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Unveiling the Forgotten Woman on the Criddle Homestead

Creative non-fiction
omesteading saga—1882 to 1903

cover from RayThe painter of the water-colour to the left was a talented young woman from Heidelberg engaged to a young English music student in 1863. His mother refused permission for them to marry as she could not support a family and he had no means to do so. He returned to England but visited Elise at Christmas and other occasions until 1866 when he stayed for an extended six-week holiday which resulted in a pregnancy. That Christmas her family expected him to do the ‘honourable thing’ and marry Elise. Germans required a groom to have parental permission, a profession or job, and a dwelling, none of which Percy had, so he promised to marry Elise in London. Although no marriage record has been located, they had five children by 1874 when he married Alice Nicol. Both women registered Percy Criddle as the father of sons the following spring. Using his wife Alice’s legacy, Percy decided to emigrate to Canada in 1882 to become a gentleman farmer. Following Elise’s agreement to go with him to help Mrs. Criddle with her four young children, Elise with teenager Minnie down to seven year old Cecil, became the Criddles’ servants. Original letters, diaries, documents, and research in Canada, Germany, and England are the foundation for this compelling, stranger than fiction tale.

The story begins as the three adults and nine children leave London.
To read click
Chapter 1

The Book’s  512 pages include:
Family photos
Illustrations, letters & original documents
Maps, bibliography & index in 3rd edition
Soft cover with 4 inch flaps
ISBN 978-1-896150-72-7

For Elise, $29.95, is available from Oriole in Winnipeg,
and brother, Roland Vane, Brandon, MB (see contact)

McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park, Winnipeg, MB.
         Will mail  Phone 204-475-0483 (toll-free 1-800-561-1833

Other Outlets in Manitoba

For Elise, unabridged audio book MP3 edition (2 discs) $20.00 (See contact)

For Elise unabridged audio book CD edition (16 discs) $65.00 (See Contact)

eBooks available to download – see details

For Elise, is also available through NNELS (National Network for Equitable library Services) for public library patrons with vision loss. See your local librarian about the download. If you know of someone with low vision please give them this information. webpage:

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