The Last Farm on
Howland Ridge Road...
When you take the Howland Ridge Road northeast out of Millville, New Brunswick and come to the place where the snowplough turns around, a narrow track plunges on into the deep woods of the Keswick River watershed. Howland Ridge commands a grand view of sparkling lakes, small rivers, forested valleys, and low mountains.
This is the setting for Chris in Canada. This is where Noel Polchis, an Indigenous hunter, introduces Chris, newly arrived from England, to a way of life on the land beyond the farm. Chris has come with his family to settle on the last farm on Howland Ridge Road, but it is the attraction of adventures with Noel in the great woods of central New Brunswick that catches his imagination.
George Frederick Clarke published Chris in Canada in 1925. It remained in print for over twenty-five years. The success of this book turned Clarke’s writing in a new direction. He went on to create a series of well-received books about New Brunswick and became one of the province’s best-loved authors.
Chris in the Wilderness, a sequel to Chris in Canada, will be published in 2022.
2020 • Paperback • 184 pages
From the Preface by Mary Bernard:
My grandfather, George Frederick Clarke (GFC), wrote Chris in Canada almost a century ago. It was his first book to be accepted for publication. He had been writing and publishing short stories in magazines for some time, but this book marks the beginning of his real success as a writer. The story follows eight months in the life of a boy of fourteen who has just immigrated, with his family, to a New Brunswick farm on the edge of a vast wilderness of woods, lakes and streams. He is eager to learn Canadian farming ways—and to go adventuring in that wilderness. GFC was writing about people, places and a way of life he knew well. Chris in Canada became one of his most successful novels.
George Frederick Clarke (1883-1974) is one of New Brunswick’s best-known writers. He lived in Woodstock his entire life and published thirteen books.
Mary Bernard is editor of the George Frederick Project, which is bringing his books back into print. She is Clarke’s granddaughter and lives in Cambridge, England.