The Book End


Volume 11
by Valerie Knowles

"This follow-up to Valerie Knowles' first edition of Capital Lives is a welcome addition to the growing literature concerning Ottawa's more interesting inhabitants. Its short, lively sketches feature well-known early settlers, such as Braddish Billings (1783-1864), to more modern, but little-known personalities like Isabel Percival (1903-1998), an astute businesswoman who devoted considerable time and effort to a number of worthy local causes. Along the way, Knowles introduces a fascinating cast of characters with a deft touch that will leave readers looking forward to a third volume."

Dave Mullington, author of: Charlotte: The Last Suffragette,
a biography of former Ottawa mayor Charlotte Whitton

"Valerie Knowles' collection of heroes in local history is successful for its brief, sparkling trips into the lives of a host of engaging Ottawa characters, as well as a journey, through their eyes, into one of those quirky places that are at the same time cities and capitals.

"It is a book to delight a reader anywhere who finds human animals the natural quarry of the historian, as well as a reader who ponders the places shaped by them."

John Tavlor, Prof. Emeritus, History, Carleton University,
author of: Ottawa: An Illustrated History

"Three cheers and a tiger to Valerie Knowles for the marvelous array of former Ottawa citizens she has brilliantly unveiled to us in these snapshot vignettes of their lives."

Grete Hale, CM, llD, GCl], FCGS, FRHSC
Chair Emeritus, Morrison lamothe Ine.


Valerie Jean Knowles

Address: 554 Piccadilly Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 0J1

Telephone Number: 613-722-4473


Place of Birth: Montreal, Quebec

Citizenship: Canadian

Education: Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. B.A. (Honours History)

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. M.A. (History)

Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario. B.J.

Published Books:

Four trade books published by Dundurn Press, Toronto. They are: First Person: A Biography of Cairine Wilson, Canada’s First Woman Senator (1988); Strangers At Our Gates (1992, 1997 and 2006); From Telegrapher to Titan: The Life of William C. Van Horne (2004), the winner of three awards; William C. Van Horne: Railway Titan (2010).

Commissioned histories of the Ottawa Civic Hospital School of Nursing, the Riverside Hospital, the Community Foundation of Ottawa, the Zonta Club of Ottawa, and the Andrew Fleck Child Care Services. Have also written a history of Canadian immigration and immigration policy for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Self-Published Books: Capital Lives: Profiles of 32 Leading Ottawa Personalities, volumes one and two.

Chapters in Books: A Common Thread: A History of the Jews of Ottawa ( Ottawa: The Ottawa Jewish Historical Society, 2009); Leaving Home (Bremen: Edition Temmen, 2009); and The Canadian Family Tree (Ottawa: Multiculturalism Directorate of the Department of the Secretary of State, 1979).

Articles: Have published countless articles in Ottawa newspapers, The Globe and Mail, and assorted Canadian magazines.

Research and Editing Assignments: These have included a biographical account of Dr. James Christie, written for the National Capital Commission; the preparation of background material for an immigration symposium held by the Canadian Immigration Historical Society; the researching and writing of articles for the Department of Employment and Immigration Canada; and the preparation of background material for an international penological congress.

Employment History: Have taught history at Prince of Wales College (now part of the University of Prince Edward Island; Elmwood School, Rockcliffe Park, Ontario; and Carleton University, Ottawa. Have also worked as an archivist for the Public Archives of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada).


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