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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

A Sisterhood of Suffering and Service

Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the First World War

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

A Sisterhood of Suffering and Service

Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the First World War

As the body of First World War literature continues to grow, women’s experiences of this period remain largely obscure. This innovative collection addresses the invisibility of women in this literature, particularly with regard to Canadian and Newfoundland history. Drawing upon a multidisciplinary spectrum of recent work – studies on mobilizing women, paid and volunteer employment at home and overseas, grief, childhood, family life, and literary representations ­– this book brings Canadian and Newfoundland women and girls into the history of the First World War and marks their place in the narrative of national transformation.


356 pages


Table of Contents

Introduction: Transformation in a Time of War? / Sarah Glassford and Amy Shaw

Part 1: Mobilizing Women

1 “In Defense of the Empire”: The Six Nations of the Grand River and the Great War / Alison Norman

2 The Unquiet Knitters of Newfoundland: From Mothers of the Regiment to Mothers of the Nation / Margot I. Duley

3 Freshettes, Farmerettes, and Feminine Fortitude at the University of Toronto during the First World War / Terry Wilde

Part 2: Women’s Work

4 Gendering Patriotism: Canadian Volunteer Nurses as the Female “Soldiers” of the Great War / Linda J. Quiney

5 “Such Sights One Will Never Forget”: Newfoundland Women and Overseas Nursing in the First World War /  Terry Bishop Stirling

6 Patriotic, Not Permanent: Attitudes about Women’s Making Bombs and Being Bankers / Kori Street

Part 3: Family Matters

7 An Honour and a Burden: Canadian Girls and the Great War / Kristine Alexander

8 Supporting Soldiers’ Wives and Families in the Great War: What Was Transformed? / Desmond Morton

9 Marks of Grief: Black Attire, Medals, and Service Flags / Suzanne Evans

Part 4: Creative Responses

10 Verses in the Darkness: A Newfoundland Poet Responds to the First World War / Vicki S. Hallett

11 “’Twas You, Mother, Made Me a Man”: The Motherhood Motif in the Poetry of the First World War / Lynn Kennedy

12 “Mother, Lover, Nurse”: The Reassertion of Conventional Gender Norms in Fictional Representations of Disability in Canadian Novels of the First World War / Amy Tector

Conclusion: “Sisterhood of Suffering and Service” / Sarah Glassford and Amy Shaw

Selected Bibliography; Index

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