the book, including the shelling of Frenchtown and the defeat of the British at Moraviantown. His account of the misery of the prisoners captured there by the Americans also reflects personal experience. General Brock, Captain Barclay, and Tecumseh are gloriously themselves and are accorded respectful tributes.
Carl Klinck’s introduction places the novel in the contexts of the events of Wacousta and the author’s life, and traces its history, discussing briefly the differences between the original version and the Americanized edition, retitled Matilda Montgomerie (1851).