OK. As I write my novel Flo in the City, about a young woman coming of age in the exciting 1908-1913 era, using the letters of http://www.tighsolas.ca/, my social studies website, I worry about one thing, the part religion plays in their lives.
They came from very religious people, Isle of Lewis, Scots who immigrated to Canada, and the US and Australia in the mid 1800's.
Here's a letter I have from a member of the older generation, written to Marion McLean (Mother of Margaret McLeod) in 1896, the year Sir Wilfrid Laurier came to power in Canada, the year the Nicholsons built their beloved home Tighsolas.
The Nicholson letters, which number about 1000, contain many letters from Ministers of the Cloth, all kind of doom and gloom. If there was a disaster, no one to describe it better than a minister. That was their job.
I write this, because the next part of my story takes place on a Sunday. The girls are at home. I know what Marion does on Sundays at home because I have her diary from the last year. She goes to church, usually twice, once in the morning and once in the evening. She goes for the boys, and the social aspect, and for something to do,and to show off a dress and for entertainment, as sermons are entertaining. I have little to show she is going for religion, but she must be on some level.
And she goes for drives or walks with a beau.
Working on Sunday is a no no. I have a letter Marion writes in 1913, where she cooks a chicken in her new flat, which she shares with three girls, including FLO. I made a chicken, and on a Sunday! she writes.
But that's for later on in the book.
So this Sunday, Margaret isn't at home. I will have Marion doing some school work, preparing a test of some kind, for it is end of term. I have some material from the Royal Crown Reader I can use.
Of all the girls, Edith is the one who speaks about religion in her letters. She loves 'the old songs' and she loves a good sermon, as she loves a good lecture.
In some ways, Edith is the one most like Mother Margaret, as she wants it all, spiritually and intellectually, whereas Marion wants fairness and power (she ends up leading a Union) and Flo, well, Flo wants a family above all.