Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. Lorraine York
This investigation explores the mythification of Laura Secord based on an interdisplinary fusing of Victor Turner's ritual anthropology with literary approaches emphasizing semiotic responses to art. The theoretical framework is explored by an analysis of the artistic works signaling the myth's developmental phases: Sarah Anne Curzon' s Laura Secord: The Heroine of 1812 (1887), Lereine Ballantyne's Heroes of History (192?), Alexander Maitland Stephen's Laura Secord (1929), Merrill Denison's Laura Secord (1931), and other minor works. In addition, Frank P. O'Connor's appropriation of Laura Secord for his Candy Company is considered. The study's central premise, posed in the preface and introduction, is that the various portrayals of Laura Secord form a mythic tradition which functions as a reflector of communal interests and concerns. Chapter One provides an historic and artistic overview of this premise, narrative's rite de passage toward public recognition. Chapters Two, Three and Four continue this exploration in relation to specific works and demonstrate that society's active participation in the myth-making process reflects its own communal development. The interdisciplinary framework investigated here contributes to an understanding of myth as an indicator of social, cultural and political change, as well as communally empowering.
Boyko-Head, Christine Ann, "The Myth of Laura Secord in Nineteenth-Century Artistic (Re)presentations to Twentieth-Century Popular Culture" (1994). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2285.