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IntroductionBanner: Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill
BiographiesBanner: Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr TraillManuscripts and JournalsLettersBanner: Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill
Life in EnglandAbout the Collections
Emigration and Bush Life
Town Life
Writing and Publications
Natural Environment
Religion and Spiritualism
Matriarchs
Glossary
Graphical element
Lesson Plans
Resources
About This Site
Comments

About This Site

Site Organization
About the Collections
Letters
Manuscripts and Journals
Writing and Publications
Biographies
Life in England
Emigration and Bush Life
Natural Environment
Town Life
Religion and Spiritualism
Matriarchs
Resources
Lesson Plans
Copyright/Source
Acknowledgements

Site Organization

This site provides information about three important historical collections held by the National Library of Canada and the National Archives of Canada, as well as biographical and historical information about Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill. It also gives a picture of the times in which they lived. Included in the site are transcripts of over 220 original letters drawn from the three collections. The site also provides lesson plans, and a list of additional resources for those interested in finding out more about Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill.

In keeping with the official languages policy, all materials created by the National Library for this site are being presented in English and French; original materials, such as letters and book excerpts, remain in their language of origin, unless published translations already exist.

About the Collections

This section provides:

  • general information about the size of each collection and what it contains;
  • access to the complete finding aids, which list every individual item in each collection; and,
  • contact information for those who are interested in finding out more or visiting the collections.

Letters

This section provides transcripts of over 220 letters written by Susanna Moodie, John Moodie, Catharine Parr Traill, and Thomas Traill. These were selected to represent their lives from the late 1820s in England to the mid-19th century in Canada. Digital images of several original letters are provided to illustrate 19th century letter-writing conventions. Originals or microfilm copies of most of these letters are held in the three manuscript collections.

Manuscripts and Journals

This section provides information on the unpublished manuscripts and journals of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill. Also included is a selection of digital images from the three manuscript collections held by the National Library and the National Archives of Canada.

Writing and Publications

This section describes Susanna's and Catharine's publishing careers. Digital images of a selection of their publications are also included here.

Biographies

This section provides biographies of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill, as well as their family trees, chronologies of their lives and bibliographies of their major works. Susanna's talent as a painter of water colours is also discussed.

Life in England

This page describes Susanna's and Catharine's lives as young writers in England, and makes reference to a number of their letters from that period.

Emigration and Bush Life

This page describes Susanna and Catharine's arrival in Canada and the challenges they faced coping with life in the bush. References are made to a number of their letters from that period. A section on Native people describes the sisters' understanding and concern for the Aboriginal cohabitants of the backwoods.

Natural Environment

The natural environment figured prominently in Susanna's and Catharine's lives, in England and following their emigration to Canada. This page focuses upon the influence of nature in their lives and in their works.

Town Life

This page describes life in the towns -- in particular social life, the importance of letter writing, and political issues -- after Susanna and Catharine left the backwoods around 1840.

Religion and Spiritualism

This page focusses upon the significance of religion in the lives of both sisters. It also examines the Moodies' interest in the popular cult of Spiritualism.

Matriarchs

This page examines the later lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill as matriarchs in a large and disparate family.

Resources

This page provides a list of recommended secondary sources for those interested in finding out more about Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill.

Lesson Plans

All comprehensive teaching strategies on the National Library of Canada site include detailed guidelines for educators, including learning outcomes/expectations/objectives, suggested criteria for assessment, instructions for classroom use, and worksheets.

Copyright/Source

This page provides a list of thumbnail images of the material found on the Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill website. The following details usually accompany each thumbnail image:

  • A caption for, or description of, the item
  • The copyright notice for the item
  • The name of the copyright owner of the item
  • The reproduction credit for the item
  • The source of the item

Acknowledgements

The preparation of this site would not have been possible without the expertise and exemplary work of Carl Ballstadt, Elizabeth Hopkins and Michael Peterman. Carl Ballstadt is Professor Emeritus, McMaster University. Elizabeth Hopkins is Professor of English, York University. Michael Peterman is Professor of English, Trent University. All have researched and written extensively on Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill, and together have co-edited three books of Moodie and Traill's collected letters.

Catherine Hobbs, Literary Manuscript Archivist, National Library of Canada, and Anne Goddard, Archivist, National Archives of Canada, provided invaluable support in the preparation of this site.

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