The Northern or Northwestern is an American and Canadian genre in literature and film made popular by the writings of Rex Beach, Jack London, Robert W. Service, James Oliver Curwood, Laurie York Erskine, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Romer Grey, Stephen Slesinger, Tom Dougall, Fran Striker, and Gaylord Du Bois. It is similar to the Western genre but the action occurs in the Canadian North and typically features Mounties instead of, for example, cowboys or sheriffs. The genre was extremely popular in the inter-war years of the 20th century.
In addition to being set in Canada the stories often contrast the American Old West with the Canadian one in several ways. In films such as Pony Soldier and Saskatchewan the North-West Mounted Police display reason to preventing bloodshed, compassion and a sense of fairplay in their dealings with native peoples as opposed to hotheaded American visitors (often criminals), lawmen or the U.S. Army who distrust and want to relocate the native peoples to kill it.
The Western idea of lawlessness set in American towns was not a part of the Canadian Northern, though individual lawbreakers or uprisings by Canadians (Quebec), First Nations tribes or Métis featured in some depictions, such as Riel and North West Mounted Police.
Background of Canada
Examples of Northerns
Folklore of Canada (Canadian oral stories)
- Louis Riel the Robin Hood of the Canadian Métis and French Canadians.
- Big Joe Mufferaw the woodsman Paul Bunyan of Canada.
- Chasse-galerie the enchanted canoe that flies over the water of the river like a bird. Rowing by some men of fur traders, woodsmen, and lumberjacks.
- Johnny Chinook was a Canadian cowboy and rancher of the Canadian West's Rocky Mountain countryside of Alberta, Canada.
- Ti-Jean, a giant 10-year-old French-Canadian lumberjack boy of Canada.
- The Spell of the Yukon by Robert W. Service, including "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee"
- North West Stories (Originally published in 1925)
- North-West Romances
- Complete Northwest Magazine
- Call of the Wild
- White Fang
- Renfrew of the Royal Mounted (10 books, 17 short stories)
- Susannah of the Mounties
- Scarlet Riders, a collection of stories previously printed in Pulp magazines
- Kazan (novel)
- Baree, Son of Kazan
- Renfrew of the Royal Mounted (presented by the author Laurie York Erskine)
- Challenge of the Yukon (1939–1955) featuring Sergeant Preston
- "The Scarlet Riders: Action-Packed Mountie Stories from the Fabulous Pulps" edited by Don Hutchison. A collection of Northern stories from the Pulp magazines. (ISBN 0-88962-647-2)
- "Looking for Dudley Do-Right" at Pulp and Dagger Fiction
- Northern Romances Editorial at Pulp and Dagger Fiction
- "Romancing the Redcoat: A Canadian Hero Lost in Hollywood" at Canuxploitation
- The RCMP in Popular Culture
- The Mountie Films at B-Westerns
- Hollywood's View of Canada (list of films)
- The Force in the North – Myths at Virtual Museum Canada