Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What was Edith Doing in 1909?

My grandmother in riding outfit with gun: from a negative...

This has only a little to do with Flo in the City, my novel for middleschoolers based on the letters of http://www.tighsolas.ca/ being written and edited on this blog.

My grandmother, so far, is a minor character. I use her family to fill in the blanks about what Edith was doing in Montreal in 1909. She is tutoring my aunt.

It fits in well, because the very next year Edith gets a job at Ecole Methodiste in Westmount. That institution supposedly rehabiliated Catholics, to to speak.

Principal Villard,in a 1907 book Preparing the Way, says that although evangelicals are looking to the West as a place to preach, 'we must not forget French Canadians' who are seeking the light and looking for liberty, as never before.

Oddly, or should I say, coincidentally, an American woman is writing a blog about her Italian grandfather, who was one of the schools converts and he admired Edith, specifically, as a teacher.

Maybe I should check if she was teaching there in 1909. Then there goes my story.


No, I double-checked and the boy talks of Miss Nicholson in October 1909. He says she is most convincing in Bible Class, as he is still a Roman Catholic at heart. Wonderful stuff.

The truth is, none of the Nicholsons discuss their faith in the letters. Edith, maybe a bit, when she talks about sermons. I have a tape of Edith, to her great niece, in the early 70's, where she jokes that her niece, my mother in law, and her kids are 'all heathens.' Well, they were.