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Frances Rooney (CA)

Working the Rock

Working the Rock

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Between 1892 and 1930, American photographer Edith S. Watson made repeated trips to outport Newfoundland and coastal Labrador, getting to know the rugged land and its extraordinary people. Along the way, she explored, recorded, and compiled a treasury of captivating, dignified images of life at the turn of the century.   Honest depictions of ordinary women are almost invisible in photographs of the early 20th century. Not in Watson’s work. She shows women and girls kneeling to draw water from wells, carrying loads of hay or spruce boughs wrapped in blankets, bending over fish on flakes. In doing so, she has left a rich collection of images seen nowhere else.

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Boulder Books


Frances Rooney’s books include Working Light: The Wandering Life of Photographer Edith S. Watson, Our Lives (finalist for the Lambda Award), and two books for the Women’s Hall of Fame Series—Extraordinary Women Explorers and Exceptional Women Environmentalists. She lives in Toronto.

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