Pioneering Women: Short Stories by Canadian Women : Beginnings to 1880

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Lorraine McMullen, Sandra Campbell
University of Ottawa Press, Jan 1, 1993 - Literary Collections - 268 pages
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Pioneering Women is an anthology of short fiction written before 1880 by Canadian women, including Susanna Moodie, Catharine Parr Traill, and Rosanna Mullins Leprophon. From the Maritimes to Upper Canada, from the backwoods to the drawing room, Pioneering Women demonstrates the variety that exists in stories by women of early British North America.

The backwoods setting of Moodie's Ontario stands in contrast to the sophisticated Montreal of Leprophon, as does the power and disease of Harriet Vaughan Cheney's urban immigrant community to the wealthy cultivated settings described by May Agnes Fleming for her New York readers and by Mrs. J.V. Noel for her Montreal audience.

While women were largely confined to the domestic sphere during this period, several of the authors in this anthologoy were founders or editors of papers as well as successful writers. In much of their fiction, however, the restriction of possibilities for women finds expression as a subtext dealing with patriarchal power andd its effect on women. The importance of female bonds in a male world provides another underlying theme to many stories.

As a document of Canada's early years and women's part in the settlement in and development of the new land, Pioneering Women is of interest to social historians as well as students, teachers, and general readers.

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Eliza Lanesford dishing
Catharine Parr Traill

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About the author (1993)

Lorraine McMullen is professor of English at the University of Ottawa. She is the editor of multiple volumes and she has published many critical and biographical studies in Canadian literature.

Ottawa born, Toronto resident, Sandra Campbell's first novel, "Getting to Normal" was a semi-finalist for the Chapters/Robertson Davies First Novel (Unpublished) Award and NOW Toronto magazine's choice for best books of 2001. She brings her background in educational television to her essays on imagery, culture and learning published in anthologies and magazines in both Canada and the United States and to her teaching.

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