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The House of All Sorts

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  136 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Before winning recognition as an artist and writer, Emily Carr served as landlady to an apartment building where she bred English sheep dogs to supplement a meager income. A collection of stories about those hard-working days, "The House of All Sorts" features vividly portrayed tenants who frequently surprise Carr with their foibles, as well as the beloved canines who prov ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Not Avail (first published November 30th 1943)
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Feb 16, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2013
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 ...more
Apr 27, 2015 Harperac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada
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
Mar 16, 2011 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jun 15, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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:

Aug 09, 2011 Ceef rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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 th ...more
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
Wendell Hennan
Feb 05, 2017 Wendell Hennan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Apr 17, 2014 Dlhmoore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Aug 09, 2007 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Kari Burk
Feb 28, 2014 Kari Burk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Mar 01, 2008 Jocelynlt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artists, alicia
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.
Jul 29, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 27, 2013 Evelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 06, 2016 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Small obsessions are such a delight. Emily Carr is my latest, and she overwhelms me with her
simplicity of vision. To be able to paint as profoundly as she did is one thing, but to be able to
write brilliantly as well? Words, images - she is a master of both.
Kristie Saumure
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.
Caroline Wickham
Mar 05, 2013 Caroline Wickham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 17, 2012 Shaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First book of Emily Carr's that I read.
Kristin rated it liked it
May 22, 2009
Kailey Trevithick
Kailey Trevithick rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2015
Mildly Annoyed Rabbit
Mildly Annoyed Rabbit rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2013
Virtualme rated it it was ok
Jun 22, 2012
Paula rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2014
Sandra Allen
Sandra Allen rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2010
Tracy rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2016
Annie rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2011
Michele rated it liked it
Jul 23, 2011
Judy Woodall
Judy Woodall rated it really liked it
Dec 02, 2013
Tracy rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2008
Diana C
Diana C rated it liked it
Aug 30, 2013
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Emily Carr (December 13, 1871 – March 2, 1945) was a Canadian artist and writer heavily inspired by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. One of the first painters in Canada to adopt a post-impressionist painting style, Carr did not receive widespread recognition for her work until later in her life. As she matured, the subject matter of her painting shifted from aboriginal themes ...more
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