LEWIS, Norah L.




Author Tags: Education, Women

Now retired, Norah Lillian Lewis was a member of the Canadian Childhood History Project at the University of British Columbia. She taught in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia and at Zohnongshan University, Guangzhou and Jioa Tong University, Shanghai, P.R.C.

According to Lewis, until recently the role of children in history has been largely overlooked by historians. Consequently she selected correspondence from the thousands of letters written by children to four early Canadian agricultural publications for “I Want To Join Your Club” Letters From Rural Children 1900 1920 (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1997 $24.95). The letters appeared in the children's pages of the Family Herald and Weekly Star, Free Press Prairie Farmer, The Farmer's Advocate and the Grain Growers' Guide. They had to meet strict editorial guidelines of neatness, penmanship and content. “I live in the famous Fraser Valley of British Columbia,” begins Lawrence McDermid, aged 12, of Coglan, who gives a very upbeat description of logging in the Family Herald and Weekly Star of January 10th, 1917. Conspicuously absent are letters that presented a negative view of rural life or that disparaged or complained of parents, guardians or teachers. “If any children wrote telling of physical, sexual or psychological abuse or of any kind of neglect,” she says, “those letters were never published. Revelations of mistreatment or acute poverty did not fit the idyllic rural world that agricultural publications wished to convey.” Her second book concerning the history of childhood in Canada is her edited collection of excerpts entitled Freedom to Play: We Made Our Own Fun (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2002). It provides a cross-country panorama of play from approximately 1990 through 1955, including pre-confederate Newfoundland.

DATE OF BIRTH: Nov. 1, 1935

PLACE OF BIRTH: Melfort, Sask

ARRIVAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1966

EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: Teacher/University lecturer

BOOKS:

"I want to join your club" Letters From Rural Children 1900 - 1920. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, 1996.

Dear Editor and Friends: Letters From Rural Women of the North-West, 1900 - 1920. Wilfrid University Press, Waterloo, 1998.

Freedom to Play: We Made Our Own Fun. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Waterloo, 2002.

[BCBW 2004] "Education" "Women"