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Author photo. Catherine Parr Traill. Photograph from National Archives of Canada. C-067337

Catherine Parr Traill. Photograph from National Archives of Canada. C-067337

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Catherine Parr Traill was born in Kent, England on January 9, 1802. She was educated at her home and began to write when she was fifteen years of age. Her first children's book was published in 1818. She wrote many juvenile works including Disobedience, or Mind What Mama Says and Happy Because Good, which were published without her name, and sold very well. In 1832, she married Lieutenant Thomas Traill. They emigrated to Canada and settled in Douro, Ontario, in 1833. After arriving in Canada, she contributed to several periodicals including Chambers's Journal and Sharpe's London Magazine. She also published several books including The Backwoods of Canada; The Female Emigrant's Guide, and Hints on Canadian Housekeeping; The Canadian Settlers' Guide; Canadian Crusoes; Ramblings in the Canadian Forest; Stories of the Canadian Forests; Canadian Wild Flowers; Studies of Plant Life in Canada; Pearls and Pebbles; and Afar in the Forest. She died on August 29, 1899. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from The Backwoods of Canada
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Catharine Parr Strickland was a sister of authors Agnes Strickland and Susanna Moodie. She began writing children's books in 1818, after the death of her father. In 1832, she married Lieutenant Thomas Traill, a retired officer of the Napoleonic Wars and a friend of her sister's husband, John Moodie, despite family objections. Soon after their marriage, the couple left for Canada, settling near Peterborough, Upper Canada, where her brother Samuel was a surveyor. Susannah Moodie emigrated soon afterward. Catharine Traill described her new life in letters and journals, and collected these into The Backwoods of Canada (1836), which continues to be read as an important source of information about early Canada.
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