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A Woman’s Place: Seventy Years in the Lives of Canadian Women

by Sylvia Fraser

Chatelaine’s herstory
To celebrate Chatelaine’s 70th anniversary, Sylvia Fraser has compiled excerpts from past issues of the magazine as a time capsule of how Canadian women have and haven’t changed. A Woman’s Place: Seventy Years in the Lives of Canadian Women is divided into topics that have been female turf for centuries: food and entertainment, parenting, “Her Home-Her Castle,” and mating rituals. The practicalities have changed (we no longer pack trousseaus or prep for the debutante season) but the tireless search for womanly perfection hasn’t. It’s interesting to read bygone arguments about standing by your man in sickness and in boredom (“Marriage Is My Career,” 1941). But what would have made this recap better would have been to leave the original layouts intact; in essence, keep in the best thrills of reading women’s thoughts of another era – the typeset fads, the wonky designs, the telling advertisements. Instead, A Woman’s Place is stripped to a generic design, draining away the retro fun this book simply begs for.