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Children in English-Canadian Society

Framing the Twentieth-Century Consensus

Neil Sutherland and Cynthia Comacchio

Studies in Childhood and Family in Canada Series

Paper 360 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-88920-351-8

Release Date: July 2000

Online discount: 25%

$42.99  $32.24


“So often a long-awaited book is disappointing. Happily such is not the case with Sutherland’s masterpiece.” Robert M. Stamp, University of Calgary, in The Canadian Historical Review

“Sutherland’s work is destined to be a landmark in Canadian history, both as a first in its particular field and as a standard reference text.” J. Stewart Hardy, University of Alberta, in Alberta Journal of Educational Research

Such were the reviewers’ comments when Neil Sutherland’s groundbreaking book was first published. Now reissued in Wilfrid Laurier University Press’s new series “Studies in Childhood and Family in Canada,” with a new introduction by series editor Cynthia Comacchio, this book remains relevant today. In the late nineteenth century a new generation of reformers committed itself to a program of social improvement based on the more effective upbringing of all children. In Children in English-Canadian Society, Neil Sutherland examines, with a keen eye, the growth of the public health movement and its various efforts at improving the health of children.

Neil Sutherland is Professor Emeritus of the University of British Columbia’s Department of Educational Studies, where he served for 37 years. He was the principal investigator of the Canadian Childhood History Project located at UBC, and has published articles, reviews and a number of books, most recently Growing Up: Childhood in English Canada from the Great War to the Age of Television.

Cynthia Comacchio is a professor in the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario. Her previous publications include Nations Are Built of Babies: Saving Ontarios Mothers and Children, 1900 to 1940 and The Infinite Bonds of Family: Domesticity in Canada, 1850 to 1940. With Elizabeth Jane Errington, she edited People, Places and Times: Topics in Canadian Social History, vol. 1: Pre-Confederation and vol. 2: Post-Confederation.


“Sutherland has undertaken an ambitious project, and from this reviewers perspective, he has been successful in achieving his goal. He has been able to pull together three different reform movements that focused their attention on the reordering of family life. He is adept in his use of examples, be it a disease such as diphtheria, a school such as the Albert Kelso, or cities such as Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto, or Vancouver. It should also be pointed out that Sutherland places the Canadian scene in an international perspective, something that is often lacking in American educational studies.”

— Harvey G. Neufeldt, Educational Studies

“Dr. Sutherland vividly conveys the impact of an amazing variety of reforms through a judicious use of case studies and representative illustrations. This pioneering study of attitudes and policies towards children is primarily concerned with the agencies that were created and revised to reflect the attitudes of reformers. Commendably, the author escapes the dryness and tedium that so often characterizes institutional studies.”

— Judith Fingard, BC Historical News