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Party at Rideau Hall

Early Voices — Portraits of Canada by Women Writers, 1639–1914

by Mary Alice Downie; Barbara Robertson; Elizabeth Jane Errington & Catharine Parr Traill

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canadian, women authors
list price: $0.99
edition:eBook
published: 2015
ISBN:9781459734760
publisher: Dundurn Press
Description

This selection of writings by twenty-nine women, known and unknown, professional and amateur, presents a unique portrait of Canada through time and space, from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries, from the Maritimes to British Columbia and the Far North. There is a range of voices from high-born wives of governors general, to an Icelandic immigrant and a fisherman’s wife in Labrador. A Loyalist wife and mother describes the first hard weather in New Brunswick, a seasick nun tells of a dangerous voyage out from France, a famous children’s writer writes home about the fun of canoeing, and a German general’s wife describes habitant customs. All demonstrate how women’s experiences not only shared, but helped shape this new country.

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Contributor notes

Mary Alice Downie has written and edited twenty-eight books for children and adults. Her many books include And Some Brought Flowers with Mary Hamilton, and The Well-Filled Cupboard with Barbara Robertson. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Barbara Robertson, now deceased, earned degrees in history from the University of Toronto and Queen’s University. She was also the author of Wilfrid Laurier and co-editor of Ottawa at War.

Elizabeth Jane Errington is currently dean of arts at the Royal Military College and also teaches at Queen’s University. Her research interests centre on life in nineteenth-century Upper Canada. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.

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Editorial Reviews

Replete with intellectually provocative commentary on women's experience of life in Canada.

— Ontario History magazine

Some of the women writers were wealthy. Some were poor. Some wrote professional. Others kept journals. Together, they richly portray Canadas geography and early culture.

— Road Stories

A splendid selection of the observations and experiences of twenty-nine women.

— OHS Bulletin
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About the Authors

Mary Alice Downie

Mary Alice Downie has written and edited twenty-eight books for children and adults. Her many books include And Some Brought Flowers with Mary Hamilton, and The Well-Filled Cupboard with Barbara Robertson. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.

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Barbara Robertson

Barbara Robertson earned degrees in history from the University of Toronto and Queen’s University. She was also the author of Wilfrid Laurier and co-editor of Ottawa at War.

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Elizabeth Jane Errington

Elizabeth Jane Errington is currently dean of arts at the Royal Military College and also teaches at Queen’s University. Her research interests centre on life in nineteenth-century Upper Canada. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.

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Catharine Parr Traill

As one of the first voices to write from the wilds of newly-settled Canada, Catharine Parr Traill’s books continue to be considered important sources of early Canadian history. In particular, The Backwoods of Canada, first published in 1836, details the everyday life of Canada’s founding communities. Together with her sister, Susannah Moodie (who penned the equally historically significant Roughing it in the Bush), Traill became an important resource for settlers arriving in Canada during the nineteenth century. Continuing to write and publish well into her nineties, Catherine Parr Traill is celebrated as one of the first authors in Canadian literary history. She died in 1899 at the age of 97.

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