Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-18

Alice Munro, Mavis Gallant, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence. Today, Canadian short fiction writers are among the most esteemed in the world, and the names of women are very much in evidence. It is not always appreciated, however, that these women are writing in a long tradition of Canadian women writers...

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Adeline M. Teskey

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pp. 19-20

This story appeared in 1901, as the nature of the country was shifting from largely agrarian to industrial, from two cultures to multiculturalism. In this period, no writer gave more affectionate voice to the values of the devout and the bucolic — that Canadian version of "kailyard" fiction that Elizabeth Waterston has so vividly described for us...

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A Common Man and His Wife: The Ram Lamb (1901)

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pp. 21-26

"That there thing ain't good fer nothin'," growled Jake I Bender, giving a prod with his heavy boot at the I apparently lifeless body of a lamb stretched on the half-frozen ground. Then picking up a clod, he threw it at the mother sheep hovering concernedly near her helpless offspring...

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Winnifred Reeve (Onoto Watanna)

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pp. 27-28

Sister of Edith Eaton (see page 227), Winnifred was born after their Chinese mother and English father had come to Montreal. She began her career at seventeen as a reporter for a Jamaican newspaper, and shortly moved to Chicago, then New York. There she married journalist Bertrand Whitcomb Babcock...

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Miss Lily and Miss Chrysanthemum: The Love Story of Two Japanese Girls in Chicago (1903)

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pp. 29-42

Yuri (which is "Lily" in English) and Kiku (which is \/ "Chrysanthemum") met in one of the noisy and • crowded railway stations in Chicago. They were sisters, half Japanese and half English; but neither could understand one word the other spoke, for Yuri had been taken by her English father, who had been long since dead...

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Kathleen "Kit" Coleman

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pp. 43-45

As a pioneering woman journalist from 1890 until her death in 1915, Kathleen "Kit" Coleman was a household word in Canada. Because of the research of journalists Robin Rowland and Barbara Freeman, we now know that the same play of wit, creativity and intelligence that characterized her journalism also coloured her account of her own life...

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A Pair of Gray Gloves (1903)

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pp. 46-56

She was leaning back in her chair very tired. The day was a hot one, and the room, the highest in a tall building, was stuffy and close. It was a bare-looking room, furnished with a mean desk, a chair or two and a piece of matting. There were no blinds on the tall windows, which were covered with dust and looked over a long and narrow court...

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Susan Jones (S. Carleton)

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pp. 57-58

Fiction writer Susan Morrow Jones was born and educated in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the daughter of Helen Stairs and Robert Morrow, prominent Haligonians. Described by her contemporaries as bright, vivacious and attractive, she married her cousin, Guy Carleton Jones, brother of the writer Alice Jones (see page 109)...

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The Frenchwoman's Son (1904)

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pp. 59-78

It was the year of the coarse April that the Frenchwoman's son took to the woods. He had no reason, except that with the spring he had become abruptly aware that since his mother's death his house was intolerable, and that he could form no longer on the small holding that had been hers. It was beyond him to dig, and plant potatoes, and raise two lean pigs to be killed in the fall...

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Sara Jeannette Duncan

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pp. 79-81

Sara Jeannette Duncan was the foremost pioneering woman in Canadian journalism in the 1880s. In the nineties, she became a fiction writer known in Canada, England and India, her three homes. Christened Sarah Janet, she was the eldest often children of Janet Bell and Charles D. Duncan, a Scottish-born merchant established in Brantford...

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The Heir Apparent (1905)

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pp. 82-96

"I like the shape of his head," Miss Garratt said. We were I talking of Randal Cope, and there was more than I approval in Miss Garratt's words; there was barely suppressed enthusiasm. We three — Miss Garratt, her niece Ida Chamier, and I — were sitting on the veranda of a private hotel in Toronto. Randal Cope was just visible in the smoking-room...

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Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

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pp. 97-98

Isabel Ecclestone Mackay, poet and fiction writer, was born in Woodstock, Ontario, on 25 November 1875 to Priscilla Ecclestone and Donald McLeod Macpherson, a Scot who was one of Oxford County's early settlers. "Bell" Macpherson was educated at Woodstock Collegiate and was an early literary contributor...

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The Despair of Sandy MacIntosh (1905)

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pp. 99-108

It was a windy, blustery day of early spring. The snow still lay in the shaded hollows, but the sunny spaces were showing green. The sky, which had lost its distant winter blueness, was softer and nearer to earth. The roads were a quagmire bordered by little rivulets of icy water, but an early robin sang from somewhere near, and the clear, pure air...

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Alice Jones

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pp. 109-110

Alice Jones, novelist and short story writer, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 26 August 1853, the daughter of Margaret Wiseman Stairs and Alfred Gilpin Jones. The latter, a wealthy and charismatic Halifax businessman, had profited from the West Indies trade and served as Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia...

