Catharine Parr Traill (Memoirist) – Bio, Birthday, Family, Age & Born
Catharine Parr Traill

Catharine Parr Traill was an English-Canadian author and naturalist who wrote about life in Canada, particularly what is now Ontario. In the 1830s Canada covered an area considerably smaller than today. At the time, most of Upper Canada had not been explored by European settlers. Throughout her long life, Traill wrote to generate income in support of her family. She wrote 24 books covering topics ranging from her life as a settler in Ontario, and natural history, especially botany. Traill is considered a pioneer of Canada’s natural history. Through her writing she related the colonial experience and described the natural environment of Upper Canada for English readers. Traill is considered an amateur botanist, because at the time, it was not possible for women to hold professional, paid positions. In 1912, Carrie Derick became Canada’s first woman science professor, in Botany and Genetics, at McGill University.

Born: January 9, 1802, Southwark, England
Died: August 29, 1899, Lakefield, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Author, naturalist
Genre: Children’s and Settler Literature

About Catharine Parr Traill

An English-Canadian author, she is best known for The Backwoods of Canada (1836), a memoir about her experiences as a settler in Canada. Her other works include Canadian Crusoes (1851) and Canadian Wildflowers (1865).

Before Fame

Early in her career, she wrote children’s stories. Her titles from this period include The Tell Tale (1818) and Disobedience (1819).


A naturalist as well as an author, she frequently wrote about the plants she encountered in Canada.

Family Life

She married Lieutenant Thomas Traill in 1832.


Her husband served in the Napoleonic Wars under the leadership of General Napoleon Bonaparte.

Information related to Catharine Parr Traill

  • Women naturalists
  • 19th-century Canadian novelists
  • Canadian travel writers
  • Canadian botanists
  • English emigrants to pre-Confederation Ontario
  • Canadian women scientists
  • Women travel writers
  • Canadian memoirists
  • 19th-century women scientists
  • Immigrants to Upper Canada
  • Canadian children’s writers
  • Women botanists
  • English travel writers
  • Women of the Victorian era
  • English children’s writers
  • Canadian women novelists

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