Just a larger family : letters of Marie Williamson from the Canadian home front, 1940-1944 / Mary F. Williamson and Tom Sharp, editors.
- Waterloo, Ont. : Wilfred Laurier University Press, c2011.
- Life writing series.
Life writing series
xxii, 378 p. : port. ; 24 cm.
- Williamson, Marie, 1898-1969 -- Correspondence.
Sharp, Margaret, 1896-1987 -- Correspondence.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, Canadian.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Evacuation of civilians -- Great Britain.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Children -- Great Britain.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Children -- Canada.
Toronto (Ont.) -- Biography.
- Briefsammlung 1940-1944.
- "The Second World War had been under way for a year when Marie and John Williamson welcomed two English brothers to join them for the duration of the conflict. Marie and John, who lived with their own two children in a small house in north Toronto, had met the boys' mother, Margaret Sharp - a distant cousin of Marie - just once. Nobody had any idea how long the war would last. What were they getting themselves into? Nevertheless, all Canadians, Marie was convinced, wanted to do their bit for Britain.
Marie wrote over 150 letters to Margaret Sharp between August 1940 and May 1944, imagining that she could make Margaret feel she was still with her children. She shepherded the boys through education decisions and illnesses, eased their adaptation to a strange new life, and rejoiced when they embraced unfamiliar winter sports. The letters brim with detail about food shortages and rationing, family holidays, the family's efforts to cope with the financial implications of two extra mouths to feed, their involvement in their church, and the games and activities that kept them occupied. Marie's letters reflect the lives and concerns of a particular family in Toronto, but they also reveal a portrait of what was then Canada's second-largest city during wartime.
Although many aspects of daily life went on as before, and the children attended school and took part in other activities, the family made many sacrifices. Supplies of coal and wood were diminished, and citizens were subjected to blackouts, air raid exercises, and gasoline rationing.
The preface is by Mary F. Williamson, Marie's daughter, and Tom Sharp, Margaret's youngest son. The book features a scholarly introduction by Jonathan Vance that puts the letters in historical context. Compelling reading for the general reader, this book provides important material for scholars of social history and life writing."--pub. desc.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- Williamson, Mary F.
Sharp, Tom, 1931-
- 9781554582662 (bound)
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