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Published: 01 February 2014

192 Pages | 60 illus.

6.6 x 9.2 inches

ISBN: 9780199008520

Bookseller Code (06)

The Elegant Canadians

(deceased) Luella Creighton and Introduction by Don Wright

Wynford Books

  • Professor Don Wright of the University of New Brunswick introduces the text for the modern reader.
  • 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.
  • Drawing on letters, diaries, family albums, and stories passed down through generations, Creighton imaginatively recreates everyday life, tourism, trade, and fashion in the Dominion.
  • 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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