Sydell Waxman's eclectic career has encompassed work as an historical researcher, school librarian, museum lecturer, entrepreneur and writer. Her first book Changing the Pattern: The Story of Emily Stowe the biography of Canadaâ€™s first female physician Emily Stowe, was selected for the Our Choice seal from the CCBC and won the Toronto Heritage Award in 1998.
Changing the Pattern
When Emily Stowe was born in Ontario in 1831, every girlâ€™s life followed a set pattern. Regardless of her personality, intelligence, capabilities or creativity, her future was limited to housework and childcare. Emily Stowe was determined to change that pattern. Sydell Waxman, a writer, researcher and lecturer on women of the 1800s, tells of the events in the life of the young Emily Stowe which caused her to become, not only the first woman school principal and the first woman to practise medicine in Canada, but a pioneer in the fight for womenâ€™s rights. With the help of original sketches and archival material, Changing the Pattern also creates a vivid picture of Canada in the late 1800s as it follows Emilyâ€™s crusade to create new patterns for girlsâ€™ lives.