The Imperialist


Read by Bruce Pirie

(5 stars; 1 reviews)

“The Imperialist,” a novel by Sara Jeannette Duncan, published in 1904, is a portrait of life in small-town Ontario at the beginning of the 20th century.
At that time, English Canada was torn between affectionate loyalty for the “mother country” (Britain), and, on the other side, hard-headed respect for the demands of life in the shadow of the dynamic American economy. (In a by-election, one party pushes for establishing a preferred trading relationship between Canada and Britain: this is the “imperialist” position referred to by the book’s title.)
Main characters find themselves in problematic love stories that unfold against the backdrop of a society that is working out its national identity. These national issues would continue to vex Canada for decades to come. The author is ambivalent about the larger debates, but offers richly specific, subtle, and entertaining observations of manners and morals.
In the decades since publication, “The Imperialist” has been increasingly appreciated as a landmark in Canadian fiction. Critic and scholar Peter Allen has written: “Duncan is an eloquent and important witness to the ambiguity of [Canada’s] developing national identity in the years before World War I.”

NOTE: In this novel, a brief depiction of Native Canadians uses what we today recognize as offensive stereotypes. It is LibriVox policy to record texts as their authors originally intended. *
- Summary by Bruce Pirie (12 hr 24 min)

Chapters

Chapter 1 29:26 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 2 20:18 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 3 24:36 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 4 21:07 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 5 21:24 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 6 21:39 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 7 23:27 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 8 19:26 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 9 20:02 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 10 19:52 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 11 16:32 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 12 25:00 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 13 12:50 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 14 16:41 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 15 15:49 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 16 21:25 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 17 28:55 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 18 20:26 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 19 15:28 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 20 21:11 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 21 23:15 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 22 23:56 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 23 20:39 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 24 20:43 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 25 30:44 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 26 24:05 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 27 23:29 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 28 22:04 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 29 40:39 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 30 19:30 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 31 14:30 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 32 28:46 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 33 36:39 Read by Bruce Pirie

Reviews


(5 stars)

I "got through" ch. 1 & 2, then ch 3 hooked me! At first I was put off by the influx and pace of the narrator. This listening experience took me "out of my comfort zone". The literary form, --if only new to me, struck me at first to be, sorry to use slang here: weird. BUT THEN all of my misgivings vanished as the pace, language, inflections and literary pivot began to lavish my mind with a well-told story about status, convention, ambition's many disguises and the human dilimma.