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Ethel Wilson (1888–1980)

Autor(a) de Swamp Angel

11+ Works 477 Membros 16 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Ethel Wilson

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Obras por Ethel Wilson

Swamp Angel (1954) 224 exemplares
Hetty Dorval (1947) 101 exemplares
The Innocent Traveller (1949) 49 exemplares
The Equations of Love (1974) 40 exemplares
Mrs. Golightly and Other Stories (1990) 28 exemplares
Love and Salt Water (1956) 28 exemplares
Lilly's Story (1952) 3 exemplares
Mr. Sleepwalker — Autor — 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Black Water 2: More Tales of the Fantastic (1990) — Contribuidor — 152 exemplares
From Ink Lake: Canadian Stories (1990) — Contribuidor — 129 exemplares
The Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English (1986) — Contribuidor — 111 exemplares
The New Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories (1986) — Contribuidor — 73 exemplares
Great Canadian Short Stories (1971) — Contribuidor — 53 exemplares
Canadian Short Stories (1960) — Contribuidor — 45 exemplares
The Oxford Book of Stories by Canadian Women in English (1999) — Autor, algumas edições30 exemplares
The Oxford Book of Canadian Ghost Stories (1990) — Contribuidor — 19 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1959 (1959) — Contribuidor — 13 exemplares
31 Stories (1960) — Contribuidor — 12 exemplares
Not to be Taken at Night (1981) — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Outros nomes
Bryant, Ethel
Wilson, Ethel Davis
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Localização do túmulo
British Columbia, Canada
Local de nascimento
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Local de falecimento
British Columbia, Canada
Locais de residência
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
England, UK
Trinity Hall School, Lancashire
Vancouver Normal School
short story writer
Prémios e menções honrosas
Lorne Pierce Medal (1964)
Order of Canada (Officer, 1970)

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Ethel Wilson, née Bryant, was born in Port Elizabeth, in the British Cape Colony, present-day South Africa. In 1890, following the death of her mother, she moved with her father to England. In 1898, after her father died, Ethel went to live with her maternal grandmother and several aunts in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was educated at private schools in Vancouver and England. In 1907, she gradated from the Vancouver Normal School and then taught for 13 years in city elementary schools. In 1921 she married Dr. Wallace Wilson, a professor of medical ethics at the University of British Columbia and president of the Canadian Medical Association.

In the 1930s, she published a few short stories in British magazines but then stopped until after World War II. Her debut novel, Hetty Dorval, appeared in 1947, and was quickly followed by a semi-fictional family memoir, The Innocent Traveller (1949). The novel Swamp Angel (1954) is generally considered to be her finest work.

Wilson is known as one of the first Canadian writers to truly capture the beauty of British Columbia's rugged landscape. Her small but impressive literary output earned her an important place in Canadian literature. In 1964, Wilson received the Lorne Pierce Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, and in 1970 the Order of Canada.



I once read that Ethel Wilson was British Columbia's best novelist, and after reading this novel I can understand why. I've finished about 15 or 20 early British Columbia novels and this book was the greatest. The main character Maggie Lloyd is fully realized and Nell Severance was a memorable scene stealer. I was surprised by the evocation of British Columbia scenery as I was previously informed Ethel Wilson delved primarily into the interior life of her characters, and this was manifestly untrue. Many times I was surprised and delighted to read about the small revealing gestures and thoughts of people familiar to my experience and yet overlooked, little shocks of recognition. Once example was when Maggie couldn't recall the face of her first husband and I have recently had the same experience with a departed friend I knew well. Another was the gabby bus passenger and the perfect emphasis of her words. I look forward to reading the rest of Wilson's books.… (mais)
wjburton | 7 outras críticas | Oct 13, 2023 |
I have read Ethel Wilson's later book, Swamp Angel, but nothing else by her. Although she is not so well known now, during her career Wilson was recognised as a gifted writer. She was awarded the Canada Council Medal in 1961 and the Lorne Pierce Medal of the Royal Society of Canada in 1964. Northrop Frye in the afterword to this book edition says that this book, her first, establishes Ethel Wilson's world and that many themes "are embryonic that are more deeply explored in later works." So it was interesting to me to read it after Swamp Angel which is a book that fully explores the themes of nature that are first developed in this book. Another common theme is the idea of a woman running away to hide in the interior of BC to get away from a bad situation.

