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Edited by Richard A. Davies. Toronto. University of Toronto Press, 1988. 293pp. cloth, $40.00, ISBN 0-8020-2628-1. CIP

Reviewed by Joan Kerrigan

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

Thomas Chandler Haliburton is well known for his series of amusing sketches entitled The Clockmaker (McClelland and Stewart, 1958). These sketches became famous (and were even pirated) In Britain, The Clockmaker sketches were also widely read in the United States, mainly because of the popularity of the clockmaker character, Yankee Sam Slick. The Clockmaker is the one work of Haliburton's which has endured.

Very few of the readers were aware that the author of these sketches was an educated Nova Scotian who became, in turn, a lawyer, a judge and a politician after he moved to England, where he spent the latter part of his life. The letters in this book cover the main periods in Haliburton's life. He was not a wealthy man during most of his lifetime, and the letters demonstrate some of his efforts to earn a living. Much of Haliburton's later life was spent in trying to wrest a modest pension from the Nova Scotia government.

Editor Davies has organized the periods of Haliburton's life into the following sections: "The Early Years. 1796-1829." "The Young Judge, 1829-1837," "The Clockmaker and England, 1838-1840." "A Literary Career. 1840-1856," and "A New Life. 1856-1859." Each section contains a brief biographical sketch and a few black-and- white reproductions of paintings and photographs.

It is obvious that a great deal of scholarly research has gone into the selection and organization of these letters, which will be of Interest to literary scholars and historians. However, the main use of this book will be in academic and large public libraries, rather than in secondary school libraries.

Joan Kerrigan, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, Ont.
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