Her Story III: Women from Canada's Past


200 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55125-037-3
DDC j305.4'092'271





Reviewed by Patricia Morley

Patricia Morley is professor emerita of English and Canadian Studies at
Concordia University and an avid outdoor recreationist. She is also the
author of The Mountain Is Moving: Japanese Women’s Lives, Kurlek, and
Margaret Laurence: The Long Journey Hom


Biographies, as the author notes in her brief introduction, put a human
face on history: “And women’s biographies put a human face on a part
of history that has been confined to the shadows.” Women do not
feature prominently in Canadian, American, or European history. Susan
Merritt’s third volume in the Her Story series aims at redressing the

Her Story III contains the biographies of 14 women born before or
around 1900 who are of First Nations or European ancestry. Each story
stands on its own. Merritt’s lively prose style is aimed at young
adults but will also interest many adults and subteens. The format
includes a wealth of black-and-white photographs, an index, and a select
bibliography. Each chapter begins with short fictionalized accounts of
real events. The first two volumes in the series both won awards.

Among the women whose lives are featured are Elizabeth Simcoe, wife of
Upper Canada’s first lieutenant-governor; Grace MacPherson Livingston,
an ambulance driver in World War I in the Volunteer Aid Detachment for
the British Red Cross; Therese Forget Casgrain, a political party leader
in Quebec; and Elsie Gregory MacGill, the first woman aeronautical
engineer (by the end of World War II, one out of every ten Hurricane
fighters used in the war had been built by Elsie and her staff). This
volume should be in all school and community libraries. Highly


Merritt, Susan E., “Her Story III: Women from Canada's Past,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 7, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/31757.