Hetty Dorval is a beautiful woman who comes to the small town of Lytton when Frankie Burnaby is about twelve years old. She rents a house on a hill overlooking the Thompson River with only her housekeeper for company. Well, that's not exactly true; every so often a man comes to visit her and, as later events show, this man is not her husband. Frankie encounters Hetty when she is riding back to Lytton from her parents' ranch. Hetty is also riding and she starts a conversation with Frankie. Both of them are exhilarated by the sight of a skein of geese flying south overhead. Hetty invites Frankie back to her bungalow but she tells Frankie she doesn't want to have visitors so she asks Frankie to keep her visit a secret. Throughout the year Frankie visits when she can get away without arousing suspicion and thinks she hasn't been seen. But, in fact, one of the local Indians (as they were referred to when this book was written) has seen Frankie there and he mentions it to her father when he goes to do some work for him. This occasions a scene between Frankie and her parents and they tell her in no uncertain terms that Hetty Dorval is not a woman a young girl should be having contact with. Frankie agrees to stop seeing her but goes one last time to tell Hetty she won't be visiting any more. A few years pass while Frankie goes to a boarding school in Vancouver and then her parents decide to send her to school in England. On the boat to England they see Hetty once again. Hetty pleads with Frankie and her mother to not indicate they know her as she is about to be married to a nobleman. They do as she asks and some time later receive a brief letter thanking them. Frankie's mother has a godfather in Cornwall and that is where they head when the boat docks. There Frankie meets two people who will become important to her. Molly and Richard had been orphaned when Molly was five and Richard was eighteen. Their father's older brother, Mrs. Burnaby's godfather, took them in. Soon all three young people were as close as siblings. Frankie was probably in love with Richard and she felt like an older sister to Molly. A few years later they happened to encounter Hetty in London and, to Frankie's dismay, Hetty became close with the brother and sister. By this time Frankie knew some more of Hetty's history and how she made herself attractive to men and then used them. Frankie decides to confront Hetty to tell her to lay off Richard or she will disclose the sordid details of her life to him. Hetty decides to do her usual tactic of disappearing from scandal. She takes up with a rich Austrian and leaves for Vienna with him. This time she might not manage to create a new chapter in her life. It is 1939 you see and Austria is very shortly after invaded by the Germans.

Although the title is the name of one of the main characters the book is really a coming-of-age story about Frankie Burnaby. We see how she matures from the entranced young girl who thinks Hetty Dorval is wonderful to the wiser young woman who recognizes how dangerous Hetty can be. It's not a story that could be told now in the 21st century but for the time it was written it would have been reflective of the life of many young inexperienced girls. Its good to be reminded that the "good old days" had their perils too.
… (mais)
gypsysmom | 4 outras críticas | Jul 3, 2022 |
This book has appeared on so many lists of Great Canadian books that I always felt bad I had not read it. Thanks to a friend I have now remedied that lack. And it is just as good as all the lists imply.

Maggie Vardoe is unhappily married. Edward Vardoe is her second husband; her first husband, Tom Lloyd, was an airman and died during World War II. Then her child died followed soon after by her father. She worked in a store that Edward Vardoe managed somewhere in New Brunswick and when he asked her to marry him she accepted. They then left New Brunswick and moved all the way to Vancouver where Edward works as a real estate agent. Maggie, who learned how to tie fishing flies from her father, decides to earn money to leave the marriage by making and selling flies. Finally she accumulates enough to give her a nest egg that will provide a bus ticket out of Vancouver into the interior of BC and some money to live on until she can land a job. The author's description of that bus ride and the people who sit beside Maggie would be enough to make reading the book worthwhile. But there is more, so much more. Maggie does find a job helping a couple run a fishing lodge in the mountains outside of Kamloops. She writes back to her old neighbours, Hilda and Mrs. Severance, to let them know where she is. Mrs. Severance, a former juggler in a circus, is quite the character. The book's title comes from a gun that she used in her juggling act. She sends the gun to Maggie after she has a fall outside her house and people see the gun. She is afraid the police will confiscate the gun so she sends it to Maggie with instructions to keep it until she dies and then toss it in the deepest part of the lake. Maggie's new life has its difficulties, such as the jealous wife of the owner, but she loves the land and the creatures in it. There is a lovely little description of a kitten and a young deer playing in the forest early one morning. It is so well described that I am sure Ethel Wilson must have seen something like this herself.

This book is only about 150 pages in the New Canadian Library edition that I read but it is a book that I took my time with in order that I could savour the text. Ethel Wilson didn't publish her first novel until she was 60. I haven't read anything else by her but I am eager to do so. This late bloomer is a wonderful addition to the literary world.
… (mais)
gypsysmom | 7 outras críticas | Dec 5, 2021 |
Narrated by Frances (Frankie) Burnaby, looking back on her girlhood from the perspective of her acquaintance with the seemingly glamorous r Hetty Dorval.
Frankie is just twelve, when the woman - and a stern female companion (?) come to live in her town in Canada. Inveigling invites, Frankie glories in her new companion; yet despite Hetty's instructions to keep their friendship secret, her parents find out...and find out, too, that Hetty has a "past" ..and end the association.
Yet as the years roll by, the two come into contact a few more times....
Hetty is the same throughout- though Frankie only gradually comes to gain a true picture of who Hetty Dorval is with maturity...
… (mais)
starbox | 4 outras críticas | Jul 16, 2021 |



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