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Diaries & First-Hand Accounts
Pioneers and Settlement, Canada
Genealogy & History

BOOK - Early Voices, Portraits of Canada by Women Writers, 1639-1914
By Mary Alice Downie; Elizabeth Jane Errington; Barbara Robertson
Published by Dundurn, Toronto, 2010

(Canadian Dollars)
Check price in your currency

This selection of writings by 29 women, known and unknown, professional and amateur, presents a unique portrait of Canada through time and space, from the 17th to the early 20th century, 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.

A fascinating read that breaths life into 275 years of Canadian settlement and development as experienced by 29 women who recorded their personal observations and opinions.

    "Early Voices" is a valuable and wonderfully readable collection of responses to Canada by some twenty-nine women writers between 1839 and 1914. The editors have assembled a fascinating collage of dramatic descriptions that record some of the challenges and pleasures of Canadian experience over nearly three centuries. We learn 'how things are [or were] in this Canada of ours' as various women, mostly educated and of middle class, document in vivd and frank ways things they observed and experienced. We learn what winters could be like in isolated outposts, how it felt to to come upon a vast caribou herd in Labrador, the staggering pain of losing a baby in a remote settlement, even the discomfort that an elderly Catherine Parr Traill felt when she suddenly found herself treated as a celebrity at Rideau Hall. This is a treasure trove of writings that can be read at a single sitting or, perhaps more rewardingly at a leisurely pace. Whatever the case they will speak powerfully to readers interested in early Canada and the resourcefulness of women in measuring their lives against this vast and extraordinary country. It is a book for any season, and one that is rich in plesure and insights" - Michael Peterman, author Sisters in Two Worlds.
Pages: 316
6 X 9"
Softcover - peerfectbound
Published by Dundurn, Toronto, 2010

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