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The Backwoodswoman
A chronicle of pioneer home life in Upper and Lower Canada. By Mrs. Isabel Skelton (1924)


Isabel Skelton has written a book, not about individual heroines, but about a heroic state of society. There are few heroines in Canadian history: there have been no voyageuses, and the "economy" of Canadian women has been of necessity domestic rather than political. Mrs. Skelton’s literary predecessors have been content to dismiss the subject with eulogies of Madeleine de Verchéres and Laura Secord. It is true, of course, that the real heroines were the Loyalist mothers and the heads of emigrant families who endured the horrors of a long passage and the hardships of a pioneer settlement. Only enterprise and courage would have led anyone to undertake such a Homeric task as compiling a book from the scattered records of these early settlers, and only literary taste and a wide knowledge of the original sources could have made it so fresh and vivid.

You can download the book here in pdf format


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