In the1840s, a young cowkeeper and his wife arrive in London, England, having walked from coastal Wales with their cattle. They hope to escape poverty, but instead they plunge deeper into it, and the family, ensconced in one of London’s “black holes,” remains mired there for generations.The Cowkeeper’s Wishfollows the couple’s descendants in and out of slum housing, bleak workhouses and insane asylums, through tragic deaths, marital strife and war. Nearly a hundred years later, their great-granddaughter finds herself in an altogether different London, in southernOntario.
InThe Cowkeeper’s Wish, Kristen den Hartog and Tracy Kasaboski trace their ancestors’ path to Canada, using a single family’s saga to give meaningful context to a fascinating period in historyVictorian and then Edwardian England, the First World War and the Depression. Beginning with little more than enthusiasm, a collection of yellowed photographs and a family tree, the sisters scoured archives and old newspapers, tracked down streets, pubs and factories that no longer exist, and searched out secrets buried in crumbling ledgers, building on the fragments that remained of familytales.
While this family story is distinct, it is also typical, and so all the more worth telling. As a working-class chronicle stitched into history,The Cowkeeper’s Wishoffers a vibrant, absorbing look at the past that will captivate genealogy enthusiasts and readers of historyalike.
|Publisher:||Douglas and McIntyre (2013) Ltd.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.34(d)|
About the Author
Tracy Kasaboski and her sister, Kristen den Hartog, co-authored The Occupied Garden: A Family Memoir of War-Torn Holland (McClelland and Stewart, 2008), which was selected as one of The Globe and Mail’s best books of the year. She lives in Deep River, ON.
Kristen den Hartog is the author of several books including The Perpetual Ending (Knopf, 2003), as well as And Me Among Them (Freehand Books, 2011), which won the Alberta Book Publishing Award for Trade Fiction. She lives in Toronto.
Table of Contents
Part 1 In Darkest London-1840s-1913
Chapter 1 Bits of Ragged Laundry and Wide-Eyed Dossers 21
Chapter 2 When the Horse Is Down 43
Chapter 3 Potter's Rot 67
Chapter 4 Tell Me When Your Mother Drops 95
Chapter 5 Cracked Eggs 117
Chapter 6 We Are Shadows 137
Chapter 7 The Blaze of Day 163
Chapter 8 Ready for the Call 189
Part 2 The Noise ofWar-1913-1919
Chapter 9 Bang, Crash, Tinkle 213
Chapter 10 You Made Life Cheery When You Called Me Dearie 253
Chapter 11 A Person of Unsound Mind 279
Chapter 12 Down-Hearted and Shivery 301
Chapter 13 Make Your Motto "Forward!" and Stick to It Like Glue 319
Part 3 The Forest City-1907-1934
Chapter 14 My Own Darling Wiffie 343
Chapter 15 Don't Forget to Remember 367
Chapter 16 In the Sweet By and By 387
Chapter 17 A Cosy Nest 407
From the Authors 429
Acknowledgements and Notes on Sources 433