Category: Women’s history

Edwardian era History Victorian era Women's history

The Age of the New Woman: Her Time Has Come and Gone. Or Has It?

Around the turn of the 20th century, a curious, new creature emerged in the world. This creature was called “the new woman” or an “independently minded female.” She was the sign of things to come, a woman who relied on herself, not a man. Who Was the New Woman? The term “new woman” was coined […]

History Victorian era Women's history

The Iconic Gibson Girl: The Feminine Ideal of the 1890s

Even if you don’t know much about the history of advertising, you’ve probably heard of the Gibson Girl.  The Gibson Girl represented the feminine ideal of the 1890s. She was the first media image of an ideal woman, established society’s preference for an hourglass figure and portrayed the image of the girl next door. The Gibson […]

Edwardian era History Victorian era Women's history

Women and Friendship Over Time: How Female Friendship Has Always Been Difficult

Today, women’s friendships are a big deal. There are websites dedicated to helping friends meet, books have been written on the subject, and blogs are filled with helpful how-tos. They all say women need friendships in their lives, but that it’s hard in our modern, busy society for people to meet. They also point out […]

Edwardian era History 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 History Medicine 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 1912 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 History Medicine 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 […]

History Medicine Women's history World War One

The True Stories of World War One Nurses

My novel, Angel of Mercy, focuses on 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 Williams […]

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 […]

History Women's history World War One

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

Mata Hari is World War One’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 History 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 […]

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