Canada’s approaching 150th birthday (in 2017) is a wonderful opportunity to remember the people and events that shaped the emerging nation. Such remembrance includes, or should include, not just the ‘official’ nation-makers but also – the subject of this blog – the women. They also contributed to Canada’s identity, if not in the same ways as men. Then as now, the existence of a national sense of belonging and imagined concepts of ‘Canada’ and of oneself as ‘Canadian’ were informed by masculine and feminine undertakings. Both combined, in post-Confederation Canada, to produce the political, social, and cultural identity we now associate with Canada.

I propose to explore the female side of (late) Victorian Canada, roughly from 1865 (the year the government moved to Ottawa) to 1900, to get to know the women of Confederation who helped produce (and reproduce) the new Dominion’s civic society.