• Title: Canadian Crusoes: A Tale of The Rice Lake Plains
  • Author: Catharine Parr Traill


A Tale of The Rice Lake Plains Along with reporting on the lives of 19th-century Canadian settlers in The Backwoods of Canada (a Canadian classic like her sister Susanna Moodie's Roughing It in the Bush), Catherine Parr Traill also wrote a number of children's books, including Canadian Crusoes, which has itself become a Canadian classic. First published in 1852, Canadian Crusoes draws on the mythology of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe to tell a story of pioneer resilience in the face of the often inhospitable Canadian wilderness and the promise this new land offered to those who accepted its challenges. Three young people of Scottish and French ancestry--Catherine, her brother Hector, and her cousin Louis--become lost in the backwoods and survive by virtue of their civilized high-mindedness, discipline, economy, and ability to adapt to the wild Canadian countryside. Returning to "civilization," they bring with them a young Indian girl whom they have "rescued" from her people. Traill combines her first-hand knowledge of the Rice Lake Plains and the First Nations people there to create an inventive--albeit to modern eyes, melodramatic--tale of adventure for young Victorian readers. As a period piece, Canadian Crusoes is a fascinating artifact in the development of Canadian children's literature. --Jeffrey Can Book includes maps, documents, sketches of Nelles homes in Canada and plenty of history. 324 pages, 5.75" x 8.75" Softcover

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