Hobnobbing with a Countess and Other Okanagan Adventures: The Diaries of Alice Barrett Parke, 1891-1900

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Jo Fraser Jones
UBC Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
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In 1891, Alice Barrett moved from Port Dover, Ontario, to the OkanaganValley to keep house for her brother and uncle. She soon married HaroldParke, a former NWMP officer, and spent the next decade recording herexperiences in a series of notebooks sent to her Ontario family. Fewwomen's diaries have survived from that time, and Barrett Parkerecalls a period of profound transformation in a region newly opened towhite settlement by the railway. She was an astute observer and anexceptional writer, and her diaries provide invaluable insights intowork, health, religion, race and gender relations, and women'slives. On a personal level, her writings show the conflict between herindependent spirit and women's traditional roles. Although wary ofthe emerging feminism of the time, Alice was co-opted into the"vice-regal circle" of the Countess of Aberdeen, who stayedat nearby Coldstream Ranch, and became the first correspondingsecretary of the Vernon chapter of the National Council of Women.Selected as a BC Book for Everybody.
 

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Contents

Arriving in
3
At Home in Vernon
57
How many people I have got to know Vernon Friends
78
Health
110
Some Members of the Barrett
133
Oh I wish I could hear someone who would stir me
151
A Husband of Unusual
163
Life at the BX Ranch
187
Attitudes
226
Early Feminism in Western
234
People really seem to be getting sanguine over the mining
257
The End of the Diaries
263
enjoy reading these papersThe Final Years
276
Notes
290
Appendices
332
Index
340

Confessions to the Diaries
205

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About the author (2002)

Jo Fraser Jones (editor) lives in Vernon, B.C. She isa contributor to Framing our Past: Canadian Women's History inthe Twentieth Century and has published articles on regionalhistory.

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