Synopses & Reviews
Settlers of the Marsh
was first published in 1925, after a struggle by the author to persuade publishers that his first novel would meet public acceptance. Some critics immediately condemned this hypnotic story of the loss of innocence on the Manitoba frontier, calling it “obscene” and “indecent.” Churches issued warnings to their congregations to avoid its scandalous contents. Only several decades later was Settlers of the Marsh
recognized for what it is - a landmark in the development of the Canadian novel, and a work of realism in the tradition of Thomas Hardy.
A psychological portrait of life in the Canadian West, Settlers of the Marsh presents with chilling accuracy the hopes, passions, and anxieties of young pioneers.
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About the Author
Frederick Philip Grove
was born Felix Paul Grove at Radomno in West Prussia (now a part of Poland) in 1879. Raised in Hamburg and educated at the University of Bonn and later at the University of Munich, he began his career as a poet and translator into German of many English and French writers, including Balzac, Flaubert, Gide, Swift, and Wilde. His first novel, Fanny Essler
, appeared in 1905; his second, Maurermeister Ihles Haus
(Mastermason Ihles House), in the following year. He left Germany in 1909 for the United States.
In 1912, under the new name of Frederick Philip Grove, he began teaching school in Manitoba, and continued in that profession until 1924.
Groves first book in English, Over Prairie Trails, is a sequence of seven sketches of his weekly trips through the Manitoba countryside. His first novel in English, Settlers of the Marsh, establishes the essentially tragic pattern of his fiction, the heroic pioneers who seek domestic and material happiness but seldom realize their goals.
Groves autobiography, In Search of Myself, begins with a fictitious account of his early life in Europe and moves on to a largely accurate presentation of his life in Canada.
In 1929 Grove left Manitoba to accept a job with a publishing firm in Ottawa. In 1931 he settled on a farm near Simcoe, Ontario, where he spent the final years of his life.
Frederick Philip Grove died in Simcoe, Ontario, in 1948.