Maynard, Fredelle

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Type of entity

Person

Authorized form of name

Maynard, Fredelle

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Bruser, Fredelle

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Dates of existence

1915-1992

History

Fredelle Maynard (nee Bruser) was born in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan in 1922 to Boris and Rona Bruser (nee Slobinsky). Raised in rural Saskatchewan and Manitoba, at the age of nine she moved with her parents and older sister, Celia, to Winnipeg, Manitoba. After completing public school in Winnipeg, Maynard entered the University of Manitoba, where she graduated with and Honors B.A. (English) in 1943. She continued her education at the University of Toronto, obtaining her M.A. (English) in 1944. Maynard then moved to Boston, Massachusetts where she attended Radcliffe College (Harvard University). She graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1947 with a Ph.D. in English Literature. During her stellar academic career, Maynard received many awards including: the Governor General's Gold Medal (1942); Arts Gold Medal (1943); Canadian Federation of University Women Fellowship (1943-44); Flavelle Fellowship, University of Toronto (1943-44); Whitney Fellowship, Radcliffe College (1946-48); Warkman Fellowship, Radcliffe College (1945-46, 1946-47).

Maynard began her professional career in 1945 as an English tutor and Radcliffe College, a position she held until 1947. From 1947 to 1948 she was an Instructor in English at Wellesley College. In 1948, Maynard accepted a position as Instructor in English at the University of New Hampshire where her husband was a professor. Due to a university policy that forbade spouses from working in the same department, Maynard's contract was not renewed.

Discouraged but not defeated, Maynard began a successful journalism career that would span four decades. She wrote about education, child care and development, health and medicine, and family relationships. Over the years, Maynard contributed to many publications, both popular and scholarly, including: Good Housekeeping; Ladies Home Journal; Parents'; The New Republic; Family Circle; Woman's Day; Chatelaine; Saturday Evening Post; Reader's Digest; Studies in Philology; the American Association of University Professors Bulletin; University of Toronto Quarterly; the Manitoba Arts Review; the Malahat Review; the Kenyon Review; Scholastic Teacher and many others. In the 1960s and 1970s, Maynard was a ghost writer for Good Housekeeping, writing both the Dr. Joyce Brothers column and the popular column, "My Problem and How I Solved It."

Maynard also managed to continue with a teaching career despite her earlier setback. She was appointed as a Lecturer in English at the University of New Hampshire Department of Continuing Education in 1952, and in 1960-1961 served as an Instructor in English at the University of New Hampshire. Maynard found her way to the public school system, and after many years of substitute teaching was appointed as the Special Teacher and Consultant, Honors English Program, Dover High School. She served in this rewarding position from 1962-1967, inspiring several young students with their writing. Maynard also served as a College Board Reader; a National Examiner in English, CEEB; a consultant in Writing, Reading and Literature, NAEP; and as a Demonstration Teacher and Lecturer at the NEDA Summer Institute for Teachers of English (University of New Hampshire).

Maynard was also noted as an excellent public speaker. She gave seminars, workshops and lectures to many groups including: Canadian Association for young children; the Association of Early Childhood Education; La Leche League; Parent Cooperative Preschools; International Childbirth Education Association; Federated Women's Institutes of Canada; and the Ontario Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, among other. Maynard spoke to these groups about what she new best: family, children, health, and education. During the 1970s and 1980s Maynard was also the initiator and host of two popular Ontario parenting shows: Parents and Children , and The Parenting Academy .

In 1972, Maynard published her memoirs, Raisins and Almonds (Doubleday, 1972). The book, about a Jewish girl growing up on the prairies, was extremely well-received by the public. It spent many weeks on the bestseller's list, and was subsequently developed into a CBC television special, a one act musical (Calgary), a full length musical (Toronto), and a full length play (Saskatoon). Raisins and Almonds was followed by Guiding Your Child to a More Creative Life (Doubleday, 1973). In 1976, Maynard was contributing editor to The Parenting Advisor . Maynard's most controversial book, The Child Care Crisis (Penguin Books 1985, paperback 1986), was published in 1985. It created an uproar in the world of child care, especially from the women's movements. However, Maynard maintained both her position and her dignity throughout the furor. Maynard's last published book, The Tree of Life(Penguin Books 1988), is a poignant reflection of her life. She writes frankly about her relationships with her mother, sister, daughters, and, most telling, with her first husband, Max Maynard. At the time of her death, Maynard was working on a book about raising creative children.

In 1948, Maynard married her former English professor, Max Maynard. Fifteen years her senior, Maynard was a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire for most of their married life. He suffered with alcoholism for the entirety of their twenty-five year marriage. They had two daughters, Rona and Joyce, both of whom have followed literary paths with their careers. Soon after the 1972 publication of Raisins and Almonds the marriage dissolved. After the divorce, Max stopped drinking and moved to British Columbia, where he became a recognized landscape painter before his death. Fredelle met Sydney Bacon, a Toronto businessman. Bacon introduced Maynard to a world she had missed, and he remained her best friend and partner until her untimely death. Maynard moved to Toronto in the mid-1970s to be near Bacon, and spent many successful years there as an author, lecturer and radio-television broadcaster.

In 1989, Maynard was diagnosed with brain cancer. Typically, instead of despairing, Maynard threw a party and married her longtime companion, Sydney Bacon, in a garden ceremony on May 28, 1989. Maynard remained active, aware and involved in life until her death on October 3, 1989 at the age of 67.

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Created by Karyn Reidel Taylor (2000) and Brett Lougheed (2001). Revised by N. Courrier (March 2019).

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