By Frances Hoffman, Ryan Taylor
Victorian Ontario integrated humans from all walks of lifestyles from homeless beggars to prosperous gentry. In Much To Be Done we glimpse how existence used to be lived in 19th-century Ontario, not just within the grand mansions, but in addition within the farm homes and streets the place our ancestors lived.
This book might be your great-grandmother’s tale, following the cycle of lifestyles from courtship to childbirth to social gathering and demise. Diaries, with a few contributions from letters, newspapers and recollections, offer a clean and modern point of view. Much To Be Done promotes a old realizing which hyperlinks humans of this day with the Ontario of the past.
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Extra info for Much to Be Done: Private Life in Ontario From Victorian Diaries
The unusual sight created much interest, especially on the part of the ladies; but a party of men and boys, whose reverence for olden customs was exceeded by their sense of the ludicrous hooted after the processionists in a very uncomplimentary manner. "12 Some brides made a point of picking their own flowers. Courtship and Wedding 31 Our Wedding Day. Up early down in garden gathered flowers helped mother and Kate to dress Got dressed married in church by Mr Allen—left by 10 then spent day in Port Hope had a drive to ML pulman at 10.
29 January 1865) Childbirth 47 Upon her marriage to widower Adam Brown, Mary had inherited four sons. Eventually she would bear Adam seven children, giving them a total of eleven. To Mary's credit, she made no distinction, nor favoured her own children over her step-children. Her mother, though so far away, took her grandmotherly duties seriously and frequently added words of advice to her letters. 28 Many years later, when Mary was called upon to provide support to her daughter-in-law in childbirth, she may have recalled the longings she experienced for her own mother.
Presumably, since Matilda Bower's husband, Aaron Eby, was a medical doctor, she would have been given whatever aids were available for pain control. Perhaps chloroform was used, as mentioned by Mary Brown. Early in the century opium and ether had been popular agents for the pain of childbirth. Generally they were administered in very small amounts, to give some modicum of relief during contractions. One assumes that for most middle class women, providing they had the assistance of a competent physician or midwife, the birthing experience ought to have been made as comfortable as medical knowledge of the day permitted.