Donna McDonald is a writer and arts administrator who lives in London but works throughout Britain. She is the author of Illustrated News: The Canadian Pictures of Juliana Horatia Ewing (Dundurn 1985) and The Odyssey of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble (Editions Bim, 1986). She is married to a fellow Canadian, writer Robert McDonald.
In June 1867, Juliana Gatty (a popular Victorian children’s author) married Alexander Ewing, an officer in the Commisariat Department of the army. A few days later, they sailed for Canada, finally arriving in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where Captain Ewing was responsible for provisioning the first battalion of the 22nd (Chershire) Regiment stationed there. Juliana Ewing wrote lively letters home, telling her family about life in the provincial capital and recounting her trials as she learned to manage a house for the first time. In addition, she kept a diary and a commonplace book and made numerous sketches of Fredericton and its environs. Some of these drawings were worked up into watercolours which were sent to her parents and her many brothers and sisters as Christmas and birthday presents. This book vividly demonstrates the range and quality of Mrs. Ewing’s artistic gifts. The accompanying text recounts her life before and after her two and a half year stay in Fredericton but deals primarily with her experience in New Brunswick.