The Forest of Bourg-Marie
Paper 266 pp.
Online discount: 25%
In The Forest of Bourg-Marie, originally published in 1898, Toronto author and musician S. Frances Harrison draws together a highly mythologized image of Quebec society and the forms of Gothic literature that were already familiar to her English-speaking audience. It tells the story of a fourteen-year-old French Canadian who is lured to the United States by the promise of financial reward, only to be rejected by his grandfather upon his return. In doing so, the novel offers a powerful critique of the personal and cultural consequences of emigration out of Canada.
In her afterword, Cynthia Sugars considers how The Forest of Bourg-Marie reimagines the Gothic tradition from a settler Canadian perspective, turning to a French-Canadian setting with distinctly New-World overtones. Harrison’s twist on the traditional Gothic plotline offers an inversion of such Gothic motifs as the decadent aristocrat and ancestral curse by playing on questions of illegitimacy and cultural preservation.
S. Frances Harrison (1859–1935) was a Toronto-based author and musician. She was the author of a book of poems, a book of sketches, and two novels, including The Forest of Bourg-Marie (1898).
Cynthia Sugars is a professor of English at the University of Ottawa, where she teaches Canadian literature. She is the author of Canadian Gothic: Literature, History, and the Spectre of Self-Invention(2014) and is the editor of numerous essay collections, including The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Literature (forthcoming 2015); Canadian Literature and Cultural Memory (with Eleanor Ty, 2014); Unsettled Remains: Canadian Literature and the postcolonial Gothic (with Gerry Turcotte; WLU Press, 2009); and the historical anthology Canadian Literature in English: Texts and Contexts (with Laura Moss, 2009). With Herb Wyile, she is currently the co-editor of Studies in Canadian Literature.
By the same author
Unsettled Remains: Canadian Literature and the Postcolonial Gothic, Cynthia Sugars and Gerry Turcotte, editors