A Victorian Lady’s Album

Kate Shannon's Halifax and Boston Diary of 1892

by Kate Shannon

edited by Della Stanley

This book combines the visual riches of the Victorian era with the intimate story of an appealing and surprisingly frank young woman

Kate Shannon was the 18-year-old daughter of a judge, living in the prosperous port city of Halifax. She describes her daily life and confides her private thoughts in the diary she kept for the year 1892. Winter skating, parties, at homes, theatre and concerts, long walks in the park, picnics, Halloween, family gatherings, Christmas festivities -- Kate records the events of her life. The highlight f her year is a long summertime visit to Boston. She also writes frankly and sensitively about her feelings and her relationships with friends and family.

In this book the full text of Kate's diary is accompanied by a wide collection of visual material. Hand-tinted postcards, paintings, drawings, newspaper ads, book covers and illustrations complement Kate's picture of Victorian life. These visuals have all been chosen from Kate's world, and include sketches she drew in her diary. Tragically, at the age of 22 Kate died of consumption. Her family treasured her diary, and it was later placed with the family's papers in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, where its editor, Delia Stanley, found it.

About the Author

DELLA STANLEY is an author and historian who served as Co-ordinator of Canadian Studies at Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax.


"The flavour of Kate Shannon's eighteenth year, which is so evocative from the journal entries, is certainly enhanced by the presentation of the volume. Stanley has transformed the diary into a traditional Victorian Lady's album, copiously illustrated with photographs..., reproductions of picture postcards and callings cards, and other material, including sketches apparently drawn by Kate herself. Together with Stanley's brief introduction, these provide for the uninitiated reader a vivid sense of the sights, sounds, and smells of Halifax and Boston at the end of the nineteenth century."
E.J. Errington, Social History

Subjects (BISAC)

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