Anne Langton (1804-1893) arrived in Upper Canada in 1837 to join her brother John on his settler farm near Fenelon Falls, Ontario. An accomplished miniaturist, landscape artist, and writer, Langton documented ten years of family and community hardship and growth in her journals, letters, and art, and traced her own physical and psychological transformation from cultivated Englishwoman to hard-working pioneer settler. She became an exceptionally influential member of the community, developing the first school and library in the area, ministering to the sick, undertaking charitable work, and hosting community events, all the while continuing to record her reactions to her new world in her writing and artwork.
First published in 1950, A Gentlewoman in Upper Canada is a classic work of early pioneering literature. This new, significantly expanded edition includes many of Langton's original illustrations and reveals Langton's views on writing, art, and women's social and familial roles in nineteenth-century Europe and Canada. In her extensive introduction, Barbara Williams contextualizes Langton's life and work and reflects on them in light of current scholarship in life writing, art history, and early emigrant, cultural, and social history. This is the definitive edition of Anne Langton's important text.
About the author
BARBARA WILLIAMS is a Canadian musician and actress. Early in her career, Williams starred in the films Thief of Hearts and City of Hope. She won a Canadian Emmy Award for Best Actress for the telepic Mother Trucker. She was a member of the Resident Theatre Company in Vancouver, and among her more than thirty stage roles, she portrayed Amelia Earhart in the musical Amelia at Canada's National Arts Center, Joan Baez at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles, and Lady Macbeth in La Jolla, California, under Tony Award winner Des McAnuff's direction. As a musician she has performed in the United States and Canada, often in concerts devoted to peace, workers' rights, and the environment. The Hope in Leaving is her first book. She lives and works in Los Angeles with her husband, Tom Hayden, and her son, Liam.
Williams has prepared a beautifully-edited collection of writings and art. It will be interest to all readers who value the role of the private individual in both recording and shaping Ontario's social history.
Helen Smith, <em>Ontario History</em>, vol 101:02:09