Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dream 15 "The Winter Beaver" (Anna Jameson, 1837)

Anna Jameson was lulled to sleep by the jingle of sleigh bells and the rocking of her sled as she was pulled through the slumbering pine forests north of the city. The night was frozen and still, but as she drifted off, warm and drowsy beneath layers of bearskin, she imagined the sky had come alive with the blues and pinks and greens of the Aurora Borealis. The woods around her danced; snows flickering with colour, shadows leaping from between the majestic bark columns that lined the wintry road.

In her dream, she thought she caught a glimpse of a beaver through the trees. His flat black tail was laid out behind him; his great yellow teeth tore through the trunk of an enormous white pine. But as her sled drew nearer, she saw that he was no beast at all; he was a bearded man wearing pelts from head to toe and a beaver tail hat pulled down around his ears. In his hand, there was an axe. And as he swung it back and forth through the forest, the trees crashed aside like waves.


Anna Jameson was a British writer and feminist who live in Toronto during the winter of 186-37. Her husband, who she separated from, was the Attorney General of Upper Canada (the province that became Ontario). While she was here, she wrote a diary called "Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada".

Learn more about Anna Jameson and her time in Toronto here. Explore more Toronto Dreams Project postcards here.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favourite books, this diary of hers. Wonderful.