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At the Harbour's Mouth (1905)

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pp. 111-138

Old Josephine Perrier had never heard of Rudyard Kipling, nor of the "Seven Seas" of which he has sung, but for seventy years and more she had watched the "guardian prows put forth" into Chebucto Bay, had heard the boom of salutes, loud on the north wind, dull on the south, from the "virgin ramparts" on the hill above the town, up the harbour...

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Jean Blewett

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pp. 139-140

Jean McKishnie Blewett was born on 4 November 1862 at Scotia, Kent County, Ontario, to Janet Mdntyre and John McKishnie, Scottish immigrants. An interest in writing was a family trait: Blewett's brother, Archie McKishnie, achieved some success as a novelist. After attending St. Thomas Collegiate, Jean Blewett published a novel...

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The Experiences of a Woman Bachelor (1905)

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pp. 141-156

MY DEAR EUNICE, — I hope the fact of a Montreal periodical calling you a genius will not puff you up with vanity. Geniuses, my dear, differ from fools in only one respect; fools are quite destitute of wisdom, while geniuses are wise, subtly wise, in streaks. You'll be looking for this letter; it should have reached you days ago...

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Marjorie Pickthall

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pp. 157-158

In the first two decades of the century, Marjorie Pickthall was hailed by Canadian critics as a writer of great promise in the romantic vein. She was born in Gunnersby, Middlesex, England, the only child of Helen Mallard and Arthur C. Pickthall, an engineer. An intelligent, frail and rather solitary child, she emigrated to Toronto with her parents in 1889...

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On Ile de Paradis (1906)

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pp. 159-168

"The wilderness," says Antoine with a shrug, "is a sister to those who seek her in comradeship, a mother to those who seek her in sorrow, but a step-mother to those who seek her in ignorance." That is the Reverend Antoine MacMurray's way of putting things. He had it from his mother, a Frenchwoman, together with his Christian name, his soft heart...

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E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)

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pp. 169-171

Emily Pauline Johnson was born in 1861 on the Six Nations Reserve, near Brantford, Ontario. A status Indian, the younger daughter of George Henry Martin Johnson, a Mohawk chief of distinguished lineage, and of Emily Howells, an Englishwoman and sister-in-law of an Anglican minister on the reserve, her heritage shaped her life and her art. Pauline Johnson was educated at home...

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The Haunting Thaw (1907)

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pp. 172-178

For three minutes the trader had been peering keenly at the sky. Then his eyes lowered, sweeping the horizon with a sharp discernment that would not admit of self-deception. "Peter!" he called. Peter Blackhawk came to the door, though he only came to that insistent voice when it suited him. "Peter," repeated the trader crisply, yet with something of deference in his tone,..

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Mabel Burkholder

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pp. 179-181

The work of Mabel Burkholder, writer, journalist and local historian, shows her deep engagement with Hamilton, the city where she spent her life. She was born on Hamilton Mountain on 15 March 1881, the third of four daughters of Peter Burkholder, Jr. and Dinah Anne Street, his second wife. Her father, a grandson of one of the area's original...

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The Heart of Kerry (1907)

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pp. 182-192

So she dared. Again he held before his unbelieving eyes the great, green bill whereon her name was flaunted in tall, black letters. Then, while he still struggled with his incredulity, the girl who had dared came in. There was a slightly defiant arch to her proud, black brows, as if she knew that he knew she had dared. Ostentatiously she flung off her gloves...

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L. M. Montgomery

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pp. 193-195

Lucy Maud Montgomery, famous as the creator of Anne of Green Gables, was born in Clifton, Prince Edward Island, in 1874 to Clara Woolner MacNeill and Hugh John Montgomery. At twenty-one months, after her mother's death, Maud Montgomery was taken to Cavendish, P.E.I., to live with her maternal grandparents...

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The Quarantine at Alexander Abraham's (1907)

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pp. 196-212

I refused to take that Sunday-school class the first time I was asked. Not that I objected to teaching in the Sunday-school. On the contrary, I rather liked the idea; but it was the Rev. Aaron Crickett who asked me and it had always been a matter of principle with me never to do anything a man asked me to do if I could help it...

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Madge Macbeth

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pp. 213-214

Madge Macbeth, widowed early, successfully turned to creative writing to support herself and her two young sons — a formidable feat for a woman in a profession precarious at best. Born Madge Hamilton Lyons in Philadelphia to Bessie Maffit and Hymen Hart Lyons, she lost her father early to tuberculosis...

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Frieda's Engagement: A Monologue (1908)

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pp. 215-220

May I come in, Frieda? It's Kathleen. Don't look so surprised, my dear, though I suppose you are due an apology for my bursting in so suddenly; and I told your man down stairs a bit of a fib, too. I told him you were expecting me, because I was so crazy to see you, you darling! Glad of it?...

