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Sisters in Two Worlds: A Visual Biography of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill

Category: Book
Introduction By: Gray, Charlotte
By (author): Peterman, Michael
Subject:  HISTORY / Canada / General
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Published: October 2007
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 176
Size: 9.60in x 8.80in

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Containing two hundred colour and black-and-white images, many of them never-before published, this extraordinary book chronicles the lives of two exceptional and inspirational women: sisters, writers, pioneers, and forces of the Canadian imagination.

"These two women exert a timeless fascination . . . [their] story reminds us, as Canadians, of where we have come from and how far we have travelled."
-Charlotte Gray, in the introduction to Sisters in Two Worlds.

Their childhood was spent in a manor house in the Suffolk countryside. As aspiring young authors, they attended literary evenings in the drawing rooms of Georgian London. But in 1832 Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill crossed the Atlantic to embark on new lives in the backwoods of Upper Canada where they struggled to survive and raise their families in a strange and often hostile world. By the light of homemade candles, Susanna and Catharine wrote about their experiences, producing such enduring classics as Roughing it in the Bush and The Backwoods of Canada. And Catharine's beautifully illustrated books on Canadian plants and wildflowers were the first of their kind.

Sisters in Two Worlds recreates the remarkable lives of these two pioneering writers. Its absorbing narrative is complemented by modern colour photographs of the places they knew, combined with archival images, paintings, letters, and family artifacts. Written by Canada's foremost Moodie/Traill scholar, this visual biography is an informative new look at two of this country's seminal writers and a remarkable tapestry of life in early Canada.
Biographical NoteMichael Peterman has devoted years of study to Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill and has co-edited three volumes of their letters in addition to writing Susanna Moodie: A Life. He is a professor of English literature and Canadian studies at Trent University and principal of Catharine Parr Traill College.

Charlotte Gray is one of the country's most popular writers of Canadian history. Her bestselling titles include Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill and Canada: A Portrait in Letters. She lives in Ottawa, where she is adjunct professor in the Department of History at Carleton University.

Hugh Brewster, with photographer Ian Brewster, has spent several years documenting places of significance to the sisters and assembling a host of images and artifacts from museums, archives, and private collections.