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Victorian True Short Stories from the Whitehern Archives

Victorian True Short Stories from the Whitehern Archives
by Mary J. Anderson

Publisher: Rock’s Mills Press
Genre: history; Canadian history
Format: paperback; black and white photographs; 158 pages
Price: $24.95

Dr. Mary Anderson paints an illuminating picture of our Victorian past using materials from the archives of Whitehern, the historic Victorian-age home of the McQuesten family of Hamilton, Ontario. Drawing from thousands of letters to and from family members, Anderson covers such subjects as Victorian medicine, life in the trenches of WW I, the Upper Canada rebellion, the tragic life of Ruby Baker McQuesten and the accomplishments of her lawyer and politician brother, Thomas B. McQuesten.
The book includes more than five dozen period photographs and illustrations that bring the past to life. Each of the letters used in the text is coded so that the reader can access the original preserved in digital format on the website of the museum of the Whitehern Historical House and Garden in Hamilton, Ontario. 

[Mary Anderson] looks at the Baker and McQuesten families … moves through the succeeding generations, giving us detailed glimpses of specific moments or events: these include weddings, births, deaths, remarriages and romances (which are not always happy or approved), treatment for medical and psychological conditions, and deciding how to react to war… One of the most poignant episodes in the book …[is] the one featuring Lottie Baker, one of the Rev. Thomas' many grandchildren. She underwent surgery for a cleft palate, not once but several times–and all without anesthetic! – Richard Van Holst, “Goodreads” reviewer


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