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About This Site
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.
This section provides:
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.
This section provides information on the unpublished manuscripts and journals of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill.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.
This section describes Susanna's and Catharine's publishing careers. Digital images of a selection of their publications are also included here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This page examines the later lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill as matriarchs in a large and disparate family.
This page provides a list of recommended secondary sources for those interested in finding out more about Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill.
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.
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:
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.