Tag Archives: George Copway

Second and Third Volumes in Early Canadian Literature Series

I’m pleased to announce the publication of the second and third volumes of the Early Canadian Literature series published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press: an edition of Nellie L. McClung’s 1925 novel Painted Fires, with an afterword by Cecily Devereux, and an edition of George Copway’s 1850 book The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation, with an afterword by Shelley Hulan. Both can be purchased either in print or in epub format directly from the publisher or from your favourite bookseller.

Cover art for Early Canadian Literature edition of Painted Fires, by Nellie L. McClungPainted Fires, first published in 1925, narrates the trials and tribulations of Helmi Milander, a Finnish immigrant, during the years approaching the First World War. The novel serves as a vehicle for McClung’s social activism, especially in terms of temperance, woman suffrage, and immigration policies that favour cultural assimilation. In her afterword, Cecily Devereux situates Painted Fires in the context of McClung’s feminist fiction and her interest in contemporary questions of immigration and “naturalization.” She also considers how McClung’s representation of Helmi Milander’s story draws on popular culture narratives.

Cover art for Early Canadian Literature edition of The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation, by George CopwayThe Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation (1850) was one of the first books of Indigenous history written by an Indigenous author. The book blends nature writing and narrative to describe the language, religious beliefs, stories, land, work, and play of the Ojibway people. Shelley Hulan’s afterword considers Copway’s rhetorical strategies in framing a narrative as a form of “history, interrupted” for a non-Indigenous readership.

Announcing the Early Canadian Literature Series

I am very pleased to announce the creation of the Early Canadian Literature series, to be published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press:

The Early Canadian Literature Series returns to print rare texts deserving restoration to the canon of Canadian texts in English. Including novels, periodical pieces, memoirs, and creative non-fiction, the series showcases texts by Indigenous peoples and immigrants from a range of ancestral, language, and religious origins. Each volume includes an afterword by a prominent scholar providing new interpretations for all readers.

I’m series editor, and the series is supported by an advisory board consisting of Andrea Cabajsky (Université de Moncton), Carole Gerson (Simon Fraser University), and Cynthia Sugars (University of Ottawa).
Cover art for Early Canadian Literature edition of The Foreigner, by Ralph Connor Cover art for Early Canadian Literature edition of Painted Fires, by Nellie L. McClung Cover art for Early Canadian Literature edition of The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation, by George Copway
The first title in the series, Ralph Connor’s novel The Foreigner: A Tale of Saskatchewan (1909), with an afterword by Daniel Coleman (McMaster University), is scheduled for publication in December 2013. It will be followed by two more titles in early 2014: George Copway’s The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation (1850), with an afterword by Shelley Hulan (University of Waterloo), and Nellie L. McClung’s Painted Fires (1925), with an afterword by Cecily Devereux (University of Alberta).

Several more titles are in preparation, and we warmly welcome suggestions for future titles.