Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Dear Lila

Finished February 5
Dear Lila: life on an Alberta Farm in 1925 As Recorded in Letters Saved by Lila Blackburn compiled by Robert H. Blackburn

This book came my way from my mother-in-law, who lent it to me after the recent death of my father-in-law. He was born in Alberta, as was I, and therefore the shared interest.
Robert Blackburn not only compiled these letters, but also added some helpful annotations, an introduction, and a postscript. These gave helpful background information on his family, the life Lila led before these letters, and her life after.
The letters range from January 1925 to March 1926 and were sent to Lila when she went to California for a health break. She was delicate in health most of her life and died at the young age of 47. Most of the letters are from her brother John, Robert's father, and tell a good story of life in rural Alberta during this time. He lived on a farm near Lavoy, and Lila's father lived in Tofield. Besides the letters from John, other letters are from her father, uncle and aunts. There are also notes, often attached to John's letters from her sister-in-law Palma. John has a good writing voice, with touches of humour and good description. This is a very enjoyable collection, nicely put together. [Excuse the photo's blurriness as I had to take my own]


  1. I didn't know you were Alberta born! I was born in Saskatchewan myself :) This book does sound interesting; I find you can get the clearest picture of ordinary, daily life from contemporary letters. One reason I enjoy them so much!

  2. Yes Melwyk, I was born in Red Deer (although I have no memories of it!) I lived most of my life in Alberta until library school, but have been in Ontario ever since.