NEERING, Rosemary

Author Tags: History, Women

Born in Croydon, Surrey, England in 1945, Rosemary Neering has written more than 20 history/biography/social studies books and textbooks for children and teens since 1973, plus award-winning titles for the adult market, since her arrival in Canada on July 1, 1947. She came to British Columbia in September of 1965. She has been a full-time freelance writer since 1981; President, Periodical Writers Association of Canada, 1991-92; and creator co-chair, CanCopy (Access Copyright), 1999-2001. Having previously written about courageous and unconventional women and explorers, Neering has also looked appreciatively at the contributions of homemakers in The Canadian Housewife: An Affecionate History. She lives in Victoria with her husband, Joe Thompson.

Employment other than freelance writing: reporter at various newspapers in
late 1960s; associate editor, Beautiful British Columbia magazine, 1975-79;
visiting lecturer, department of Creative Writing, University of Victoria,

Literary Awards

Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize, 1992, Down the Road;
VanCity Book Award, 2001, Wild West Women;

Evans Prize, 2001; Booksellers' Choice Award, 1989 and 2001.

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Faces of British Columbia: Looking at the Past, 1860-1960


The Spanish on the Northwest Coast: For Glory, God and Gain (Heritage House 2014) $9.95
Smugglers of the West (Heritage House 2011) $9.95 978-1-92693-691-8
Government House: The Ceremonial Home of All British Columbians (Sono Nis 2007) $39.95; 978-1-55039-159-6. Photographs by Tony Owen.
The Canadian Housewife: An Affecionate History (Whitecap, 2006);
Eating Up Vancouver Island. Whitecap Books, 2003;
The New Victoria Walking Guide. Whitecap Books, 2001;
Wild West Women: Travellers, Adventurers and Rebels. Whitecap Books, 2000;
Over Canada: An Aerial Adventure. Over Canada Productions/Beautiful British Columbia, 1999 (co-author);
Facing Changes, Finding Freedom: Canadian Women at Midlife. Whitecap
Books, 1996 (co-author.)
Backroading Vancouver Island. Whitecap Books, 1996.
Faces of British Columbia: Looking at the Past 1860-1960. Whitecap Books, 1995.
A Traveller's Guide to Historic British Columbia. Whitecap Books, 1993. (Revised; 2002.).
In the Path of the Explorers: Tracing the Expeditions of Vancouver, Cook,
Mackenzie, Fraser and Thompson. Whitecap Books, 1992.
Down the Road: Journeys through Small-Town British Columbia. Whitecap Books, 1991.
The Coast of British Columbia. Whitecap Books, 1989.
Continental Dash: The Russian-American Telegraph. Horsdal and Schubart Publishers Ltd., 1989.
The Canadians series (Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd.): W.A.C.
Bennett (1981), Louis Riel (1977/1992/1999), Emily Carr (1975/1999).

[BCBW 2011] "Women" "VanCity"

Over Canada: An Aerial Adventure (Beautiful British Columbia/Whitecap $49.95)

National projects that get launched from the West Coast are as rare as one-legged runners.

With a one-hour CTV special and sponsorship from Royal Bank, Over Canada: An Aerial Adventure (Beautiful British Columbia/Whitecap $49.95) is a marketing gamble, a Left Coastal overview that uses a helicopter to bring the country together.

Culled from thousands of aerial photos, Over Canada celebrates the rugged diversity of the world’s second-largest nation with the simple slogan ‘there’s no place like home.’

Lead photographer Russ Heinl, editor Bryan McGill and writers Rosemary Neering and Bruce Obee have dispensed with ten provinces and two territories in favour of six regions—Atlantic Canada, St. Lawrence/Great Lakes, the Canadian Shield, the Prairies, the North and the West—in French and English editions.

Two-thirds of Canada’s 5.4 million residents 100 years ago lived in rural areas; today three-quarters of the 30.3 million residents live in cities and towns. One-third of our population lives in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Seventy percent of the country is still wilderness.

