Henrietta Muir Edwards' writing career began with her
magazine Working Women of Canada, Canada's first
magazine for working women. In addition, she compiled the
chapter "Professions and Careers," as well as writing an
essay entitled, "The Political Position of Canadian Women"
for the book Women of Canada: Their Life and Work,
which was published in 1901 by the National Council of Women
of Canada (NCWC). This book was the result of a Council
deputation requesting that the women of Canada be properly
represented at the Paris Exhibition. The Council was invited
to prepare a handbook that presented the history,
achievements, and position of Canadian women in society.
Despite her previous literary endeavours, Edwards is
perhaps known best for preparing two handbooks on legal
matters affecting women in Canada. The first, published in
1908 by the NCWC, was entitled Legal Status of Canadian
Women, and quoted actual excerpts from Dominion and
Provincial laws. This booklet provided Canadian women with
information on the laws that governed their lives, and
informed them of their legal position regarding a variety of
topics. For excerpts from the booklet, please explore the
quicklinks located at the side of the page.
Doubtless, this was a very useful resource for women,
because it provided a province-by-province breakdown of
women's rights, enabling a woman to see her status, and how
it compared to the status of women in other provinces.
Edwards' second legal handbook, Legal Status of Women
in Alberta, was published in 1917. The information it
contains is specific to Alberta, and is somewhat more
comprehensive than the information published in her previous
handbook. It is interesting to note that by 1917, certain
improvements had been made in legislation affecting women.
The handbook was republished in 1921.