Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Ruth Latta

History 1970, M.A. History, 1973

When I graduated from Queen's History my name was Ruth "Olson." I changed my name to "Latta" when Roger Latta and I were married in 1978. Until recent early retirement, Roger was a research officer in biological sciences with the National Research Council. We have been living happily ever after - or, at least, for 31 years, in Ottawa. An Ontario qualified teacher, I have taught general interest courses in creative writing through Ottawa community centres, boards of education and public libraries, and studied for an additional degree, this time a B.A. in English (1993) from the University of Waterloo.

I have also written and published thirteen books, including three in particular that required a background in history. These are The Memory of All That; Grace MacInnis: A Woman to Remember and They Tried: the Story of the Canadian Youth Congress. Also in print are four mysteries featuring a woman detective-figure of mature years. Of these, Memories Stick (2007), brought my knowledge of history into play. My most recently published books are An Amethyst Remembrance (Ottawa, Baico, 2008) with a Kingston setting, and Spelling Bee (Ottawa, Baico, 2009) For more information, google my name or visit my blogs, and

Ruth Latta's young adult/teen novel, The Songcatcher and Me (Ottawa, Baico, 2013, $20, is about folk song collecting in Ontario in 1957.

In 2017 Ruth published a young adult novel, Grace and the Secret Vault (Ottawa, Baico), about young Grace Woodsworth coming to an understanding of her parents' activism as a result of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919.  In 2018 she published a novel about Grace for grownups; Grace in Love: A Novel about Grace Woodsworth (Ottawa, Baico, 2019). Set during the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, in Paris, Winnipeg and Ottawa, this novel shows Grace's search for a life's work and true love.

In 2019, Ruth published Votes, Love and War, (Ottawa, Baico, 2019)a novel about the Manitoba women's suffrage movement and World War I.  Among the main characters are sister journalists and suffragists Lillian Beynon Thomas and Francis Marion Beynon.  Information about purchasing this and Ruth's earlier novels is available at





January 2020