Canada: A Portrait in Letters, 1800-2000

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Doubleday Canada, 2003 - Canada - 536 pages
7 Reviews
In this rich and diverse collection of two centuries of letters, renowned biographer Charlotte Gray gives us the inside story on how we came to be who we are. As the expression of one person’s thoughts, ideas, and emotions, a letter offers a unique and privileged look at a moment in history. Whether written to a close friend or an entire nation, a letter speaks volumes about the writer and his or her time. This is history in the making, in the fragile moment before it is rendered into an official version, its heroes and villains into two-dimensional puppets. In their letters, those who have been actors in Canada’s defining junctures, along with those who have lived through and been affected by them, offer us familiar historical moments from exciting new perspectives and in frank, intimate, and often unexpected words. Readers will see themselves in this book -- whether the connection is through a letter they might have written themselves, or a letter dating from their mother’s childhoods. And letters penned in the first decades of the nineteenth century, though written in unfamiliar words, will touch the reader with the immediacy and timelessness of the emotions they express -- loneliness, excitement, determination, and pride. In Canada: A Portrait in Letters, renowned biographer and popular historian Charlotte Gray weaves together more than two hundred letters written by Canadians, both famous and ordinary. These priceless documents are accompanied by a visual narrative of one hundred illustrations, including maps, sketches, and photographs. Adding her own notes and commentary, Gray creates a captivating portrait of a country, rich in diversity and hope, once a backwater of the British Empire, that has matured to take its place among the world’s cultural and economic leaders. Letters from: Norman Bethune • Sir Robert Borden • Emily Carr • Sir Winston Churchill • Robertson Davies • John Diefenbaker • Glenn Gould • Grey Owl • W.L. Mackenzie King • Pierre Laporte • Margaret Laurence • Sir Wilfrid Laurier • Sir John A. MacDonald • Marshall McLuhan • L.M. Montgomery • Susanna Moodie • Farley Mowat • Emily Murphy • Lester B. Pearson • Louis Riel • Tom Thomson • Catharine Parr Traill From the Hardcover edition.

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Review: Canada: A Portrait in Letters, 1800-2000

User Review  - Goodreads

I love reding letters but it's not for everyone. They are so insightful of the times we lived in. The passion for this great country is sometimes hidden in the words. Read full review

Review: Canada: A Portrait in Letters, 1800-2000

User Review  - Beth - Goodreads

Interesting primary documents Read full review

Contents

Contents
1
A Surge of Settlers 18001850
15
Letters 4797
126
Copyright

4 other sections not shown

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About the author (2003)

Editor, journalist, and broadcaster Charlotte Gray was born in Sheffield, U.K. on January 3, 1948. She earned her M.A. from Oxford University and her honorary doctorate from Mount St. Vincent University in Nova Scotia. She moved to Canada in 1979. Gray is a contributing editor to Saturday Night Magazine, and a frequent commentator on the CBC and CTV. She is a regular contributor to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Chatelaine, and Elm Street magazine. Her book Mrs. King: The Life & Times of Isabel Mackenzie King won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and Canadian Authors' /Birks Foundation Award for Biography. Another of her books, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Trail won the Canadian Booksellers Award for Non-fiction.

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