The Pathway The Poets About Us Blog Membership Pathway News
|I.V. Crawford|A.M. Machar|A. Wetherald|S.F. Harrison|

The Rose was given to man for this:
He, sudden seeing it in later years,
Should swift remember Love's first lingering kiss
And Grief's last lingering tears;

by Isabella Valancy Crawford

ISABELLA VALANCY CRAWFORD (1850-1887) by Christa Zeller

Crawford, the most well known of Canada’s early women poets, was born in Dublin to a cultured and educated yet genteelly impoverished family. Her father, Dr Stephen Dennis Crawford, was an unsuccessful physician. The family’s decision to emigrate may have been linked to Ireland’s dire condition during the mid-nineteenth century when the country was plagued by famines. The Crawfords came to Canada in 1858, where Isabella’s father was the first doctor in the village of Paisley, Ontario.

AGNES MAULE MACHAR (1837-1927) by Christa Zeller

Agnes Maule Machar, outspoken campaigner for social justice, access to education for women, and Christian belief, was born in Kingston, Ontario, where her father, Dr John Machar, was a Presbyterian minister and principal of Queen’s University. The young Agnes consequently grew up in a home that provided a rich intellectual and religious environment, and in which prominent social reformers and Christian thinkers were frequent guests. Taking her example from her mother, Machar became involved at an early age in philanthropy and in the work of numerous reform and charitable organizations, from the Kingston Humane Society to the National Council of Women.

AGNES WETHERALD  (1857-1940) by Kemisha Newman

Though little remembered today, Agnes Ethelwyn Wetherald was for many years an active member of the Canadian literary community in the post-confederation period. She was born to English-Quaker parents in Rockwood, Ontario, where her father, William Wetherald, was the founder and principal of Rockwood Academy. He subsequently became superintendent of Haverford College, near Philadelphia. After becoming a Quaker minister, he moved the family back to Ontario, to a fruit and dairy farm on the Niagara peninsula. William was careful to nurture his daughter’s talent as a writer by imparting to her his own love of the English language and its literature. Additionally, her writing was profoundly influenced by the pastoral environments in which she spent her childhood.

SUSAN FRANCES HARRISON (1859-1935) by Natalie King

Though little-known today, Susan Frances Harrison was an influential figure in Canadian cultural life from the 1880s until her death in 1935. Born in Toronto in 1859, and educated in Toronto and Montreal, Harrison’s first love was music. An accomplished pianist and composer, at the age of twenty she married John Harrison, a professional musician and choirmaster from Britain. Together, they invigorated the musical life of the City of Ottawa, where they lived for seven years.