The House of All Sorts

The House of All Sorts Emily Carr was primarily a painter but she first gained recognition as an author for her seven books about her journeys to remote Native communities and stories about life as an artist as a small ch

  • Title: The House of All Sorts
  • Author: Emily Carr Susan Musgrave
  • ISBN: 9781553650546
  • Page: 223
  • Format: Paperback
  • Emily Carr was primarily a painter, but she first gained recognition as an author for her seven books about her journeys to remote Native communities and stories about life as an artist, as a small child in Victoria at the turn of the last century and as a reluctant landlady.Before winning recognition for her painting and writing, Carr built a small apartment building withEmily Carr was primarily a painter, but she first gained recognition as an author for her seven books about her journeys to remote Native communities and stories about life as an artist, as a small child in Victoria at the turn of the last century and as a reluctant landlady.Before winning recognition for her painting and writing, Carr built a small apartment building with four suites she lived in one of them that she hoped would earn her a living But things turned out worse than expected, and in her forties, the gifted artist found herself shoveling coal and cleaning up after people for 23 years.The House of All Sorts is a collection of 41 stories of those hard working days and the parade of tenants young couples, widows, sad bachelors and rent evaders all the tears and travails of being a landlady confronted with the startling foibles of humanity Carr is at her most acerbic and rueful, but filled with energy and inextinguishable hope.Carr s writing is vital and direct, aware and poignant, and as well regarded today as when The House of All Sorts was first published in 1944 to critical and popular acclaim The book has been in print ever since.

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    1 thought on “The House of All Sorts”

    1. Emily Carr’s passion was painting, but she struggled throughout her life to support herself so she could either be at her easel or before her sketch pad. She wrote and at one point ventured into the world of what she called “landladying”. She had a small apartment house built with four suites, three she could rent out and one she would live in. It also included a studio where she could paint or draw. Carr found herself dealing with a variety of tenants, the unpleasant ones far outnumbering [...]

    2. I wasn't familiar with Emily Carr before reading this book. Although I enjoyed the book - and the diverse and truly interesting (all sorts) of people in it - I wish I'd looked her up first. I think I'd have appreciated it a little more.

    3. I wasn't sure what to expect from this memoir. Emily Carr is one of Canada's most beloved painters and I was hoping to get a glimpse into her life. Emily's voice is clever, concise, and warm-hearted with a touch of cynical humour. Overall the book is well-written, however, the content isn't very interesting; she hardly mentions her artwork because she is too busy being a landlady and doing chores like cleaning, gardening, shoveling coals, rearranging furniture, evicting tenants, etc. This book i [...]

    4. Darker than The Book of Small (my favorite), The House of All Sorts is still a rewarding read. In the first half of the book, Emily describes the trials of being a landlady. Parts were hard to empathize with (the way she allows tenants to walk all over her, kills stray cats, beats a dog) and I deducted a star for the story leaving me feel rather depressed. But, those were the times, and this was her life during an unhappy period, all described in her brilliantly straightforward, observant, no-fl [...]

    5. Emily Carr tells it like it waswarts and all! She writes about being a landlady and the different tenants that she had through the years. It was not always a happy time. Much of it was very dissatisfying, but this made for very interesting stories and thoughts about people. You really get to know Emily Carr as a person. She shares her very personal thoughts in this biography.

    6. This is a charming little memoir/short stories -- I find it hard to believe all that is told here happened just as described -- reminiscent a bit of Frank O'Conner's tales I read a couple of years ago, though dealing with a different stages Carr's life. Very tight and exact writing and a nice glimpse of life in Victoria, BC now almost exactly a century ago.

    7. My previous awareness of this significant Canadian cultural figure was pretty minimal, and I would be interested to see what perspective reading the works for which she is better known, or more exposure to her paintings might give to this book about her time as the owner and manager of an apartment house. "Her time as" because it is not only about the experience of getting it built, the trials and tribulations of being a landlady but also about the Old English Sheepdogs she was breeding there at [...]

    8. This book raised novelistic appetites in me which it could not satisfy. The beginning chapters give the impression of a great wild life full of incident, all of which will be overlapping and crossing over as we follow our central character, Emily herself. Once we get down to it though, each chapter reflects a particular isolated incident and then moves on. And further, most of these episodes are more gossipy than really interesting. That was disappointing - hence 4 stars and not 5.However, there [...]

