The Literary Garland

Two popular nineteenth-century periodicals were recently added to ECO. Both serials contained a mix of poetry, fiction, essays, jokes, music scores, book reviews, news of the arts, helpful household hints and serialized novels. They were designed to appeal to the general audience.

These titles were the Literary Garland (Montreal : J. Lovell, [1838-1851]) & Album de la Minerve (Montréal : Duvernay, Frères & Dansereau, [1872-1874])

In looking at the Literary Garland, I discovered many well known Canadian authors including Susanna Moodie, John Richardson and Rosanna Eleanor (Mullins) Leprohon.

Susanna Moodie's six Canadian sketches were published in 1847 (Old Woodruff and his Three Wives, Jan., p. 13; The Walk to Dummer, Mar., p. 101; Our Borrowing, May, p. 197; Tom Wilson’s Emmigration, June, p. 283 and July, p. 293, Uncle Joe and his Family, Aug., p. 363 and Sep., p. 423; and Brian and the Still Hunter, Oct. p. 400) They were later to reappear in Roughing it in the Bush, v. 1 and v. 2. One of her poems The Drunkard’s return : a tale for the teetotallers appeared in new ser. v. 5, no. 2 (Feb. 1847), p. 87.

Roseanna Eleanor Leprohon was a poet and a novelist who owes her early success to publication in the Literary Garland. Her works were published under the pseudnonym R.E.M. Her first poem was published in the Garland in1846, when she was seventeen. In later years, there were more of her verses, serialized novels and short stories. See The stepmother, new series v. 5 1847 p. 77, 131, 166, 217, 254.

John Richardson's wrote frontier tales where Indians were depicted in a complex and realistic manner. This sympathic treatment of his Indian characters might have come from his own experiences as a biracal man. Parts of his The Canadian brothers were serialized in the Garland in 1839. The three volumes of his early novel Wacousta, vol. 1, v. 2, and v. 3 are also found in ECO.

Information on the Album de la Minerve will appear in a later blog.