Saturday, May 5, 2012

Enjoyed Myself..considering


Marion's May 1907 accounts. She got 24.50 (paycheque) and spent 10.00 on board.

Well, as I polish the first draft of Diary of a Confirmed Spinster the follow up to Threshold Girl about Edith and Flora Nicholson respectively in the 1910 era, I am now researching Biology and Ambition about Marion Nicholson.

I am starting my re-reading her 1907 diary.


Marion Normal School 1905

In 1907 she was a teacher at Sherbrooke High, but an elementary specialist. There is very little about her work in the diary, it's a 'dating ' diary from what I can see and, boy, did she have a lot of boyfriends!

In fact, it appears they fought over her, and she only sort of liked it.

Of course she had a favorite, a Gordon, on GNE.

If I were cynical, I would say that she was popular because it wasn't yet well known that her family was broke. It certainly wasn't easy for her to find a husband later on, when it was clear she had no money to bring to the marriage. The marriage that happened, to Hugh Blair, in 1913 almost fell through. His parents didn't come to the wedding or mention her name in era correspondence.

Marion 1910 era

Marion was not a 'feminine' girl, in that she was boffo and very ambitious. But something about her attracted men. Indeed, when she died in 1947, the Editor of the Gazette wrote a wonderful homage to her. (She had been President of the Teacher's Union.) Her son told me that the Editor really liked her. She was widowed in that era.


Here's a page of the diary, with a taste of the romantic intrigue. At bottom is an odd entry. Had a dandy skate with Paris, and Gordon and enjoyed myself very much, considering Aunt Maggie dead.

That is the Maggie Maclean who died and left her money to relations other than the Nicholsons who had been expecting a large inheritance. In Diary of a Confirmed Spinster I write about that and speculate that Maggie was upset because Norman Nicholson was taking care of her investments and they plummeted what with the 1907 crash.  She appears to have died March 5. I must check when the crash was.  Hmm. Hmm. NO. It started in October. So I'll have to go with my other reason: that Aunt Maggie  didn't like the idea of women working.


Marion Nicholson 1940's Receiving Order of Merit 

Whatever, the Nicholson's fortuned changed dramatically in 1907 and that's why I have so many letters and can write this digital trilogy.

Ice skating was being encouraged as a thing for young people to do. I imagine is seemed healthier and less risky than going to the motion pictures.

"Skating includes speed skating and hockey, thoroughly commendable ice sports, skilful, lung-filling eye hand and leg training sports, absorbingly attractive to young America, who loves a game, loves competition, that can be tangibly and fairly measured, loves to 'get there' before somebody else. But you do not dance 'to get there' and dancing too has its attractions for some. Few girls can play hockey; all boys do not wish to; and no boy or girl can both play hockey and skate gracefully on the same flat hockey skates. Besides, exclusive or preponderant indulgence in hockey tends to dull the sense for good form and incapacitates graceful movements. Finally, many skating clubs do not allow for hockey playing at all." Youth's Companion 1909.


By  the time I was old enough to go to rinks alone, all the boys did was terrorize you by sticking you at the end of a whip..