Monday 2 July 2018

Miss Confederation: The Diary of Mercy Anne Coles by Anne McDonald

I have just finished Miss Confederation: The Diary of Mercy Anne Coles.

History without the stiffness and polish time creates.

Canada's journey to Confederation kicked off with a bang - or rather, a circus, a civil war (the American one), a small fortune's worth of champagne, and a lot of making love - in the old-fashioned sense. Miss Confederation offers a rare look back, through a woman's eyes, at the men and events at the centre of this pivotal time in Canada's history.

Mercy Anne Coles, the daughter of PEI delegate George Coles, kept a diary of the social happenings and political manoeuvrings as they affected her and her desires. A unique historical document, her diary is now being published for the first time, offering a window into the events that led to Canada's creation, from a point of view that has long been neglected.

I thought this was a very interesting read. Not only does this book give us an inside look at the makings of Canada's Confederation from a woman's point of view, but is an excellent look at the social aspect of upper society back in the mid 1800's. It seems that dance cards were of great importance back then. I also found out that "humbug" has a different meaning than what I thought it was from "A Christmas Carol".

Definitely worth reading.

About Anne McDonald:

I studied at Second City, Humber College’s creative writing program, Sage Hill’s Fiction Workshop, the Sage Hill Poetry Colloquium and I have participated in numerous voice and theatre workshops. I teach theatre improvisation for Education students at the Gabriel Dumont Institute, and theatre classes for the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance at the University of Regina. I also teach creative writing to a number of groups, from inner city youth, to newcomers to Canada, to participants in creative writing courses. I also love to facilitate workshops for organizations interested in collaborative communication and creativity.

If you want to know more about me and my influences:

I studied psychology, creativity, improv and finally creative writing. All these areas come together for me I find, when I'm writing. I love writing - and reading - books that are related to real historical figures and events. I love the researching and discovery of unusual connections, and the reading between the lines.

One of the things I love about writing is the exploration of the past – the interaction and impact the public and the personal have on each other. I also teach and study improv where the focus is on play, the principles of creativity and the discovery of one’s own uniqueness.

Anne lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.

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