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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist Speaker Advocate

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history

Underrepresentation of Women in History Archives

I’ve been thinking about how as a writer, I am responsible for laying down a representation of women that reflects our reality. Many scholars recognize that, in historical archives, there is a limited representation of women on the American Frontier and in early Canada. It’s a commonly held view now that the Continue reading “Underrepresentation of Women in History Archives”

Pioneer Women and the Importance of Their Work

I often contemplate the lives of women who lived in the past. Since girlhood, I’ve always been drawn to stories of yesteryear and so it seems fitting that in the novel I’m currently writing, I inhabit the lives of fictional women characters from the 1800s. To accurately reflect their daily existence through story telling, I comb through historical texts to develop an understanding of women’s lot in life—joys and sorrows, the restrictions they navigated, and in the absence of today’s technology, the never-ending day-to-day work of caring for a home and family. Continue reading “Pioneer Women and the Importance of Their Work”

Tintype Photography with Stephen Brûlé

Stephen Brûlé is a photographic artist specializing in tintype photography. I had the privilege of interviewing him recently after we crossed paths at an event in Toronto. His display of antique camera equipment caught my attention immediately. There’s a story here, I thought, with details that will find their way into my writing. This podcast episode is the product of our conversation about photography, creativity, and olden times.

Please enjoy this Wellspring Podcast of Tintype Photography with Stephen Brûlé.

Continue reading “Tintype Photography with Stephen Brûlé”

Early 1900’s Garden Photographs

(A Four Photo Series)

Photo 1: In garden of 54 Main St. (James Ballantyne’s house) looking toward the house with Lizzie Graham in distance; July 24, 1900; Photo credit: James Ballantyne/Library and Archives Canada / Photo 2: Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Mammel with their children in the family’s vegetable garden, Hanna, Alberta; 1928; Library and Archives Canada / Photo 3: Gardening; location and year unknown; Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada / Photo 4: Students standing beside a garden, All Saints Indian Residential School (also known as Anglican Mission School), Lac La Ronge, Saskatchewan, unknown date; Geological Survey of Canada collection / Library and Archives Canada

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Part 2: The War of 1812 with Historical Author, Tom Taylor and Lynde House Museum Curator, Monica Effenberger

Welcome to part two of a special episode of The Wellspring Podcast recorded at Lynde House Museum in Whitby, Ontario where I was joined by Tom Taylor, historical fiction author and War of 1812 aficionado and museum curator, Monica Effenberger.

Lynde House Museum is the perfect backdrop to our discussion of the War of 1812. As we heard from Tom and Monica in part one, the Lynde family often hosted General Isaac Brock and played an important role in the War of 1812. Today’s discussion takes us deeper in to the legend of this hero of history, General Isaac Brock.

Please enjoy this Wellspring Podcast episode of Part 2: The War of 1812 with Historical Author Tom Taylor & Lynde House Museum Curator, Monica Effenberger.

[Continue below to The Wellspring Podcast transcript.]

Continue reading “Part 2: The War of 1812 with Historical Author, Tom Taylor and Lynde House Museum Curator, Monica Effenberger”

Part 1: The War of 1812 with Historical Author Tom Taylor & Lynde House Museum Curator, Monica Effenberger

One of the great aspects of collecting inspiration for my writing, is the opportunity to interview historical experts for The Wellspring Podcast. Recently, I had the pleasure of discussing the War of 1812 and General Isaac Brock with historical author, Tom Taylor and museum curator, Monica Effenberger. It was a delightful conversation, at Lynde House Museum,  packed with historical insights and delectable anecdotes. Enjoy!

Please enjoy this Wellspring Podcast episode of Part 1: The War of 1812 with Historical Author Tom Taylor & Lynde House Museum Curator, Monica Effenberger.

[Continue below to The Wellspring Podcast transcript.]

Continue reading “Part 1: The War of 1812 with Historical Author Tom Taylor & Lynde House Museum Curator, Monica Effenberger”

Julie Oakes: Historical Culinary Expert–Part 1

Julie Oakes set out on her path to historical culinary expertise as a costumed interpreter at the Pickering Museum Village. She eventually embarked on public speaking engagements about era fashion, Victorian funeral customs, and the rise of the women’s movement. Today, Julie also acts in and directs living history events and plays at the museum. I’ve attended the Rebellion of 1837 Spirit Walk, a living history performance guided and narrated by Julie, in character as a temperance movement leader.

Continue reading “Julie Oakes: Historical Culinary Expert–Part 1”

John Wesley and the Methodist Movement

Most of my Irish ancestors indicated Methodist on the census forms of the early to mid 1800`s. This roused my curiosity since I knew nothing of Methodism or its founder. What I discovered is fueling ideas for a character in my new novel!

Had you been strolling a country road, in the early 1740s, near Bristol or London you may have observed John Wesley approaching on horseback. He’d have been oblivious to your presence with his face pressed close to his bible and reins laying slack across the horse’s neck. It may have been difficult to see in him, as the man who’d withstand persecution by the Church of England, argue passionately for prison reform, or urge William Wilberforce to continue in his struggle to end slavery. But he did these things and more.

(Please enjoy this Wellspring Podcast of John Wesley and the Methodist Movement.) Continue reading “John Wesley and the Methodist Movement”

Curating Wonder–Fall Fair

Photo 1: Lakelse Valley exhibit during Fall Fair [Prince Rupert, B.C.], 1915 (photo source: Jack R. Wrathall / Library and Archives Canada) / Photo 2: H.K. Dunyes’ Ayrshires at the fair, 1913 (photo source: William James Topley/Library and Archives Canada) / Photo 3: Opening of the agricultural Fair, Brantford, Ont., 1904 (photo source: Library and Archives Canada)

“I wonder …”

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