    9. An interesting look at a dark period in the life of Emily Carr. In 1913, on her return to Victoria from Vancouver where she had been teaching art, she builds a house on land, inherited from her father. Her intent was to rent out the lower portion of the house and pursue her art in an upstairs studio. Before her house is finished the poor economy intervenes and Emily is forced to take in more renters than she had intended and to give up a portion of her own quarters. She becomes a slave to the ho [...]

    10. Emily Carr seems to have liked animals much more than people, and this book is about how horrible people are and how wonderful dogs are. I first bought this book years ago because I enjoyed reading Klee Wyck for a class, and I probably would have liked this more had I read it back then. But I lean more toward compassion and understanding than I used to, so it was difficult to enjoy this.However, her style of writing can be quite refreshing, and there were a couple of memorable passages:"Poetical [...]

    11. It's difficult for me to review this book On one hand, Carr is a masterful stylist of the English language, who writes extremely poetically. Her book was a quick read and the anecdotes about "landladying" in the early 20th century were engaging, visceral and often quite poignant. On the other hand, I had a very difficult time relating to her, especially in the final third of the book, which is entirely consumed with describing her love of bobtail sheepdogs. I found it endlessly frustrating that [...]

    12. In House of All Sorts, Emily Carr, Canadian artist, tells of her time while she was a landlady in Victoria, British Columbia. She thought she would be able to earn money and paint as well. Instead for 22 years, she was busy taking care of the tenants' many complaints. It has been said that there were those in Victoria that did not like Emily. They considered her rude. Reading this book, I can see why some would've thought so for in order to be a landlady she developed a tough exterior. She also [...]

    13. Emily Carr as a single adult built a house with a studio and attic for herself and four apartments to provide rental income while she painted. The first half of the book is filled with humorous stories of lessons learned about people as tenants, a worthwhile read for anyone in the hospitality or rental business. The second half is comprised of stories of her breeding and raising bob tailed sheep dogs. Some of the most touching stories and experiences she had raising and finding homes for these l [...]

    14. This book is an interesting follow up to the reading of "The Elegance of the Hedgehog." It is a recounting of her life when she turned her little house into a boarding house. She rented rooms and the book recounts her experiences with her interesting tenants.She also breeds and loves her Old English Sheepdogs. I loved this part of the book. Her dogs were lovable and really filled out her life.She wanted to paint and part of the house was to be her studio but things didn't work out the way she wa [...]

    15. Emily Carr went onto become a renowned painter in British Columbia, but this book was written in the 40's before her fame. It's vignettes about the people who lived in her boarding house while she was trying to make ends meet with her painting. All the chapters are about 2 pages long so it's a great book to read in bed if you're too tired to read too much but you need to read something. Ms Carr is rather sharp and forthright about how she feels about her tenants (she's a reluctant landlord at be [...]

    16. Always appreciated E.C's paintings but this was my first adventure into her writing and I enjoyed it. I loved some of the words she chose to use in this book ( i.e. "crestfallen")They might be words of the times or maybe not. Her writing is straight up, hit up with either a cold ice cube of truth or warmed by her caring and wise nature. One of my fave bits in this book is Carr's description of an xmas dinner party that she co-hosts with one of her tenants in the apartment building she owns. Her [...]

    17. I think this was the first book that made me want to write. This book chronicles Emily's sad, withdrawn life as a boarding house maid in Victoria. The abuse and use she saw at the hands of her tenants, her mischeiviousness to subvert their gaze, and the passion for her art that went on in her attic room. It's amazing how she balances the narrative of her own yearning with the humor of her circumstances in this short book.

    18. I read this book 20 years ago and I still think of these touching and entertaining stories often. Carr was not only an accomplished artist but also an excellent writer whose eccentric personality adds to the quality of the stories she tells. Anyone who has ever been a landlord can certainly relate to many of the adventrues she has in this role.

    19. Read this in preparation for a trip to Vancouver and Victoria where I plan to see lots of Emily Carr's art. Wanted to get a sense of her as a person and I think this did it for me. Quite a character she was! I liked her writing style and clear way of expressing herself. While she was not the most compassionate it some situations, I got it that she was challenged by being a landlord.

    20. Small obsessions are such a delight. Emily Carr is my latest, and she overwhelms me with hersimplicity of vision. To be able to paint as profoundly as she did is one thing, but to be able towrite brilliantly as well? Words, images - she is a master of both.

    21. I find Emily Carr's life fascinating and her writing is very accessible - though I think I prefer her previous book which focused exclusively on her bobtails.

    22. An unexpected surprise of details. Emily Carr writes the way she paints utilizing clarity, brevity and colour. Her personal approach to word-use adds a unique sense of underlying humour.

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