An exciting new annotated edition of the only novel ever published that depicts the 1866 invasion of British-ruled Canada by Irish republicans, an event that would help set the stage for Confederation … 

New notes provide fascinating insight into this intriguing  narrative of Canadian-American relations. The two countries clash in this fast-paced comedy of manners by Scottish-Canadian-American writer Robert Barr (1849–1912). In 1866, a group of Irish-Americans known as the Fenian Brotherhood carried out cross-border raids into British-ruled Canada. The main reason was to take over Canada—or part of it—in order to hold it hostage, with a view to forcing Britain’s political exit from Ireland. Battle-hardened veterans fresh from fighting in the American Civil War crossed the border, and were surprised by the resistance they met. In the context of the novel, a vacationing American journalist is equally surprised by feisty Canadians who are ever willing to push back against stereotypes.

It is no coincidence that Confederation took place the year following the raids, as Canadians realized their vulnerability to invasion.

About the Author: Robert Barr (1849–1912) moved from Scotland to Toronto with his parents at age four. After two decades as a teacher in Windsor, he moved to the U.S. where he became news editor of the Detroit Free Press.

Canadian Literature

IN THE MIDST OF ALARMS
Robert Barr

​Introduction and Notes by Jen Rubio

2015

ISBN-13: 978-1-77244-001-0 280 pp. •  5.5 X 8.5    Paperback  •  $19.95 (list)

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