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Romantic Canada

By Edward J. O'Brien.

It is a happy comradeship which has made this interesting volume possible. Those who know and love the by-ways of Canada have frequently encountered Miss Watson and Miss Hayward in the pursuit of a self-imposed task. Hardly a task we should call it, but a delight, to record with the camera and the pen those unique and beautiful racial traditions which ha^e survived in Canada and flourished, while the passion for conformity to a provincial process of standardization has crushed them in the United States. In Canada, the Scottish Highlander, the Acadian, and the Douk-hobor, for example, have not been compelled to abandon their memories. The life of their forefathers has flourished when transplanted to a new soil. That wise tolerance and appreciative catholicity which is not always found in a new land has preserved old loveliness here, and the magic of Mrs Watson's camera has arrested this beauty at many significant moments.

I have more than once had occasion to allude to the invaluable labours of Mr. C. M. Barbeau in harvesting the folksongs and tales of Quebec and Ontario. Although the general public may not realize it, he is conferring a new literature upon Canada and adding rich chapters to her imaginative history. Well, these pictures with their fine sense of composition and warm human values provide this literature with its just setting, and the social record they afford is of permanent significance. The quality of life changes even in a generation, and those who may turn over the leaves of this book a century from now will know, as they could not otherwise have known, what beautiful life has flourished in hidden places.

The Magdalen Islands, for example, are an unknown land to Canadian city dwellers. The service of Miss Watson and Miss Hayward in introducing them alone to those who have never visited them is one for which any happy traveller should be very grateful.

Cambridge, England.

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