In the opening decades of the nineteenth century, the writings of John Lambert renewed the British public's fascination with the landscapes, peoples, flora, and fauna of the Canadian colonies and the United States. First published in 1811, and ultimately running into four editions, this two-volume work is packed with closely-observed descriptions, facts and figures about colonial life, as well as lively anecdotes. The 'corrected and improved' second edition reissued here was published in 1814, towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars. It promised to 'enable the British reader to form a just opinion of the Canadian colonies, and to appreciate the character of the neighbouring enemies who threaten their existence'. A trained painter, Lambert illustrated his account with lithographs based on his own watercolours. Volume 1 contains accounts of Lambert's outward voyage, Newfoundland and Quebec, covering subjects as diverse as chimney sweeps, French Jesuits, maple sugar, and 'stinking cheese'.
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