Lily Dougall (1858-1923), novelist and religious writer, was born in Montreal but established her writing career in Britain, where her first novel "Beggars All" (1891) received critical and popular acclaim, as did "What Necessity Knows" (1893), one of four novels set in Canada. Her later religious writings explored the relationship between physical, psychological and spiritual health, and stressed Christianity's responsibility to take a stand on contemporary issues.
456 pages, Paperback ISBN: 9780919662391 $17.95 CA
About the Book
As a reflection on immigrant work in Canada, What Necessity Knows is a significant, intelligent work. The novel rose well above the average fictional fare of the day and recognized the seriousness of its author's project and is an important novel about women.
The questions of identity posed by Dougall's narrative are of greatest consequence for the two main female characters, Sissy/Eliza and Sophia. Though their backgrounds and experiences may differ, both women struggle with the problem of establishing and maintaining their personal integrity as individuals.