Frances Brooke (1724-1789), born in England, was active as a novelist, essayist, dramatist, theatre manager, translator, and opera producer. A part of the lively literary life in late 18th century London, she was one of the first women to live by her writing. When her husband became chaplain of Quebec, she lived in Canada for five years. Borealis Press has published a new, critical edition of her novel "The History of Emily Montague," generally considered to be the first Canadian novel.
500 pages, Paperback ISBN: 9781896133294 $24.95 CA
500 pages, Hardcover ISBN: 9781896133270 $39.95 CA
About the Book
The beauty of Frances Brooke´s The History of Emily Montague is that it can be read both as a novel of sensibility with a sentimental love story and as a highly politicized depiction of life in eighteenth-century Quebec. It has much to say about confrontations between the Old World and the New, Huron and Iroquois cultures, and progressive gender roles. First published in 1769 and often considered the "first" Canadian novel, it has an enchanting cast of characters: the modest heroine, the dashing colonial hero, the witty coquette, the waggish soldier, the unrequited lover, and the wise father. Recently, The History of Emily Montague has been received as a feminist text with Brooke participating in a critique of rituals of courtship, "petticoat politics," and fashionable "propriety." It has been newly appreciated for its use of the epistolary form representing multiple narrative voices and it has been read as a precursor to the regionalist novels of Canada. Any way you read it, though, the novel is still able to instruct and delight.
This critical edition of Brooke´s novel provides a new bibliography, excerpts from Brooke´s other works, a full biography of Brooke, and a selection of critical commentary spanning early responses to the novel to contemporary readings from the following: Barbara Benedict, Ida Burwash, Charles Blue, Carl Klinck, Frederick Philip Grove, Dermot McCarthy, Juliet McMaster, Lorraine McMullen, Robert Merrett, Ann Messenger, W.H. New, Desmond Pacey, E. Phillips Poole, Katherine M. Rogers, and Jane Spencer. Also included are four essays written especially for this edition by Cecily Devereux, Faye Hammill, Laura Moss, and Pam Perkins.