Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

The editors are grateful to the following for their advice and assistance: Suzanne Bosse, Phebe Chartrand, Gwen Davies, Carole Gerson, George Henderson, Carrie MacMillan, Duncan McDowall, Leslie Monkman, Jeremy Palin, Stewart Renfrew...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-13

Pioneering Women, the earliest in time span of three consecutive anthologies of short stories by Canadian women, presents a selection of stories written before 1880. Its two companion anthologies, Aspiring Women and New Women, cover the periods...

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Eliza Lanesford Cushing

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pp. 15-17

Eliza Lanesford Gushing, with her sister Harriet Cheney (see page 89), was an important early editor and creative writer in Montreal during the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s. The two women founded the children's periodical Snow Drop, the first of its type in British North America...

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"Grace Morley: A Sketch From Life" (1839)

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pp. 18-37

"And so the children are to have a picnic tomorrow," said Charles Castleton, a young naval officer, approaching a table, at which his cousin Clara Ilsley sat copying a cluster of rose-buds, that stood in a vase beside her...

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Catharine Parr Traill

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pp. 39-41

Catharine Parr Traill, in company with her sister Susanna Moodie (see page 51), is one of the best-known nineteenth-century Canadian women writers. As a creative writer and a gifted amateur botanist of Canadian wildflowers, Traill imaginatively documented a pioneer Upper Canada...

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"The Bereavement" (1846)

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pp. 42-50

It was one of those soft warm mornings in April, that we not infrequently experience in this country during the melting of the snow, when the thermometer indicates a degree of temperature not less than summer heat. The air...

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Susanna Moodie

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pp. 51-54

Susanna Moodie is the best-known Canadian female writer of the nineteenth century. She dealt powerfully and incisively with the society and landscape of Ontario in its formative decades. Despite having had an upbringing, a class consciousness...

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"The Walk to Dummer" (1847)

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pp. 55-75

Reader, have you ever heard of a place called Dummer? Ten years ago it might not inaptly have been termed the last clearing in the world—nor, to this day, do I know of any in that direction which extends beyond it. Our bush farm was situated...

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Mary Anne Sadlier

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pp. 77-80

An energetic author, editor, and publisher, Mary Anne Madden was the daughter of Irish merchant Francis Madden. Born at Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland, on 31 December 1820 and educated at home, Mary Anne was contributing poetry by the age of eighteen to the London...

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"A Peep into the Dominions of Pluto " (1847)

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pp. 81-88

In one of the inland counties of Ireland there was discovered a vein of silver, probably not sufficient to cover the expense of drawing it forth, however, for it is now many years since the search for the mineral was given up, and the...

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Harriet Vaughan Cheney

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pp. 89-91

Born in Brighton, Massachusetts, the daughter of writer Hannah Webster Foster and Unitarian clergyman John Foster, Harriet Cheney inherited intellectual legacies from both parents: she was to become an adherent of the Unitarian Church of Montreal...

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"The Emigrants" (1850)

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pp. 92-107

The eventful summer of 1832, will be long remembered by everyone who witnessed its devastation. None can forget the gloomy despondency which brooded over this fated city, when the first half suppressed rumour went abroad, that pestilence had rolled in with the tide of emigration...

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May Agnes Fleming

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pp. 109-112

May Agnes Fleming, Canada's first international bestselling author, began her career at the age of fifteen when she sent a story to the New York Mercury, one of the most popular story papers of the time. (Papers consisting of short stories and serialized novels, published...

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"The Philopena" (1860)

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pp. 113-122

Of all the inveterate flirts it ever was my good fortune to come across, my friend Hessie Dorset was the worst. From morning, till night that girl did nothing but flirt, flirt, flirt—breaking hearts with as much ease as I broke the point out...

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"My Folly" (1863)

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pp. 123-138

Everybody said it was an excellent match, and you know what everybody says must be true. I wasn't so sure about the matter myself, but then Mr. Linden—I never got beyond calling him Mr. Linden—was young, not badlooking, rich, clever...

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Mary Eliza Herbert

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pp. 139-141

Mary Eliza Herbert, like May Agnes Fleming, and the later Alice Jones and Marshall Saunders, was a Maritime woman writer whose activities have broadened our concept of the literary history of the last century in that region beyond the activities...

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"Light in the Darkness: A Sketch from Life " (1865)

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pp. 142-149

"To suffer and be strong." The words almost involuntarily escaped from the lips of a pale and pensive girl who stood beside a narrow casement, watching the dusky light of the planet Mars. A clear, cold night in autumn...

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Rosanna Mullins Leprohon

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pp. 151-154

A remarkable woman in many ways, Rosanna Mullins Leprohon, daughter of anglophone parents and married into a French Canadian family, was at home in both of Canada's two founding cultures. Born in Montreal on 12 January 1829, she was the second...

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"Alice Sydenham's First Ball" (1849)

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pp. 155-188

"Mamma, dear mama, may I not go to Mrs. Belmont's party, tomorrow night?" exclaimed Alice Sydenham, awakening from the revery, in which she had been absorbed for the previous half hour. The lady, at whose feet she sat, laid down the...

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"My Visit to Fairview Villa" (1870)

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pp. 189-215

"LOVE! PSHAW! I don't believe in it, and I really think I I shall live and die an old maid, lest I should be wooed I and married for my money. Men are such selfish, grasping, egotistical creatures...

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Ellen Kyle Vavasour Noel

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pp. 217-218

If Ellen Kyle Noel's The Abbey of Rathmore and Other Tales (1859) is Mrs. Noel's first published work, as it appears to be, she began her writing career late in life. Born Ellen Kyle on 22 December 1815, in Ireland, she emigrated to Brockville...

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"A Night of Peril!" (1872)

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pp. 219-234

The evening train from Dublin was due at the railway station near T ----- , an obscure town in the south- I west of Ireland. A few travellers were impatiently pacing the platform and occasionally expressing their fears that...

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Ellen Vavasour Noel

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pp. 235-236

Little is known of the life of Ellen Vavasour Noel. She was born in Kingston, Ontario, 14 January 1835, the daughter of Ellen Kyle and John Le Vavasseur Noel. As a child Ellen moved with her parents to Savannah, Georgia, returning with them to Kingston...

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"The House-Keeper at Lorme Hall" (1872)

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pp. 237-251

On the rose-clad stoop of a large comfortable farmhouse near Cornwall an old woman is sitting. She has been knitting, but her work has dropped from her hand and she is leaning thoughtfully back in her low rocking-chair....

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Isabella Valancy Crawford

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pp. 253-255

In her struggle for economic subsistence in the difficult Canadian literary market of the 1870s and 1880s, Isabella Valancy Crawford wrote popular short fiction whose imagery echoes that of her better-known poetry. Like...

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"A Rose in His Grace" (c.1880)

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pp. 256-268

Aunt Dulcia had certain "loves" as well as numerous "likes" and some very strong "dislikes." Her "loves" were babies, beggars, curiosities, invalids, fresh air, her niece Posie, black satin dresses, old paint, and old plate and roses....