Sunday, September 6, 2015

Cranford, Macdonald College and Glorious Archive Finds.

The masquerade dance in the gym at Macdonald College, February 1912. Flora Nicholson of Threshold Girl is in there, with her cousin Marion Watters. Flora was A Quaker and Marion a Japanese Girl. Must get out my looking glass :) The Titanic would soon sink.

Gee. I was scoping to see if Maclean's Magazine had anything about the Win the War Meetings in Toronto in August, 1917 for my book Service and Disservice, about the Suffragists of Canada and their involvement in the Conscription Crisis and I found another treasure instead.

The Magazine belonging to Macdonald College, that has a very modern easy-on-the-eyes layout.

Macdonald College was primarily an agricultural college, but it also contained a school for teachers and a school for domestic science.

 And they had some issues form 1911 and 1912 when Flora Nicholson of Threshold Girl attended.

I have Flora's letters from her year there and they are published in Threshold Girl, the Nicholson Family Letters and Furies Cross the Mersey.

I checked to see if her name was mentioned in the March issue. No.

But her class pictures was there. See it below. Flora is second from right at the bottom.

And there was a picture from the February Masquerade, where she went as a Quaker. That fact was mentioned in the blurb of the event.

And her nemesis and room mate Mabel Shaw was mentioned in the magazine. She had a part in the class play of Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford. How modern of them!


Here's Flora's February 1912 letter about the masquerade.

Feb 23, 1912

Dear Mother,
I suppose you will think I am never going to write but I have been so busy this week I haven't had time for anything.

Marion W was out for the masquerade. She came out on the 4.30 pm Friday and stayed all night and then went on to Hudson Saturday afternoon to spend the week end at some friend of hers.

We had a fine time. I went as a quakeress, the girls sent me the costume, And Marion went as a Japanese girl. She looked fine. The costume just suited her. I was awfully tired the next day but it was worthwhile I had such a good time. The music was simply great, six pieces all together.

The gym was very prettily decorated. They had the moonlight dance again this year, the costumes were fine from French and English courtiers with wigs, fancy feathers in their hats, etc to the devil, were there so you can imagine what a gay scene it must have been.

Mabel is sick in bed; she had a very bad attack of indigestion, she really isn't careful enough of what she eats. Thank goodness I am not troubled with the infliction. I am going to the Wm Dawson again I got my lesson today so I am in time but if you don't get your lessons as soon as they come someone else will take the good ones and they will leave you all the poor ones, for instance French. I am going to teach geography and nature study.

The style for teachers in 1912 was the "mannish shirtwaist' with a tie, either long or bow. 

One of the girls, Eva Bradford, taught under Marion in the Royal Arthur today. I must go up and find out how she got along. Just think, she had the audacity to give a French lesson. I wrote and told her she was very cruel to inflict such a task on one poor creatures you can hardly imagine how terrible it is to talk French before a class, especially when you don't know much like myself.

So Mr. Stewart is dead. He must have died suddenly was he sick long? I wonder where we will get our watches fixed now or rather stored to speak correctly.

Simple layout.

Mathilda Jenkins. Yikes! I have that name to a character in my Furies Cross the Mersey. Subconscious Copy. I watched a bit of Cranford a few years ago on DVD. And I just read North and South and watched it too!