GARDENS, COVENANTS, EXILES: LOYALISM IN THE LITERATURE OF UPPER CANADA/ONTARIO
Volume 10 Number 4.
Dennis Duffy, a professor of English at the University of Toronto, started to write Gardens, Covenants, Exiles as "another CanLit theme book," However, his research led him to discover the ever-present Canadian fact: regionalism. He came to realize that his limits for this topic of the influences of Loyalism on Canadian literature lay between Lake Huron and the Ottawa River.
Several times Professor Duffy mentions that he is an adopted son of this country, and yet he has done a splendid job of researching the history of the United Empire Loyalists and the literature that emerged from their experience. He has concentrated on such early writers as William Kirby, Major John Richardson, and Charles Mair. Mazo de la Roche's Jalna series is examined for its Loyalist connections although it is admitted that "the stories resemble nothing so much as soap opera."
The Loyalist connection has persevered into current writing although Duffy does not concentrate on present-day authors to the same extent as the earlier writers. (The Loyalist thread is becoming thinner as time progresses!) However, there is thoughtful commentary on such writers as Hugh Hood, Al Purdy, and Scott Symons.
It is to be hoped that other scholars will respond to Duffy's work. He has explored an important and interesting aspect of the literature of Upper Canada/ Ontario.
Joan Kerrigan, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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