Intentions : «This study seeks, therefore, to fill in some of the historiographic gaps by examining, in particular, four key aspects of romance for these years: what average Canadians sought in a marriage partner; the specific rules they were expected to follow and in most cases did follow in their romantic quest; the many hardships they endured along the way; and how the defining event of that era – the Great War – affected such things.» (p. 9)
Questions/Hypothèses : «What role did the attributes promoted so forcefully by the elite play in the romantic preferences of young men and women seeking life-long partners in the first three decades of the twentieth century? And did these preferences, like the “official” ideals of masculinity and femininity, change over time and, if so, why?» (p. 8)
Échantillon/Matériau : L’auteur utilise des sources premières, particulièrement la section des lettres du public (‘correspondence columns’) de deux journaux d’époque, le Western Home Monthly et le Family Herald and Weekly Star de Montréal. Le corpus totalise environ 20 000 lettres.
Type de traitement des données : Analyse de contenu Réflexion critique
Chapters 1 and 2 provide «[…] an analysis of the qualities Canadians looked for in a partner. [S]elf-references to class and ethnic background are frequent enough to allow for some tentative observations in these chapters. One particular feature of the Family Herald suggested another focus, namely, the “dos” and “don’ts” of romance. The magazine also […] answered questions from young Canadians about the rules of romance. […] As far as the Family Herald’s loyal readers were concerned, her rules were the rules. Exactly what those rules were is the subject of chapter 3. Now whether Canadians actually followed these rules is another matter. Only by examining the realities of courtship […] can we know for sure, and the next chapter does this to a degree. But it does so indirectly, in response to the question, “what hardships did Canadians suffer in their quest for romance?” […] The final chapter looks at the impact of the Great War on Canadian romance. » (p. 12-13) Note: Ce livre donne un aperçu des idéaux des Canadiens concernant leur vie amoureuse et leur vie familiale, leur désir d’enfants, et leurs perceptions des relations familiales et conjugales. De nombreuses lettres proviennent du Québec.