A Lady's Life on a Farm in Manitoba
'A Lady's Life on a Farm in Manitoba' Summary
The nineteenth century was marked by intense colonization by countries like Britain, France, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands. Initially, the pioneering efforts were made by men who battled unfamiliar terrain to create territories that they marked out as their own, while their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters kept the home and hearth in their native land. However, with travel becoming more common and family life assuming more importance, the women too began to travel to the four corners of the earth. There are many accounts by Victorian women of their travels to the colonies and these are valuable insights into the social history and fabric of the colonies. Many of these accounts were however, quite superficial and concentrated more on the scenery and landscape—two of the most important things that interested women of the period.
Their journey by train across the vast plains of Canada, their arrival on the farm managed by her brother and two others who have purchased 13,000 acres and their experiences in the New World are chronicled in these letters. The sisters spend three months on the farm where they soon roll up their sleeves and pitch in, abandoning their fine lady's ways! Cooking, cleaning, helping on the land, ruining their soft hands and learning a different way of life are well described. The ladies then move to Colorado, where they visit friends who are here to try their luck in gold mining. The book closes with a letter from their brother who updates them on the progress he and his friends have made on the Manitoba farm.
As an account of the difficult and hostile conditions that pioneers faced in America and Canada, A Lady's Life... is indeed an interesting and valuable work that modern day readers will certainly enjoy.
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