NL Books - Early Imaginative Literature by Women

This collection is the first of its kind in its attempt to identify the early imaginative literature written by women in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is an eclectic sample of the writing produced by women in the nineteenth (beginning in 1839) and early twentieth centuries. Some of these women, as visitors to the province, express their reaction to this new land in poetry while others, through their prose, attempt to portray Newfoundland and Labrador as a place in which romance and drama occurs. These texts are just a sample of the variety of creative writing (both in content and form) that women produced during these eventful time periods of Newfoundland and Labrador's history. Much more writing exists in the periodicals and newspapers of the day.

Although the didacticism of much of the prose and the circumstances which motivated the occasional poems may not appeal to all contemporary tastes, these texts serve to underscore the fact that women were active in shaping and influencing politics and social life of early Newfoundland and Labrador.

Reading their imaginative literature is one way in which the contemporary scholar of the province can understand the expectations these women, as representatives of one segment of the population, had of their community and country, what they thought of as praiseworthy, and what they believed needed to be transformed. It is part of the scarce body of work by early women which conveys a small piece of the picture of the social history of early Newfoundland and Labrador.

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