With Constance Brissenden, Russ Heinl has simultaneously published a then-and-now aerial comparison, Vancouver and the Lower Mainland from the Air (Whitecap $34.95), as well as Vancouver Island from the Air (Whitecap $34.95) with Rosemary Neering.

Canada 0-920431-87-9
Vancouver 1-55110-958-1
Vancouver Island 1-55110-957-3


Rosemary Neering and Marilyn McCrimmon's Facing Changes, Finding Freedom: Canadian Women at Midlife (Whitecap $18.95)

Of the 14 million women in Canada, some 3.7 million are currently between the ages of 40 and 59. For many, it's not easy going.
Contrary to media stereotypes of affluent baby boomers, financial and health problems often occur at midlife. Marriages break up and there are elderly parents to take care of.
"By 2041, one quarter of all women in Canada will be over 65," according to Rosemary Neering and Marilyn McCrimmon's Facing Changes, Finding Freedom: Canadian Women at Midlife (Whitecap $18.95).
For Judy, 56, "it's always been a struggle." Married at twenty and divorced in her early twenties with two young sons, Judy raised her kids on her own, working three jobs. When she moved to Victoria, she assumed she'd end up working in a government office.
"But where did I end up? In a machine shop, where I had to wear long underwear in winter, and Cougars because the steel chips stuck to your shoes, and the language was rough."
When the machine shop was bought out, Judy lost her job. At 54, she had difficulties finding a job because her work experience was antiquated. After taking a UIC sponsored computer course, Judy still had little luck finding a job.
"I'm still looking for jobs from here to Courtenay," Judy says. "The future? I don't look to the future; I don't see any future. I've stopped thinking about the future; I just live day to day."
Living on social assistance is not what Judy had planned, but she remains optimistic. "You can't just sit there and cry about life. I still figure some day my prince will come. I may meet a man I can't live without, or he can't live without me. Or a good job may come tomorrow. Or I could win the lottery."

[BCBCW 1997]

Continental Dash: The Russian-American Telegraph

MR. RIPLEY WOULDN'T HAVE BEILEVED it. In the 1860's an attempt was made to construct a telegraph line from Seattle to Siberia. Crews raced north through B.C. to connect Europe with North America before competitors successfully laid a cable across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

This unlikely chapter of B.C. history is the subject of Rosemary Neering's Continental Dash: The Russian-American Telegraph (Horsdal & Schubart $22.95), one of over 5O new non-fiction books from or about B.C. this spring.

Hundreds of miles of the "Collins Overland Telegraphy" were constructed in B.C. during a period when the population of New Westminster was 200. Towns such as Telegraph Creek, Burns Lake, Decker Lake and Bulkley River all derive their names from the system which was in continuous operation through central B.C. for 113 years.

[Summer/BCBW 1989]

Eating Up Vancouver Island (Whitecap)

Eating Up Vancouver Island (Whitecap) by Rosemary Neering

[BCBW Summer 2004]

The Canadian Housewife: An Affectionate History (Whitecap $29.95)

Having won the Vancity Book Prize for writing about courageous and unconventional women, Rosemary Neering has looked appreciatively at the contributions of courageous and conventional homemakers in The Canadian Housewife: An Affectionate History (Whitecap $29.95), a cornucopia of coping with insects, recipes, canning, children, paternalism and Lysol for birth control. 1-55285-717-4

[BCBW 2006]

Government House
Info 2007

Having supervised Beautiful British Columbia magazine for 25 years, Tony Owen lent his photography talents to Government House: The Ceremonial Home of All British Columbians (Sono Nis $39.95; 978-1-55039-159-6), with text by Rosemary Neering. Originally built in the 1860s, and twice destroyed by fire, the primary home of the Lieutenant Governor in Victoria has a storied history and a remarkable garden that is partially maintained by volunteers.