The Clockmaker, Or, The Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick, of SlickvilleBook - 2014
The serial publication of The Clockmaker in 1835-36 launched Canadian judge Thomas Chandler Haliburton to literary fame. A broad satire with a garrulous, deceitful American clock-seller, Sam Slick, as its central character, the book was embraced by reviewers and readers internationally. Some Canadian reviewers were often less enthusiastic, however, with one calling Slick's comical American slang "low, mean, miserable, and witless." Almost two centuries later The Clockmaker is still central to Canadian literary history--and still highly controversial, particularly for its treatment of women and black Canadians.
Richard A. Davies provides a nuanced and illuminating discussion of the controversies about The Clockmaker from 1835 to the present, and of the complex historical and political factors that led to its mixed reception. Historical documents include other writings and speeches by Haliburton, earlier satires of Canadian and American culture, and contemporary reviews.