As a middle class Englishwoman Moodie did not particularly enjoy "the bush", as she called it. She and her husband moved to Belleville in 1840, which she referred to as "the clearings". Here she described urban life, including religion, art, and education, especially as compared to relative lack of these things in "the bush". She studied the Family Compact and became sympathetic to the moderate reformers led by Robert Baldwin, while remaining critical of radical reformers such as William Lyon Mackenzie. This caused problems for her husband, who shared her views, but, as sheriff of Belleville, had to work with members and supporters of the Family Compact.