Monday, 19 March 2007

Sisters in the Wilderness by Charlotte Gray

A fascinating account of two sisters who married and migrated to Canada out of necessity in the early 1830s. Even though these two women (and the family they left behind) were authors, they were not exempt the severe hardship that pioneering Canada would entail. Ironically, when I bought the book I had not been aware that the very area they had migrated too, was infact the area where my own family would migrate too twenty years later.

The book gives not only details of the life the two women experienced in Canada, but of the life that was endured by their relatives back in England and the circumstances that lead to them migrating in the first place. This is the story of two very brave and resourceful women, who were ahead of their time.

There are some wonderfully descriptive passages showing just what pioneering this part of Canada meant. Buying land, clearing the forest areas and establishing and building a house. Meanwhile, both the sisters relied heavily on their spouses, this was a time when men made the decisions, good and bad and women endured the outcome. Nonetheless, both sisters commenced their writing career in Canada, and later, so did their brother Samuel. Their sister Agnes, who remained in England also wrote and assisted them as best she could.

A lovely descriptive and informative book, complete with photographs (not colour),maps,sources,several family trees and an index

The Our Roots web page has various books online. These are the books available online from this family.

Life in the Clearings Versus the Bush by Susanna Moodie

The Canadian Emigrant Housekeeper's Guide by Catherine Parr Traill (1802-1899)

Twenty-seven years in Canada West, or, The experience of an early settler. Vol. 1 & Vol 2 by Agnes Strickland & Samuel Strickland

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