"I wish to keep a record": Nineteenth-Century New Brunswick Women Diarists and Their World
Nineteenth-century New Brunswick society was dominated by white, Protestant, Anglophone men. Yet, during this time of state formation in Canada, women increasingly helped to define and shape a provincial outlook.
I wish to keep a record is the first book to focus exclusively on the life-course experiences of nineteenth-century New Brunswick women. Gail G. Campbell offers an interpretive scholarly analysis of 28 women’s diaries while enticing readers to listen to the voices of the diarists. Their diaries show women constructing themselves as individuals, assuming their essential place in building families and communities, and shaping their society by directing its outward gaze and envisioning its future. Campbell’s lively analysis calls on scholars to distinguish between immigrant and native-born women and to move beyond present-day conceptions of such women’s world. This unique study provides a framework for developing an understanding of women's worlds in nineteenth-century North America.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 448 pages
- Illustrations: 1
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
‘This is a volume that is a must read for those who are engaged in the history of New Brunswick and for those who themselves are trying to tease out the stories of women in the nineteenth- century settler world of North America.’
Acadiensis, August 2017
"These diaries present an engaging sense of history from below, as lived and felt by its participants…Consistently well documented, this study nicely positions the lives of these New Brunswick women within the larger context of nineteenth-century women’s history."
The Canadian Historical Review Vol 99:2: June 2018
" ‘I wish to keep a record’ gives immediacy and interpretive shape to the penned thoughts of twenty-eight 19th-century New Brunswick-born girls and women who were witnesses to their places and times. Dr. Campbell captures their lives in motion, their hands and minds seldom idle, as they journeyed through private and public spaces. Framed by nuanced analysis, Dr. Campbell’s composite portrait effectively depicts the female self and society at a time of profound change in New Brunswick, and enriches our growing understanding of women’s social, spiritual, and working lives in 19th-century North America."
Laurie Stanley-Blackwell, Department of History, St. Francis Xavier University
"Campbell's sensitive handling and contextualization of twenty-eight womens' diaries plunges us directly into their households, workplaces and social circles, and into their spirituality, intellect and activism. At once engaging, she brings out the significance of these diaries whose power lies in their intimate depiction of daily life in New Brunswick."
Catharine Wilson, Professor, University of Guelph and Founder & Director of the Rural Diary Archive
" ‘ I wish to keep a record’ is clearly written in an accessible style. Gail Campbell’s work is solidly grounded in the relevant scholarly literature, particularly that of women’s history, family history, and community history, but also that of life-writing, religion, education, and New Brunswick."
Francoise Noel, Department of History, Nipissing University
Author InformationGail G. Campbell is Professor Emerita of History at the University of New Brunswick.
Table of contents
List of Diarists
Chapter 1: The Diarists
Chapter 2: Reading 19th Century Diaries: the Historian’s Perspective
Chapter 3: The Life Course in Demographic Context: Women’s Experience
Chapter 4: Three Generations: Women of their Time and Place
Chapter 5: From Innocent Flirtation to Formal Courtship
Chapter 6: The World of the Family
Chapter 7: Households of Independent Women
Chapter 8: Sociability and Social Networks
Chapter 9: Schooling and Scholars
Chapter 10: A Sustaining Faith
Chapter 11: Work in the Home
Chapter 12: Beyond the Bounds of Family: Paid Work
Chapter 13: Politics and Social Reform
Chapter 14: A Cosmopolitan Outlook
Chapter 15: In the Midst of Life
Canadian Committee on Women’s History Book prize- Winner in 2018
Subjects and Courses