The Span o' Life

by Jean Newton McIlwraith

The reader familiar with the amusing memoirs of the Chevalier Johnstone will recognise in how far Maxwell was suggested thereby; if he be equally familiar with the detail of Canadian history of the period he will have little difficulty in discovering the originals of Sarennes and some of the secondary characters, and, in the Epilogue, the legend of the death of the celebrated missionary, le R. P. Jean Baptiste de la Brosse. But while the experience of some actual man or woman has suggested a type to be portrayed, it is only as a type, and with no intention of representing the individual in the character of the story. Nor is the attempt to set forth the respective attitude of the Canadian and the old-country Frenchman to be read as a personal expression of the authors', but as their conception of an unfortunate condition between colonist and official that obtained as fully in Canada as it did between the same classes in the English colonies.

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