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Gifts (1908)

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pp. 221-226

Ute? Am I? Well, Agnes, I am sorry; but; really, if you were as busy as I — just squeeze me in, on some one eIse's hour, there's a good girl! I simply must have my hair done this morning, for I haven't another minute to-day in which I can ever stop to fix my barette...

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Edith Eaton (Sui Sin Far)

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pp. 227-228

Eldest of fourteen children of a British father, Edward Eaton, and Chinese mother, Grace Trefusis, Edith Eaton lived briefly in England, Japan and the United States before being brought by her family to Montreal at the age of seven. Eaton worked in various office positions before becoming a journalist and short fiction writer...

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Mrs. Spring Fragrance (1910)

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pp. 229-242

When Mrs. Spring Fragrance first arrived in Seattle, she was unacquainted with even one word of the American language. Five years later her husband, speaking of her, said: "There are no more American words for her learning." And everyone who knew Mrs. Spring Fragrance agreed with Mr. Spring Fragrance...

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Nellie McClung

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pp. 243-245

Nellie McClung was, like L. M. Montgomery, one of Canada's most popular writers during the period 1900-1920. Pearlie Watson, whom we encounter as a girl of twelve in "The Live Wire," was McClung's most important female hero and the central character of three of her best-selling books...

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The Live Wire (1910)

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pp. 246-256

"Who is this young gentleman or lady?" Dr. Clay asked of Pearlie Watson one day when he met her wheeling a carriage in which was a very fat baby. "This is the Czar of all the Rooshias," Pearl answered gravely, "and I'm his bodyguard." The doctor's face showed no surprise...

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Mazo de la Roche

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pp. 257-258

Mazo de la Roche is remembered today as an author who came to prominence in the twenties with die enduringly popular Jalna books, the first of which won the $10,000 Atlantic Little, Brown Prize in 1927. But she had in feet been publishing fiction since 1902. She was born Mazo Louise Roche in Newmarket, Ontario,...

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Canadian Ida and English Nell (1911)

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pp. 259-278

The small, eager face of the girl peering through the rain-splashed window of the railway carriage and her tense grip on her little belongings showed her an unaccustomed traveler, though her weary eyes and wrinkled dress suggested that the journey had been long...

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Ethelwyn Wetherland

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pp. 279-280

Ethelwyn Wetherald, poet, fiction writer and journalist, was born in Rockwood (near Guelph) on 26 April 1857. She was one of eleven children of Jemima Harris Balls and William Wetherald, founder and principal of Rockwood Academy and later a Quaker minister. Ethelwyn Wetherald was educated at home, at the Friends' Boarding School...

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Jealousy (1912)

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pp. 281-290

Professor Emmett's brow was surprisingly low for a pedagogue, and he had other points of beauty apparent not only to his wife, who adored him, but to his fellow-teachers in the academy. One of these assistants, Miss Braithwaite, boarded in his house, being a distant connection of Mrs. Emmett's. She had come to their city from Chicago...

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Jean N.McIlwraith

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pp. 291-292

Jean Newton McIlwraith, writer of fiction, literary criticism and biography, was bom in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1859, one of seven children of Scottish immigrants Mary Park and Thomas McIlwraith, early Canadian ornithologist. She was educated at Hamilton Ladies' College and took the correspondence program in modern literature offered by Queen Margaret College...

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The Assimilation of Christina (1913)

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pp. 293-306

When Miss Maitland made up her mind to go to her island in the middle of June in order to have her cottage in readiness for the influx of nephews and nieces expected by the Fourth of July, she decided to take with her Christina, the maid servant who had come out from Scotland the preceding spring...

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Mary Lowrey Ross

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pp. 307-308

Mary Lowrey Ross, journalist and writer, was born in Brantford, Ontario, on 21 February 1891, the youngest of four children of Mary Cathey, a teacher, and David Lowrey, a doctor and real estate investor. The family moved to Toronto when Mary Lowrey was about twelve, and her interest in writing and the arts began to emerge at Harbord Collegiate. At the age of sixteen, she moved with her family...

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An Adventure in Youth (1917)

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pp. 309-322

In this warm month of July it is good to be back again at Westhaven. I had been thinking about it all winter — not as it really must have been, with the snow packed to the edges of the hotel verandah and stretched across the ice to the black trees on the other side, but as I have always seen it; a tiny, red-roofed settlement on the edge of a little lake...

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J. G. Sime

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pp. 323-325

Jessie Georgina Sime — an asexual "J. G. Sime" on the tide page of her books and "J. Georgina Sime" to autograph seekers — was a British writer who came to Canada in 1907 on die eve of her fortieth birthday. She came into her own as a writer during her four decades of residence here. The evolving society she experienced in Montreal fascinated her...

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Munitions! (1919)

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pp. 326-333

Bertha Martin sat in the street car in the early morning going to her work. Her work was munitions. She had seen at it exactly five weeks. She sat squeezed up into a corner, just holding on to her seat and no more, and all round her were women and girls also working at munitions...