Writing in 1907

My grandma gave me the craziest most wonderful birthday gift ever. She gave me the originals of letters written by Nellie McClung and Lucy Maud Montgomery to my great great grandmother, written around 1910.

My great great grandma Florence Carmichael was an aspiring author and she wrote these ladies asking for advice on how to get published in a time when it was still difficult for women to write in the industry. Nellie McClung in particular wrote a rather firey letter back. She said:

“…I will always make time to help people who are trying to win the ear of the stony hearted publisher, for I have been all through it and it is purely a thorny path. Publishers, as a class, are absolutely lacking in literary taste. They have only one point of view and that is the financial.”


I don’t believe my great great grandma ever did get her book published (she did publish some poetry) but my grandma says she still has the original manuscript… all hand-written one-hundred years ago in pencil. It makes my eyes hurt just thinking about it, but I have to say, I can hardly wait to read it!


About cjgosling

I paint, I sing, I walk in the rain. I'm clumsy and I love the smell of campfire. My head is full of imaginary things and the only thing I ever really want to do in life is write. My first book "Shadowlands: The Guardian" was released in Feb. 2011. The sequel is coming in 2012! View all posts by cjgosling

5 responses to “Writing in 1907

  • Rusty B.

    The eternalness of manuscripts: you could still try and publish it. In fact, you could clean it up a bit and change a few things and publish it as a coauthored/derivative work. The great grandma's writing will be public domain by now. But your editing it and refreshing it would be copyrighted. I think someone tried doing that with some of Mark Twain's work.

  • Shannon

    Very cool! I have some of my grandmother's "love stories" she wrote years ago. I think from time to time of reading them through but they are in script and pencil so quite difficult. I think it's especially nice for you to have that connection with your ancestor and that you have the same passion! Must run in the jeans 🙂

  • CJ Gosling

    That's funny. Literally it runs in the Jeans. For five generations (Great great grandma, great grandma, grandma, mom and me!)our middle names have all been Jean!

  • Anonymous

    Well, you already know… But, AWESOME. Also, it's Laura. I don't know how to do these things…

  • Anonymous

    Your great great grandma was Janet Florence, but her sister was Jean, and then my Mom was named after her and so on.–from your grandma who now has computer and got internet today. Yahoo!

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