Fashioning the Canadian Landscape: Essays on Travel Writing, Tourism, and National Identity in the Pre-Automobile Era
Interpretations of Canada's emerging identity have been largely based on a relatively small corpus of literary writing and landscape paintings, overlooking the influence of the British and American travel writers who published hundreds of books and articles that did much to fix the image of Canada in the popular imagination.
In Fashioning the Canadian Landscape, J.I. Little examines how Canada, much like the United States, came to be identified with its natural landscape. Little argues that in contrast to the American identification with the wilderness sublime, however, Canada’s image was strongly influenced by the picturesque convention favoured by British travel writers.
This amply illustrated volume includes chapters ranging from Labrador to British Columbia, some of which focus on such notable British authors as Rupert Brooke and Rudyard Kipling, and others on talented American writers such as Charles Dudley Warner. Based not only on the views of the landscape but on the racist descriptions of the Indigenous peoples and the romanticization of the Canadian ‘folk’, Little argues that the national image that emerged was colonialist as well as colonial in nature.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 344 pages
- Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.3in x 9.1in
"...Little’s essays suggest that nineteenth-century tourism provides a significant vantage point for understanding the interplay of different discourses and performances of ‘nation’ that occurred within the Dominion’s borders."
Cecilia Morgan, University of Toronto
Histoire Sociale/Social History, vol 52 no 105, May '19
"Why visit Canada but for its awe-inspiring natural spaces and picturesque villages? J.I. Little’s collection of essays details how travel writers from Britain, the United States, and Canada situated landscape at the center of Canadian identity and Canada’s purpose in the world. A collection of eight revised and two new essays carry the reader over 150 years and across what has become Canada, revealing ways in which writers connected identity to colonial landscape transformation."
American Review of Canadian Studies
"J.I. Little is at the top of his game, confident and comfortable with his chosen topic, mining every primary document and consulting every secondary source. Little's ability to draw on the relevant theory, including the sublime, the picturesque, the romantic, the gothic, the modern, the colonial gaze, the male gaze, erasure, and the imaginary Indian, is especially impressive. Yet he never lets theory intrude and he never loses his reader in jargon. Fashioning Canada’s Colonial and National the Canadian Landscapes is readable from beginning to end and has left me thinking about how Canada's landscapes have been fashioned and re-fashioned in the past, and how they might be fashioned and re-fashioned in the future."
Donald Wright, University of New Brunswick
Author InformationJ.I. Little is a professor emeritus in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University.
Table of contents
1 ‘Like a fragment of the old world’: The Historical Regression of Quebec City in Travel Narratives and Tourist Guidebooks, 1776-1913
2 Canadian Pastoral: Promotional Images of British Colonization in Lower Canada's Eastern Townships during the 1830s
3 West Coast Picturesque: Class, Gender, and Race in a British Colonial Landscape, 1858-71
4 Scenic Tourism on the Northeastern Borderland: Lake Memphremagog's Steamboat Excursions and Resort Hotels, 1850-1900
5 Seeing Elemental Nature: An American Transcendentalist On and Off the Coast of Labrador, 1864-65
6 Travels in a Cold and Rugged Land: C.H. Farnham’s Quebec Essays in Harper’s Magazine, 1883-89
7 ‘A fine, hardy, good-looking race of people’: Travellers, Tourism, and the Scots Identity on Cape Breton Island, 1859-1920
8 Picturing a National Landscape: Images of Nature in Picturesque Canada
9 Our Lady of the Snows: Rudyard Kipling’s Imperialist Vision of Canada
10 A Country Without a Soul: Rupert Brooke’s Gothic Vision of Canada
Afterword: An Unknown Country?
Subjects and Courses