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Title: Mazo de la Roche Diary (1938-1945)

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Description: A green leather bound diary with gold trim. The diary has a brass lock, which no longer works and is missing the key. The pages are edged in gilt. The inside cover has green, red, and blue pastel coloured marble paper. Along the bottom of the cover reads: J.C.VICKERY. REGENT ST.W. The diary has the day in black print across the top of each page, and Mazo wrote the years down the page, indicating what she did on that day, that year. The diary begins 1 January 1938, and ends 4 May 1945. Between January 1 and May 4, the years are listed as 1938 down to 1945. From May 5 to December 31, only 1938-1944 is recorded. Not every day has an entry for a certain year. The content consists of everyday occurrences, and includes thoughts, questions, and mentions some of her writings and people she interacted with in her travels. There are 377 pages in the diary. There are random pieces of paper inserted in page areas, including blotting paper, ad cards, and blank papers.

History:Mazo de la Roche is an important Canadian literary figure who still draws attention from scholars as well as enthusiasts of her novels. Her award winning 1927 novel, Jalna, helped to launch her career both nationally and internationally. Jalna is important to Mississauga and Benares Historic House, as this book was written while she lived at 'Trail Cottage' in Clarkson, which was located on land formerly belonging to the Harris' of Benares. It is believed that the novel is based in part on Benares and the Harris' themselves. As one of the best selling Canadian writers of all time, Mazo's 16-part series, 'Whiteoaks of Jalna', sold in the millions world-wide, and were turned into movies and theatre plays, as well as television series in both French and English.

This diary is a significant donation for the Museums of Mississauga. Mazo de la Roche left instructions that all of her diaries should be destroyed upon her death, and it has been assumed that his had happened. In fact, the donor of this diary, Mazo's daughter-in-law Bianca de la Roche, retained two diaries in her possession: this 1938-1945 diary, as well as a 1959 diary, recently donated to the museum (2005.6.1). We have been very fortunate to receive the diary, as nearly all of Mazo's papers have previously been donated to the Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto. A formal announcement about the diary was made at Benares' 10th anniversary in June, 2005.
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