Today is a bit of a banner day for news of early Canadian women writers. First, Brian Busby, who publishes The Dusty Bookcase literary blog, has reviewed Irene Baird‘s 1937 novel, John.

Then I discovered that in The Vancouver Sun, in honour of Canada’s sesquicentenary, journalist Stephen Hume is “counting down to Canada Day with profiles of 150 noteworthy British Columbians.”

This series appears to have begun on 13 January with hockey player Joe Sakic. 14 January gave us Dr. David Suzuki; 15 January was a Sunday; and on 16 January Hume wrote about one of our authors: teacher–journalist–author Agnes Deans Cameron.

agnes-dean-cameron-vancovuer-sun-16-jan-2017In 1908, Agnes Deans Cameron and her Jessie Cameron Brown travelled through the “Belt of Wheat” and the “Belt of Fur” to become the first white women—not woman—to reach the Arctic Ocean overland. Agnes’s published account of the journey—The New North: Being Some Account of a Woman’s Journey Through Canada to the Arctic—contains a remarkable 120 images. While some of these are standard portraits of historically important men, most of them detail the women’s adventures travelling from Chicago overland through Winnipeg, Regina, and Edmonton to Athabasca Landing; up the Athabasca, Slave, and MacKenzie Rivers to the Arctic Ocean at Fort McPherson and the delta of the MacKenzie; and back again by a similar although not identical route.
cameron-ad-mapHere are a few of my favourite images from the book; the complete text is available through the Internet Archive.

Agnes Deans Cameron. "The New North: Being Some Account of a Woman's Journey through Canada to the Arctic. (New York: Appleton, 1909) 15

page 15

Agnes Deans Cameron. "The New North: Being Some Account of a Woman's Journey through Canada to the Arctic. (New York: Appleton, 1909) 282

page 282

Agnes Deans Cameron. "The New North: Being Some Account of a Woman's Journey through Canada to the Arctic. (New York: Appleton, 1909) 347

page 347

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