Eldon House Diaries: Five Women's Views of the 19th Century
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Published: December 1994© 1994
646 Pages, 7.00 x 10.00 x 1.50 in, 43 b&w illustrations
Eldon House is a distinctive element in the historical townscape of London, Ontario. By the mid-nineteenth century, its original owners, John and Amelia Harris, were prominent members of society in that dynamic community. Their children grew up in the affluent and cultured setting of a family whose increasing prosperity advanced with that of London and western Ontario. If London had an elite, the Harris family was part of it, and Eldon House was an important focal point of the social regimen of the day.
A considerable corpus of family papers within the Eldon House and prominent among these papers is a collection of diaries that are excerpted in this volume, encapsulating the personalities, activities, and voices of the Harrises of London. These diaries are valuable because of the details of the warp and woof of daily life in the nineteenth century. But, more importantly, they are women's diaries. As such, they speak to us of the verities of personal, domestic, and societal life in the neglected voice of women. Together, they provide a fascinating perspective of these women's lives in, around, and beyond Eldon House.