Our project

The lists on this blog are part of an ongoing project to compile a comprehensive database of women writing in English in Canada previous to 1950.

Canada’s Early Women Writers (CEWW) is one of the seed projects for the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory, a larger project based at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton. The mandate for CEWW is ultimately to include “all notable [female] English-language writers active before 1950 who lived in Canada or wrote about Canada, whatever their audience and genre, ranging from travel journalism and scientific writing to poetry and fiction” (CWRC website).

Information for each entry we construct will include biographical as well as bibliographical information. If you have information about any of these authors, or know of other women writing in Canada during this time period—in journals, periodicals, newspapers, or published works—please email me, Karyn Huenemann, and I will add them to our list of authors to investigate.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

26 thoughts on “Our project”

  1. Okay — I’ve signed in! This looks exciting,


  2. Susan McColl said:

    I was delighted to find this site; Back in the late 40s I read books set in Canada and loved them. Now, I am 76 and I don’t see many Canadian books in the library. I daresay you concentrate on promoting books for your nationality. Keep up the good work!

  3. A project that I am working on led me to your site. See my most recent post on Sara Jeanette Duncan: http://canadianwritersabroad.com

  4. A project I am working on led me to your site. http://famouscanadianwomen.com

  5. Janice said:

    what a wonderful tribute to these women, many of whom had no acclaim during their lives. Descendants, scholars, and the “audience” will appreciate the works you bring to light….

    • Thanks, Janice. More than just paying homage to these women, who were some of them very well known in their day, we are hoping that our project will spur others that look at the individual authors. Some relatives have expressed interest in republishing poems we have found. I hope such projects come to fruition.

  6. J. Warren said:

    Our book club is featuring poetry this month and I found your site while
    researching Canadian women poets.
    I love the poem “Thirst” by Marriott, Anne, published in 1936. I was delighted
    to find that the editor of the collection was Alan Crawley of Victoria, BC,
    my neck of the woods.
    I enjoyed Marriott’s imagery, which mirrors the spectacular
    Fall we are experiencing this year. Best of luck with your project – very
    important work!

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I particularly like Marriott’s poetry as well. The quality of our authors’ production is at times uneven, but all of these women deserve to be remembered, and it is really gratifying to belong to a project that helps that happen. Marriott, of course, is more well-known than many of our authors, but even her poetry needs to be brought more fully into the digital world and shared.

  7. David Reed said:

    I notice that my grandfather’s first cousin Helen Leah Reed is listed as an author to be evaluated.

    Is there any information you need that I might be able to provide?

  8. Dorothy M. Ruble Hudson said:

    Looking for copyright information on Eva Rose Fitch York. Can you be of any assistance in my search? The poem, ” I Shall Not Walk This Way Again.”
    Could this be in Public Domain? I see it posted quite often and there is never any permission information with it. I want to use it in a local, not for individual profit, history book I am working on. Thank you!

  9. Sarah Rogers said:

    Hi, I am reseraching for my PhD nurses who trained at The London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, England. During her training Mary gained second prize in her examinations. Please can you give me an idea of what Mary wrote, and if it would be possible for me to read any of her work? Many thanks indeed.

  10. Elli Bleeker said:

    Dear editors,

    First of all, congratulations on the launch of the CEWW, I haven’t had the time to fully explore it yet but it looks very fine indeed. When browsing your database I came across the book “Afke’s Ten” — one of those happy discoveries that are facilitated by an open access digital database — and I was pleased to learn that this work was published in Canada in the 1930s (probably instigated by the influx of Dutch immigrants during that time). Anyway, in the database the work is linked to the illustrator Hilda van Stockum, but its author is Nynke van Hichtum (1860-1939).
    Perhaps she can be added to your database as well? Here’s some information on the book, also linking to her own page: http://www.letterenfonds.nl/nl/boek/611/afkes-tiental.

    All best,
    Elli Bleeker
    Researcher – Royal Science Acadamy of the Netherlands

  11. Susan Young said:

    I am searching for information concerning my cousin, Madeline Young.
    Susan Young
    Forest Lake MN. USA

  12. Bonita Grozelle said:

    I have a copy of This Canada of Ours by J.S. Morrison and Maud Morrison Stone in a box that has a boy reading with indians a ship and two other figures on it it was awarded to a Clare Golguhaun for winning third highest number of points at Williamsburg Rural School Fair 193 by The T. Eaton Co Limited Canada, Can you tell me if this has any value? Thank you in advance.

    • Probably best to just check book sellers’ websites etc. and see what you can find. I checked BookGit, Alibris, and AbeBooks for you and found only three copies (which suggests it is relatively rare) at $48, $33, and $9. None of these have the slip cover, although one is the first edition ($33). I’ve held a first edition–with cover–in my hand and think those prices ridiculously low. It’s a fabulous volume, and (as you’ve likely read on our website) fascinating in being Canada’s first graphic “novel.” So… if you want to know more, maybe contact an antiquarian book seller in person? Especially if you can find a Canadianist book seller. I’m really surprised at what I’ve found.

  13. Cathy Thomas-Bryant said:

    I collect British WWII women’s magazines, and in a sequence of them I found a serialised novel by Beryl Gray. It’s head and shoulders above most magazine fiction of the time, and concerns a single mother in poor health and with no money. The magazines are Woman’s Weekly through March and April 1942, and the novel is called Green is Forsaken. I found a mention of it on one website, but no further information or extracts. After reading it I was interested enough to research Beryl, and this led me to your website. Would you be interested in it? Is there a Canadian version of Virago who might be interested in printing it? Thank you for your attention. Best wishes,
    Cathy Bryant

  14. Dotty Ormes said:

    Nice site

  15. I am very interested in Including Canadian Women Authors in my visual art project entitled North American Women Authors. Unfortunately, i know only Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood. My first 11 authors are all U.S., all in the public domain. If Canadian law is like U.S., i don’t need to pay photographer’s licensing fees in order to create a 24×30 inch portrait drawing. If you have a list of women writers, please send it to me. I am concentrating on fiction writers. Edith Wharton, Louisa May Alcott, Kate Chopin, Willa Cather are a few U.S. women I have included.

  16. Britta Gundersen-Bryden said:

    This is an important project but it would be appropriate to be specific in the introduction to this page that the women included are English-language writers. None of the women writing in French in New France or in Quebec prior to 1950 are included.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s