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Published: 19 September 2013

192 Pages | 60 b/w illustrations


ISBN: 9780199008520

Bookseller Code (AE)

The Elegant Canadians

(deceased) Luella Creighton and Introduction by Don Wright

Wynford Books

  • New introduction. Professor Don Wright of the University of New Brunswick introduces the text for the modern reader.
  • Various view of Canada at Confederation. The culture of the 1860s is depicted through the experience of visitors to Toronto, Montreal, Hamilton, and Quebec City in the years leading to Confederation.
  • Creative mix of fact and fiction. Drawing on letters, diaries, family albums, and stories passed down through generations, Creighton imaginatively recreates everyday life, tourism, trade, and fashion in the Dominion.
  • Based on first-hand accounts. Creighton draws on well-known commentary from William Howard Russell (from The Times of London), Franches Monck (sister-in-law of Governor General Lord Monck), and Samuel Phillips Day (writer for the London Herald).
  • Lively, spirited prose. Creighton's style is readable, fun, and full of anecdotes.
  • Epistolary form. Readers are brought back into time through Creighton's fictionalized letters, which bring her characters to life on the page.
  • Elegance of high society. Canadians create elegance rather than importing it, such as hand-carved mahogany furniture from Quebec; fine milled soap; and delicate foods including chilled lobster, oysters, jellies, and fragile meringues. There was even a proper way to serve maple syrup.
  • Sophisticated Canadian culture. Visitors are surprised to find Canada more cultured than anticipated, with formal galas and dances, literary life, music, and painting.
  • Extensive visuals. Sixty illustrations, photographs, and prints depict fashion, architecture, decor, recreation, and gala events.

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