Ann Birch has worked for a decade in Toronto's finest old houses as an historical interpreter. These places have given her a wide knowledge of nineteenth century domestic, social and political life. She can tell you why table knives had rounded edges, why candles had to be stored in metal safes at night and why even the best people seldom bathed. Ann is a member of several historical societies. What she enjoys most is research into the journals and letters of early immigrants to Upper Canada. Drawing on the knowledge acquired in archives and books, she gives frequent lectures on historical people. Ann is also an award-winning educator. She was Head of English at several Toronto high schools and an associate professor in the teacher-training programs at York University and the University of Toronto. Ann holds a post-graduate degree in Canadian literature and writes essays and reviews for magazines and newspapers. She also teaches writing and does freelance editing.