Monday, February 7, 2011

Letter39: Very Kind Mr.Blair

This Russian Pony Jacket was the first fashion item in the1910 Eaton's Catalogue. It was a new fur.

1095 Greene Avenue
Westmount

Nov 30, 1911

Dear Father,

Doubtless you have been looking for a letter for sometime.

The trip home did me a world of good. What a time Mother has. I don't think she is getting much of a rest. It seems to be one thing after another.

How quickly the time is going. Not quite 4 weeks until Christmas.
We are very busy here practising for Christmas concert.

Was sorry to hear about poor Aunt Mary's death. I had a letter from Mother this morning telling me about it.

Mr. C was telling about the fine banquet and concert they are giving on St. Andrew's day. Dr. Johnstone of the American Presbyterian is to preach and give an address in the evening. I would like to be there.

Marion is well and enjoying life. Mr. Blair is very kind about taking her out. He asked me several times, but I have been unable to accept as yet.

She had a long letter from Herb today. He seems to be so contented and writes such cheerful letters that I am sure he must be enjoying his work.

I have been think of buying a fur coat. Russian Pony. Like what we saw in the spring. A good one would cost about 75 dollars or so. It seems a good deal to put into it. But I have to get a new suit and a ruff. I don't know which would be better investment. What do you think about it?

Dr. Clark called on Miss Smith and me last week. He is very nice. We are very much interested just at present about Church Union. I hope it does not pass.

Write soon,

Your loving Edith

...Odd. Edith Nicholson is working at French Methodist Institute, a missionary school that takes in French Catholic children (and Italian) and attempts to convert them to the Methodist faith, yet is against the Presbyterians and Methodists uniting. They are having a plebiscite among the faithful in 1911.
(On 1907, Principal Paul Villard wrote a small book about the Institute Preparing the Way.

"Our French Institute is more than a boarding school. It is a home where Christian influence is felt from morning to night. The aim of the school is to give each of the pupils not only an insight into life, (to train our pupils in the true faith of the Gospel) which to many may prove a hard battle, but to make the education received of practical value in making their lives successful.

Nowadays, we seem much disposed to turn our eyes towards the Great West, which is booming. We see the gleam of prosperity and we follow the rush. But in our enthusiasm, we forget that there is something to do at our own door and we overlook the fact that the French Canadian people of Quebec and Eastern Ontario are seeking the light and are eager for liberty as never before."
(Villard clearly had a ghostwriter, because in a letter of recommendation he later gives Edith, it is clear his English grammar is poor.)

Even odder. Edith is making but 275.00 a year and she is thinking of buying a 75 dollar luxury fashion item, a "fantasy" item really. (She seems to be fishing for an offer from her dad - who she must know is broke -to help her pay for it.) In 1910, she splurged on a new hat at Ogilvy's.

"It is a large black shape trimmed with little pink roses and a black velvet ribbon. I got it at Ogilvy's; Paid $7.50 Marion also got hers there, trimmed with a wreath of flowers the colour of her blue silk dress. She paid $6.50. It is much smaller than mine rolled off her face at one side."

But that purchase was understandable: Stylish hats were the measure of a woman back then.

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