Spain Remembers

Spain Remembers

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Book Launch for a 100 Year Old Novel

Professors Jenny Roth and Lori Chambers
photo: Joan Baril
Deep in the depths of the Robarts Library in Toronto, an unsung Canadian novel languished on a forgotten shelf until intrepid researchers Jenny Roth and Lori Chambers drew it forth and brought it to a new life as a reprint.

The novel, Is It Just?, was written by Minnie Smith in  1911. The book, an example of early Canadian literature, is also a feminist novel. The plot denounces the unfair matrimonial law which allowed  married women to be made penniless by their husbands.  The heroine, a farm woman, loses her livelihood when her dastardly husband runs off.  Victorian melodrama?  Not really. Similar laws existed until 1973 when Irene Murdoch won her case in the Supreme Court, a case that sparked reform of matrimonial property law.

We do not know if Minnie Smith had a book launch in 1911 but she had one in 2010 at the Northern Women's Bookstore on November 5.  Thank you Jenny Roth and Lori Chambers for working with the University of Toronto Press on this rebirth.

Copies of the book are available at Northern Women's Bookstore, 65 Court St. S. Thunder Bay.

Rebecca Scott and Kim Young at the Book Launch of Is It Just?
photo: Joan Baril

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