Odds and quads - 3 October 2013

Canada’s early literary and scientific history owes much to two British-born sisters who emigrated to what is now Ontario in 1832

October 3, 2013

Susanna Moodie (1803-85) produced a celebrated 1852 memoir Roughing It in the Bush, while Catharine Parr Traill (1802-99) wrote a settlers’ handbook, as well as several important botanical texts such as Canadian Wild Flowers (1868).

Traill mounted these examples of Canadian ferns, mosses and wild flowers on 29 sheets of thin card, which she described as “collected and arranged by the aged hand of Cathe Parr Traill in Sept & Oct 1891 for her grandson Hargrave H. Muchall as a loving memorial”.

Note the lively and amusing details such as the birch bark canoes.

The album now forms part of the Edith and Lorne Pierce Collection of Canadiana. Begun with an initial donation of 3,000 volumes in 1924, the archive is held in the Special Collections of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

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