Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tighsolas: House of Light

School Marms and Suffragettes is the story of three Canadian women in 1910, based on real letters.

Between 1908 and 1913, Henry Ford perfected the manufacturing of his Model T, revolutionizing the way ‘things’ were made and sold and ushering in the age of mass production.

Between 1908-1913, D. W. Griffith produced hundreds of his Biograph silent film shorts, effectively giving birth to the American Film Industry.

Between 1908-1913, Coco Chanel launched her fashion career in Paris, just as the fight for women’s suffrage reached its apex. She eventually redefined  women’s clothing, liberating female limbs and lungs with soft fabrics and shorter hemlines, but too late to soften the image of the militant suffragettes. (Actually the suffragettes were very fashion conscious.)

And between 1908-1913, bark salesman turned railroader Norman Nicholson  of Richmond, Quebec,  his feisty wife  Margaret, their spirited daughters, Edith, Marion and Flora  and lost soul of a son, Herb, were a proud family in crisis, teetering on the brink of financial ruin.

The family left behind a vivid written record of their day-to-day trials, thoughts and feelings, in letter-form.  Fittingly, talk of fashion, entertainment and long dusty trips in automobiles pervades these letters.

For those of you who thought feminism was invented in the  1960’s, these letters will be a real eye-opener. 

For those of you who love Canadian history and  marvel at the way technology changes us, these letters, penned at such a pivotal time in history,  will be something of  a revelation.