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A Canadian Girl in South Africa

A Teacher’s Experiences in the South African War, 1899–1902

E. Maud Graham
Edited and with an Introduction by Michael Dawson, Catherine Gidney, and Susanne M. Klausen

Canadian Studies, Cultural Studies, Education

Published: July 2015
ISBN: 9781772120462
Pages: 264 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 33

As the South African War reached its grueling end in 1902, colonial interests at the highest levels of the British Empire hand-picked teachers from across the Commonwealth to teach the thousands of Boer children living in concentration camps. Highly educated, hard working, and often opinionated, E. Maud Graham joined the Canadian contingent of forty teachers. Her eyewitness account reveals the complexity of relations and tensions at a controversial period in the histories of both Britain and South Africa. Graham presents a lively historical travel memoir, and the editors have provided rich political and historical context to her narrative in the Introduction and generous annotations. This is a rare primary source for experts in Colonial Studies, Women’s Studies, and Canadian, South African, and British Imperial History. Readers with an interest in the South African War will be intrigued by Graham’s observations on South African society at the end of the Victorian era.

E. Maud Graham (1876–1949) graduated from the University of Toronto in 1896, and taught in a variety of settings before becoming principal of the High School for Girls in Quebec City in 1907.

Catherine Gidney is Adjunct Professor of History at St. Thomas University.

Michael Dawson is Professor of History at St. Thomas University. Both live in Fredericton. Susanne M. Klausen is Associate Professor in History at Carleton University, and Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Historical Studies, University of Johannesburg. She lives in Ottawa.

This is a contemporary presentation of a historic document with graceful typographical details. The full bleed archival images and unexpected treatment of page numbers and running shoulders, though unusual for a travel memoir, add to its interest. The consistent use of the grid is satisfying.

– Daphne Geismar (juror), Association of American University Presses: Book, Jacket, and Journal Show 2016

This book is recommended for those who wish to learn more about South African history and early race relations or tensions. Graham’s opinionated writing will amuse and interest those researching women’s studies.

– Amy L. Crofford, African Studies Quarterly