By J.I. Little
A transcription of Lucy Peel’s splendidly readable magazine used to be lately came upon in her descendent’s residence in Norwich, England. despatched in general installments to her transatlantic kin, the magazine offers an intimate narrative of Lucy’s Canadian sojourn along with her husband, Edmund Peel, an officer on go away from the British military. Her day-by-day entries commence with their departure as a tender, newlywed couple from the seashores of britain in 1833 and finish with their selection to come back to the comforts of domestic after 3 and a part years of exertions as pioneer settlers.
Lucy Peel’s evocative diary specializes in the semi-public global of kin and neighborhood in decrease Canada’s jap Townships, and fulfils an identical function as Susanna Moodie’s writings had for the higher Canadian frontier. although their point of view used to be from a small, privileged zone of society, those genteel girls writers have been sharp observers in their social and normal atmosphere, and so they supply worthwhile insights into the ideology and behavior of the social type that ruled the Canadian colonies in the course of the pre-Rebellion period.
Women’s voices are not often heard within the professional files that contain a lot of the old information. Lucy Peel’s intensely romantic magazine finds how crucially very important domesticity was once to the neighborhood British officers. Lucy Peel’s diary, like these of such opposite numbers as Catherine Parr Traill, additionally means that genteel girls have been larger ready for his or her function within the New international than Canadian historians have often assumed.
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Additional info for Love Strong as Death: Lucy Peel’s Canadian Journal, 1833-1836
We landed this morning and are comfortably accommodated in this house. I have walked a good deal to day and am delighted with this beautiful City. I have not room to say a word about it, but shall give a full account to — — by the next packet. I feel almost too happy to night, though rather tired. I have a splendid Piano all to myself. Oh that you were all here to enjoy the beauties of this place. I am equally pleased and surprised. I am surrounded with every comfort and the people amuse me much.
My bonnets were in a sad state, my tuscan [finely braided Tuscan straw; hats and bonnets of such material, OED] cannot be worn till cleaned and put into shape, the others I have restored myself. My striped silk dress half of it turned green and can only be worn in an evening, even then, I fear it will be scarcely wearable. All my gloves changed into various colours. Saturday 8th – This morning we have again been busy airing all Edmunds things. The glass is come safely, the tools rather rusty, but they will not be the worse.
The coach men are well dressed, the horses, generally speaking, excellent, the carriages have two curtains on each side which in the summer are undrawn, and the linings being good & clean they really look very pretty. The horses look like racers, so sleek and slight, holding up their heads & tails quite in a superior style. The omnibusses are numerous and handsome, most of them have four horses. Yesterday was very hot, we sat with the windows open till we went to bed. I play on the Piano every evening, I believe I have had many listeners.
Love Strong as Death: Lucy Peel’s Canadian Journal, 1833-1836 by J.I. Little