Traill, Catharine Parr, 1802-1899

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Traill, Catharine Parr, 1802-1899

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Catharine Parr Traill was born in Kent near London, England on January 9, 1802 as Catharine Parr Strickland. She was the fifth child of Thomas and Elizabeth Strickland. She was sister to Eliza, Jane Margaret, Susanna (later Susanna Moodie), Samuel and Agnes. In 1832 she married Lt. Thomas Traill. She emigrated with her husband to Upper Canada when the opportunity provided itself and they settled near the Otonabee River near Peterborough, Upper Canada. Together they had nine children. Catharine wrote a number of works on pioneer life in Upper Canada such as "The Backwoods of Canada" (1834), "Canadian Crusoes" (1853), "The Female Emigrants Guide" (1854), "Canadian Wild Flowers" (1868) and "Studies of Plant Life in Canada" (1885). She also kept a journal and in it she wrote down ideas and sketches for future writings. "The Old Doctor" (1985) was probably written between 1835 and 1840 when John Hutchinson, a native of Kirkcaldy, Scotland, was practising medicine in Peterborough, Upper Canada. Before emigrating Catharine had published a number of childrens books and stories in England. Catharine Parr Traill died on August 29, 1899. (Taken from: "Forest and Other Gleanings." Ottawa, University of Ottawa Press, 1994.)

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