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Elizabeth Abbott

Elizabeth Abbott

Photo: John Loper

Elizabeth Abbott is a writer and historian with a special interest in social justice and women's issues, the treatment and lives of animals, and the environment. Before moving to Toronto in 1991, she lived in Montreal and Port-au-Prince. She has a doctorate from McGill University and is a Senior Research Associate at Trinity College, University of Toronto where from 1991 to 2004 she was Dean of Women. Her books have been translated into 20 languages, and include the historical relationship trilogy of the best-selling A History of Celibacy, A History of Mistresses, A History of Marriage, Sugar:  A Bittersweet History, Haiti:  A Shattered Nation, and Dogs and Underdogs:  Finding Happiness at Both Ends of the Leash. In 1991 Abbott won a National Magazine Award for Environmental Writing.  Sugar: A Bittersweet History was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.    A History of Marriage was a finalist for the Governor General's Prize in Literary Non-Fiction.  Abbott lives with dogs, serves on the board of a local historical society, volunteers at the Toronto Workers History Project and is a member of a book club and a film group.  In the federal elections of 2015 and 2019, she ran for Parliament in Toronto Danforth for the Animal Protection Party of Canada. 



A History of Mistresses. Toronto: HarperCollins, 2003.
A History of Celibacy. Toronto: HarperCollins, 1999.
Chronicle of Canada. Editor-in-chief. Montreal: Chronicle Publications, 1990.
Haiti: The Duvaliers and their Legacy. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998.
Tropical Obsession: A Universal Tragedy in Four Acts. Port-au-Prince: Edition Deschamps, 1986.
Sugar: A Bittersweet History. Penguin, 2008
A History of Marriage. Penguin, 2010


National Magazine Award for Environmental Writing, 1991
Eligible for National Public Readings Program: