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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Book-Tom Brown's Schooldays
Identifier: 2003.2.177
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1917
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A book entitled “Tom Brown's Schooldays” by Thomas Hughes. It is bound in red cloth with the title of the book impressed on the cover but no longer legible. The spine has the title and the author in gold writing. The book has the inscription on the flyleaf to 'Geoffrey from Aunt Ede Xmas/17'. Opposite the title page is a picture of a boy kneeling by his bed praying with other boys of the dormitory washing and preparing for bedtime. The inscription beneath reads: 'In the face of the whole room Tom knelt to pray.' The book was published by T. Nelson and Sons, which is surrounded by a floral border in black and white. A contents page, with nine chapters identified, precedes the start of the story on page one. The book has three-hundred and thirty-five pages with an extra six pages denoting other classics by the same publisher. The last page has a picture of an old house with Thomas Nelson continued and the words 'Established 1798'. Above and below is 'T. Nelson & Sons, Ltd. Printers and Publishers'. History: Edith Draper gave this book to Geoffrey as a Christmas gift in 1917. Edith Augusta Draper (ca. 1859-1941) was related to the Harris family through Annie Harris’s (1882-1986) marriage to her nephew, Beverly Draper Sayers (1883-1976). Edith Augusta Draper (c. 1859- 1941), the granddaughter of Chief Justice William Henry Draper (1801-1877), had an illustrious career as a nurse and missionary. After attending nursing school at the Bellevue Hospital, New York, and working at the Illinois Training School for Nurses, she trained nurses for the Cook County and Presbyterian Hospitals in Chicago in the early 1890s. By 1893, Edith moved to Montreal to become the first Lady Superintendent of Nurses appointed to the Royal Victoria Hospital until 1896. As the first head nurse at the newly opened Royal Victoria Hospital, Edith immediately started hiring nursing staff and worked on developing a training program for nurses. Three hundred and fifty applications were submitted to take part in this training program, and only twenty-six were accepted as pupil nurses in that first year. High demands from the hospital board to economize and pressures on the staff caused Edith to hand in her resignation in December 1896. Edith was remembered at the Royal Victoria as an efficient organizer, strict disciplinarian, just and firm. After leaving Montreal, Edith considered retiring but soon found herself in Sydney, Nova Scotia as the Superintendent of the Brooklands Hospital built by the Dominion Steel and Coal Company. With a strong missionary spirit, Edith faced many similar and new problems trying to establish a nursing service in a mining community. Soon afterwards, she travelled overseas in Italy with Swedish psychiatrist and ornithologist, Dr. Axel Munthe (1857-1949). Munthe was one of Europe's most renowned doctors and wrote a bestseller in 1929 _The Story of San Michele_. She remained in Italy for five years nursing. Munthe's retreat on Capri Island is now a nature reserve and museum off the Amalfi Coast.Edith retired from nursing in 1910. She returned to Canada and settled in Erindale. Edith lived in a house originally built for Henry Skynner, the son of Commander Skynner of the Anchorage (now a part of the Museums of Mississauga) located near Dundas Street and close to Erindale Estate. It is assumed that Edith moved to Erindale to be close to her sister Katherine Sayers and her family, the mother of Beverly and Egerton Sayers (1890-1919). Edith lived in Erindale until her death in 1941. For information on Edith Draper, see: Sclater Lewis 'Royal Victoria Hospital 1887-1947 (Montreal: McGill, 1969); Vern L. Bullough, Olga Maranjian Church, and Alice P. Stein “American Nursing: A Biographical Dictionary” (New York: Garland Publishing, 1988), 97; Neville Terry “The Royal Vic: the story of Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital, 1894-1994” (Montreal: McGill, 1994), 148-153.
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