Hobnobbing with a Countess and Other Okanagan Adventures: The Diaries of Alice Barrett Parke, 1891-1900 by Jo Fraser JonesHobnobbing with a Countess and Other Okanagan Adventures: The Diaries of Alice Barrett Parke, 1891-1900 by Jo Fraser Jones

Hobnobbing with a Countess and Other Okanagan Adventures: The Diaries of Alice Barrett Parke, 1891…

EditorJo Fraser Jones

Paperback | May 1, 2002

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In 1891, Alice Barrett moved from Port Dover, Ontario, to theOkanagan Valley to keep house for her brother and uncle. She soonmarried Harold Parke, a former NWMP officer, and spent the next decaderecording her experiences in a series of notebooks sent to her Ontariofamily.

Few women's diaries have survived from that time, and BarrettParke recalls a period of profound transformation in a region newlyopened to white settlement by the railway. She was an astute observerand an exceptional writer, and her diaries provide invaluable insightsinto work, health, religion, race and gender relations, and women'slives. On a personal level, her writings show the conflict between herindependent spirit and women's traditional roles. Although wary ofthe emerging feminism of the time, Alice was co-opted into the"vice-regal circle" of the Countess of Aberdeen, who stayedat nearby Coldstream Ranch, and became the first correspondingsecretary of the Vernon chapter of the National Council of Women.

Careful editing and additional research to contextualize the socialand historical background, as well as biographical details, photos, andmaps enhance the reader's understanding and appreciation of thisremarkable woman's life, and the lives of those around her.

Selected as a BC Book for Everybody.

Jo Fraser Jones (editor) lives in Vernon, B.C. She is a contributor to Framing our Past: Canadian Women's History in the Twentieth Century and has published articles on regional history.
Title:Hobnobbing with a Countess and Other Okanagan Adventures: The Diaries of Alice Barrett Parke, 1891…Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 0.93 inPublished:May 1, 2002Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774808535

ISBN - 13:9780774808538

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations Acknowledgments Introduction "Quite away from all my people": Arriving in the Spallumcheen Valley "The real, the useful, the necessary -- these occupy one here": Life in the Spallumcheen Valley "A very cosy, happy home": At Home in Vernon "How many people I have got to know!": Vernon Friends and Acquaintances "Oh! I do hope I’ll be able to do something useful and good": A One-Woman Social Welfare Service "A great many people have ailments here": Health and Social Issues in the 1890s "How I love them all": Some Members of the Barrett Family "Oh! I wish I could hear someone who would stir me up": Religion in the West "A man of Mr. Parke’s ability": A Husband of Unusual Accomplishment "I have been as busy as I could be": Life at the BX Ranch and Encounters with the Chinese "There is much of the untamed animal nature in me": Confessions to the Diaries "The women work much harder than the men": Attitudes towards Other Races "Hob-nobbing with a Countess": Early Feminism in Western Canada "I think if I were a man I’d want to go in for [politics]": Political Life at the End of the 1800s "People really seem to be getting sanguine over the mining prospects around here": Exploration and Prospecting in the Okanagan "It really is shameful the way I neglect my poor old diary lately": The End of the Journals "I wonder when I’m a grey haired old woman if I will enjoy reading these papers!: The Final Years Notes Appendix: Chronology of the diaries Bibliography Index

Editorial Reviews

An engaging character with a fine eye for social and cultural observation. The editor's sensitive additions to the diaries allow the reader the opportunity of understanding the broader personal, regional, and historical significance of [the diaries] ... The [editor's] sensitivity to historical issues of culture and ethnicity is one of the characteristics that make this such a good local history. - Ruth Sandwell, editor of Beyond the City Limits: Rural History in British Columbia