- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: New Canadian Library (January 29, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0771088884
- ISBN-13: 978-0771088889
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
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The Innocent Traveller Paperback – International Edition, January 29, 2008
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From the Inside Flap
Precocious in childhood, irrepressible in old age, Miss Topaz Edgeworth's singular accomplishment is to live out an entire century in unflagging – and mostly oblivious – optimism. At once outmoded and unconventional, tyrannical and benign, Topaz leads a largely unexamined life. But the magical quality of her consciousness, revealed through stunning narrative technique, makes her into one of the most delightful characters in Canadian literature. Published in 1949, The Innocent Traveller is Ethel Wilson's most original literary achievement. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Ethel Wilson was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1888. She was taken to England at the age of two after her mother died. Seven years later her father died, and in 1898 she came to Vancouver to live with her maternal grandmother. She received her teacher’s certificate from the Vancouver Normal School in 1907 and taught in many local elementary schools until her marriage in 1921.
In the 1930s Wilson published a few short stories and began a series of family reminiscences which were later transformed into The Innocent Traveller. Her first published novel, Hetty Dorval, appeared in 1947, and her fiction career ended fourteen years later with the publication of her story collection, Mrs. Golightly and Other Stories. Through her compassionate and often ironic narration, Wilson explores in her fiction the moral lives of her characters.
For her contribution to Canadian literature, Wilson was awarded the Canada Council Medal in 1961 and the Lorne Pierce Medal of the Royal Society of Canada in 1964. Her husband died in 1966, and she spent her later years in seclusion and ill-health.
Ethel Wilson died in Vancouver in 1980. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The Innocent Traveller takes place during the mid 1800's until the mid 1900's. We follow along the vibrant, happy-go-lucky Topaz Edgeworth, from when she's a curious young toddler sitting at the dinner table in Ware, England, until she's an old, fragile lady talking nonstop, living well beyond her years. We watch her grow up, losing her mother, losing siblings and other family, falling in and out of love, going to school, travelling across the Atlantic, arriving in Canada, and crossing Canada by train until she finally arrives in Vancouver at the turn of the century to live for the next few decades of her life. But her stories don't just stop there!
We also learn the most about Topaz as a person. We're exposed to her vibrant personality, her optimistic attitudes, and her originality that truly stood her apart from any other person during that time period.
Ethel Wilson quotes, "This is the story - part truth and part invention - of a lively woman who lived for a hundred years and died triumphant in Vancouver and is nearly forgotten after all her commotion of living".
One gem about this book is that Ethel Wilson based it on the life of her Aunt. And at times, I'm sure she's basing the story on her own experiences while travelling across Canada and living in Vancouver. Because of this, all the geographical settings described in The Innocent Traveller are fact. Stanley Park, Hastings Street, Joe Fortes, English Bay, the mountains, etc. I was instantly transported into the era when Vancouver was a young city. The story creates a living world so familiar, yet so different to me, but it's something thrilling that I couldn't get just by looking at old city photographs.
While reading this book, keep in mind that you are following a journey of a life. Don't expect the standard conflict, climax, conclusion plot. While I wouldn't recommend this book to just anybody, I think the people who would appreciate it the most would have to be patient enough to take the book as it is - the complete 100 year history of an amazing bubbly character we know as Topaz Edgeworth.