Category: Women’s history

Edwardian era Hettie's World History Lucretia's World Melina's Books Victorian era Women's history

Toronto Normal School: Establishing Standardized Teaching Practices

Hettie Steward, in my novel Angel of Mercy, is not the only woman in her family to have a profession. Her mother blazed the trail, becoming a professional teacher after attending the Toronto Normal School in the 1880s. What is a “normal school”? It is what today we call a teaching college. The purpose of these […]

Canada Edwardian era Hettie's World History Medicine Melina's Books Women's history

Nursing School in the 1910s — the School of Nursing Toronto General Hospital

Hettie Steward, my main character in Angel of Mercy, is a 1913 graduate of the School of Nursing Toronto General Hospital.   By the time of her graduation, it was the largest and among the most prestigious nursing schools in Canada. Competition to be accepted into the program was stiff and had been since 1894. Let’s […]

Canada Hettie's World History Medicine Melina's Books Women's history World War One

Canadian Army Nursing Service

The Canadian Army Nursing Service (CANS) plays a pivotal role in my novel Angel of Mercy, yet it is little mentioned in the history of World War One. The CANS was founded in 1901. The first women who enrolled served in the South African (Boer) War. Three years later, the CANS consisted of 25 women. In […]

Hettie's World History Medicine Melina's Books Women's history World War One

The True Stories of World War One Nurses

My novel, Angel of Mercy, focuses on Hettie, a young woman serving during the First World War with the Canadian Army Nursing Service. While her experiences are fictional, she and her colleagues are based on the brave nurses who served overseas during nearly five years of war. “In his much-admired book published in 1975,” Baroness […]

Books & Publishing Edwardian era Fiction Women's history World War One

Edith Wharton: Writing About Love, Hypocrisy & the Gilded Age

Edith Wharton is my favorite author and has been since I discovered her as an English major. Unlike many people who see movies based on books they’ve read, I tend to do the opposite. It was after seeing the film version of The Age of Innocence that I decided to read the novel. To date, I […]

Hettie's World History Women's history World War One

Mata Hari: Spy and Double Agent, or Falsely Accused?

Mata Hari is World War I’s best known spy, but is this designation deserved? “For the past 100 years, Mata Hari has been revered as the ultimate femme fatale — the seductive, glamorous exotic dancer who spied for the Germans during World War I and caused the deaths of thousands of Allied soldiers,” the Washington Post […]

Edwardian era Hettie's World History Lucretia's World Women's history World War One

Courtship and Marriage During World War One

If you were to time travel and attend a wedding in 1914, you would be quite familiar with the ceremony and customs. Weddings have not changed in the past century. However, marriage and how the couple got to the altar has. Dating, as we know it, came into existence in the 1920s, a direct result of […]

Edwardian era Hettie's World History Lucretia's World Victorian era Women's history

Great-Grandma Had Fun, Too — Victorian and Edwardian Leisure Activities

Do you tend to think our ancestors were stodgy and never did anything fun? You’re not alone. Those stereotypes are fueled by the serious expressions people had in photographs and the stories of families working from dawn to dusk.  In reality, our ancestors did work harder than we do, but they also participated in a variety […]

Hettie's World History Women's history World War One

Edith Cavell: Saving Lives Regardless of Political Affiliation

Edith Cavell was a heroine even before her name became internationally known.  She became a nurse in 1900 and devoted her life to saving the lives of others. Born Dec. 4, 1865 in Swardeston, United Kingdom, Cavell was the daughter of an Anglican minister. She moved to Belgium in 1907 where she served as matron of the nursing […]

Canada Claire's World Edwardian era Hettie's World History Lucretia's World Rose's World Victorian era Women's history

A Time Line of Women’s Suffrage

Women’s suffrage is back in the news thanks the 2015 release of the film Suffragette. The movie follows a young woman in 1912 London caught up in the suffrage movement. Most of the characters are fictional, but Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davison were real individuals. A suffragist was someone who believed in women’s right to vote, […]

History Lucretia's World Victorian era Women's history

How the Bicycle, and Bloomers, Changed the 1890s

The bicycle is a simple invention, but for woman, it became a symbol of freedom, mobility and athleticism.  For society, it became a symbol of change and upsetting the status quo. The bicycle craze of the 1890s began with the introduction of the “safety bicycle.” Although bicycles had been produced before, these newer versions had […]

Claire's World Hettie's World History Lucretia's World Rose's World Victorian era Women's history

Adultery and the Double Standard

There has always been a double standard when it comes to the battle of the sexes. Nowhere is this more evident in the Victorian age than when it comes to sexual intercourse itself. Victorians didn’t openly talk about sex, but it governed their lives. Sexual attitudes dictated clothing and decorating styles. Attitudes also necessitated the […]

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