Lucy Peel’s evocative diary focuses on the semi-public world of family and community in Lower Canada’s Eastern Townships, and fulfils the same role as Susanna Moodie’s writings had for the Upper Canadian frontier. Though their perspective was from a small, privileged sector of society, these genteel women writers were sharp observers of their social and natural surroundings, and they provide valuable insights into the ideology and behaviour of the social class that dominated the Canadian colonies during the pre-Rebellion era.
Women’s voices are rarely heard in the official records that comprise much of the historical archives. Lucy Peel’s intensely romantic journal reveals how crucially important domesticity was to the local British officials. Lucy Peel’s diary, like those of such counterparts as Catherine Parr Traill, also suggests that genteel women were better prepared for their role in the New World than Canadian historians have generally assumed.
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Love Strong as Death: Lucy Peel’s Canadian Journal, 1833–1836, edited by J.I. Little
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