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Broken Barrier

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Book Details

Title:Broken Barrier
Mowat, Grace Helen   
(1 of 2 for author by title)
The Diverting History of a Loyalist Town
Published:   1951
Publisher:University Press of New Brunswick
Tags:Canada, Canadiana, fiction, New Brunswick, romance

Broken Barrier is a taut love story portraying two bookish people thrown together in the mid-twentieth century on Staten Island, New York. Lydia Allen, descendant of Loyalist refugees who left America in 1783 at the end of the American Revolution, struggles to preserve the rural lifestyle and handsome estate that her ancestors built in eighteenth-century New Brunswick. She goes to work for a rich young American as a housekeeper in order to make money to save her estate. [Suggest a different description.]

Pages:183 Info

Author Bio for Mowat, Grace Helen

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Grace Helen Mowat (1875-1964) was born just outside St. Andrews Parish at Beech Hill Farm, a plot purchased by the Loyalist Mowat family upon their arrival from Penobscot, Maine in the late eighteenth century. Rarely addressed as "Grace" and instead known as "Nell" or "Nellie" to close friends, young Helen spent a great deal of time around her older relatives; reading old family letters provided information and the Mowat and Campbell legacy and gave her a taste for narrative. Following her education at Charlotte County Grammar School, she studied at Richmond School of Art and Music in London, England (1893-94). The experience led to Helen's first publication when her impressions of England appeared in the ST. ANDREWS BEACON. After completing her studies at the Women's Art School of Cooper (Cooper's) Union in New York City (1899), she briefly taught at St. Catherine's Hall in Augusta Maine, followed by four years of teaching art at the Halifax Ladies' College (1902-1906). Following a nervous breakdown in 1907, Helen returned home to St. Andrews. Although she had spent many years in cosmopolitan cities, she found a renewed interest in the conservative farm-life she had known as a child. Investing much of her time in the traditional crafts of local farm women, she founded, organized, and directed Charlotte County Cottage Craft from 1914 to 1945, successfully developing pottery and weaving into major local industries. With her help, New Brunswick's artisans showed their work at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition in Wembley, England. As founder of St. Andrews Music, Art, and Drama Society (MAD), Helen provided an opportunity to exhibit art, perform concerts, and produce plays. In addition to designing Christmas cards, she also directed her attention towards local history. Her writing tended to be light-hearted and personal, such as the verse in FUNNY FABLES OF FUNDY (1928), and local history as in THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF A LOYALIST TOWN (1932). Author of plays like "The Perfect Actor" and "The Unguarded Border," Helen's efforts in local theatre flourished in the 1920s-30s as her pageants became popular attractions for summer visitors. Through her many endeavours she met poet Bliss Carman and in 1951 was recognized with an honorary LLD from the University of New Brunswick. Upon her death in 1964, Helen was buried at her family's plot at St. Andrews Rural Cemetery, where a headstone commemorates her the "Founder of Charlotte County Cottage Craft."--digital.lib.sfu.ca.

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