The 1767 decision to divide Prince Edward Island among elite British grantees shaped Island history for more than a century. Lady Landlords of Prince Edward Island examines this history through the lives of four women who, due to the vagaries of family formation and inheritance, became Island landlords. As absentee owners of large estates, each of the four women faced challenges from those who wanted land redistributed in freehold lots to actual settlers. Their individual management strategies were determined in part by class standing and marital status, as well as individual eccentricities and prejudices. Drawing on family and official papers, Rusty Bittermann and Margaret McCallum provide engaging portraits of these women - orphaned heiress, prudent wife and property manager, countess estranged from her husband, independent spinster - as they negotiated relations of power and privilege in a domain dominated by men. Lady Landlords of Prince Edward Island is a compelling narrative that provides a unique perspective on landed society in England in the age of industrialization and reform, making an important contribution to trans-Atlantic, British social, legal, and women's histories.
Andrew Potter is a visiting fellow at the Centre de Recherche en Ethique at the Universite de Montreal
Illustrations and Maps; Acknowledgments; Note on Names 1 Imperial Land Policy and Woman Landlords in Prince Edward Island; 2 Anne Saunders, Lady Melville: Managing at Home and Abroad; 3 Jane Saunders, Lady Westmorland: Perpetual Motion; 4 Georgiana Fane: Defending Position and Property; 5 Charlotte Sulivan: The Final Defence; 6 Differences That Matter Appendix: Proprietors Estates Purchased by the Prince Edward Island Government, 18751880 Notes; Bibliography; Index