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Essays

Literature

Literature and Journalism in Canada

Michele Holmgren
Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta

As idea and destination, Canada became fascinating to many Irish writers and prospective emigrants struggling with political and nationalist issues of their own. Isaac Weld based his much-quoted Travels Through the States of North America, and the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada (1799) on a journey taken "for the purpose of ... ascertaining whether, in case of future emergency, any part of those territories might be looked forward to, as an eligible and agreeable place of abode". (p. iii) Read more »

Young Ireland

Michele Holmgren
Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta

The Irish nationalist Thomas Davis saw Canada as a model for Irish self-government. Referring to the Upper and Lower Canada rebellions of 1837-38, he wrote an editorial in the Young Ireland paper The Nation where he imagined Canada saying, "Sister Ireland, my chains are breaking. Why sleepest thou, oh! my sister...?" (November 12, 1842). Read more »