Thomas Chandler Haliburton Criticism - Essay

Darlene Kelly (essay date autumn 1982)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Kelly, Darlene. “Thomas Haliburton & Travel Books About America.” Canadian Literature, no. 94 (autumn 1982): 25-38.

[In the following essay, Kelly examines the ways in which Haliburton capitalized on the popularity of the travel book and used it as a medium for expressing his own political views regarding Canadian, American, and British relations.]

Thomas Haliburton's observations on British travel commentaries about America reward examination on several counts. First, they are valuable historically, recreating for the modern reader a phase of Anglo-American relations when these analyses of America renewed hostilities between two nations recently at...

(The entire section is 6580 words.)

M. Brook Taylor (essay date spring 1984)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Taylor, M. Brook. “Haliburton as a Historian.” In The Thomas Chandler Haliburton Symposium, edited by Frank M. Tierney, pp. 103-22. Ottawa, Ont.: University of Ottawa Press, 1985.

[In the following essay, an earlier version of which was published in Acadiensis: Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region in spring 1984, Brook shows how Haliburton used historical narrative and promotional description to bolster Nova Scotian patriotism by suggesting that the colony embodied the best and most vital qualities of British civilization.]

“This is my own my native land.”(1)

Thomas Chandler Haliburton needs little introduction to students...

(The entire section is 9082 words.)

Tom Middlebro' (essay date winter 1985)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Middlebro', Tom. “Imitatio Inanitatis: Literary Madness and the Canadian Short Story.” Canadian Literature, no. 107 (winter 1985): 189-93.

[In the following excerpt, Middlebro' claims that Haliburton's “The Witch of Inky Dell” is a successful short story because its combination of gothic conventions, a morally ambiguous hero, and the theme of madness results in compassion for the characters and an “unsettling awareness of the unintelligible on the frontiers of reason.”]

Plot in the short story may lead the reader's mind to an illumination of intelligibility, but sometimes it works to shatter the reader's comforting teleological expectations with...

(The entire section is 1662 words.)

Daniel Royot (essay date 1985)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Royot, Daniel. “Sam Slick and American Popular Humour.” In The Thomas Chandler Haliburton Symposium, edited by Frank M. Tierney, pp. 123-33. Ottawa, Ont.: University of Ottawa Press, 1985.

[In the following essay, Royot discusses how Haliburton borrowed ideas from various frontier humorists to create Sam Slick and how Haliburton's writings influenced later American humorists.]

A retrospective view of the Clockmaker series makes it clear that Haliburton deliberately established a link between various brands of the American comic spirit. Resulting from his gleanings of folk humour, his achievements were ultimately conducive to a new genre combining...

(The entire section is 4668 words.)

Darlene Kelly (essay date 1985)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Kelly, Darlene. “Haliburton's International Yankee.” In The Thomas Chandler Haliburton Symposium, edited by Frank M. Tierney, pp. 135-49. Ottawa, Ont.: University of Ottawa Press, 1985.

[In the following essay, Kelly suggests that Haliburton's writings, particularly The Clockmaker and The Attaché series, serve as political analyses of the relationship between England, America, and the Canadian colonies and are a social commentary on these cultures. She states that the character of Sam is the personification of Haliburton's satire of America and the means by which Haliburton makes fun of the English.]

After the first Clockmaker set in...

(The entire section is 6802 words.)

R. D. MacDonald (essay date summer 1988)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: MacDonald, R. D. “Thomas Chandler Haliburton's ‘Machine in the Garden’: Applying Leo Marx's Criticism of America to Haliburton's Clockmaker.Canadian Review of American Studies 19, no. 2 (summer 1988): 165-80.

[In the following essay, MacDonald compares Marx's ideas on technology to Haliburton's philosophy that Nova Scotians should be more progressive in the development of technology, yet remain conservative in their traditional values.]

In a recent symposium, Robert L. McDougall has puzzled over T. C. Haliburton's being a reactionary tory and yet an advocate of technological progress: “How come … we find this [early nineteenth-century Nova...

(The entire section is 8550 words.)

Stanley E. McMullin (essay date 1989)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: McMullin, Stanley E. “Thomas Chandler Haliburton.” In Canadian Writers and Their Works: Essays on Form, Context, and Development: Fiction Series, Volume Two, edited by Robert Lecker, Jack David, and Ellen Quigley, pp. 27-76. Toronto, Ont.: ECW Press, 1989.

[In the following excerpt, McMullin maintains that even though Haliburton's popularity waned and he was alternately labeled a British or an American writer, his Tory philosophy was primarily linked to Canadian intellectual tradition.]

It seems to me that Robert L. McDougall has come closest to answering the question of why Thomas Chandler Haliburton's reputation has waned while lesser writers continue to...

(The entire section is 11327 words.)

Gordon MacKay Haliburton (essay date fall 1991)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Haliburton, Gordon MacKay. “The Planter Roots of Thomas Chandler Haliburton.” Dalhousie Review 71, no. 3 (fall 1991): 292-309.

[In the following essay, Gordon MacKay Haliburton traces Thomas Chandler Haliburton's ancestry back to Boston and Scotland and argues that his views were influenced by the fact that he and his compatriots were all representative members of the third generation of the Planter community in Nova Scotia.]

Thomas Chandler Haliburton, the first Canadian writer to enjoy international acclaim, was, like all of us, moulded by a combination of genetic inheritance and by the environment around him in his early formative years. What were these...

(The entire section is 7444 words.)

Ruth Panofsky (essay date fall/winter 1993)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Panofsky, Ruth. “The Publication of Thomas Chandler Haliburton's The Clockmaker, 1st Series.Canadian Literature, nos. 138/139 (fall/winter 1993): 5-20.

[In the following essay, Panofsky details the publication history of The Clockmaker, focusing on the unauthorized reprintings of the first series in England and America.]

What is known today as Thomas Chandler Haliburton's The Clockmaker series began as a group of sketches entitled “Recollections of Nova Scotia.” This series of twenty-one sketches appeared anonymously in the Novascotian, or Colonial Herald, a weekly newspaper published in Halifax by Joseph Howe. The weekly...

(The entire section is 6269 words.)

George Elliot Clarke (essay date 1997)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Clarke, George Elliot. “Must We Burn Haliburton?” In The Haliburton Bi-centenary Chaplet: Papers presented at the 1996 Thomas Raddall Symposium, edited by Richard A. Davies, pp. 1-40. Wolfville, N.S.: Gaspereau Press, 1997.

[In the following essay, Clarke proposes that the writings of Haliburton and the Marquis de Sade have been consigned to obscurity due to their similar offensive views on reform—that liberalism is a false promise of equality and that the elite should rule by strength. Haliburton, a conservative, opposed capitalism, reformism, and abolitionism because he saw these as products of a liberal world resulting in a breakdown of the natural hierarchy. Sade, a...

(The entire section is 13024 words.)

Ruth Panofsky (essay date 1997)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Panofsky, Ruth. “Breaking the Silence: The Clockmaker on Women.” In The Haliburton Bi-centenary Chaplet: Papers presented at the 1996 Thomas Raddall Symposium, edited by Richard A. Davies, pp. 41-53. Wolfville, N.S.: Gaspereau Press, 1997.

[In the following essay, Panofsky compares Haliburton's derogatory treatment of women in the The Clockmaker series to the societal norms of the nineteenth century.]

In a recent overview of African-Canadian literature, George Elliott Clarke refers to Thomas Chandler Haliburton as “Canada's most vaunted early writer” (7). More than 160 years following the appearance of The Clockmaker sketches, which...

(The entire section is 3825 words.)