The Letter Bag of The Great Western;: or, Life in a Steamer
Published: December 1973© 1973
350 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in
Aside from Sam Slick, the book which gained Haliburton the greatest notoriety was The Letter Bag of The Great Western; or, Life in a Steamer, published in 1840. Much of this book was composed for the diversion of the other passengers on Haliburton’s steamship voyage from Bristol to New York in 1839.
The book’s ostensible function was the advertisement of the advantages of travel by steamship, but few, after reading the passengers’ accounts of their voyage, would, if they took them seriously, ever venture off shore. The book’s principal sources of amusement – infirmities of the human body (seasickness), the peculiarities of spelling and grammar that arise from faulty or defective education, the cultural mores of other races and lower classes, and the outrageous punning.