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In recreating the life and times of a passionate, independent thinker, a 'lady' journalist well ahead of her time, biographer Jill Downie explores a society in the throes of social change. Faith Fenton was the first female journalist to visit and write about conditions in a woman's penitentiary; she interviewed Susan B. Anthony and leaders of the Suffragist Movement; she went undercover to investigate the life of the poor and destitute; she was friends with Wilfrid Laurier and Sir John A. Macdonald; and at the height of the Gold Rush she trekked the notorious Teslin Trail to reach Dawson City.
What made her writing remarkable was her ability to connect with her audience: from homemakers to servants, from pioneer farming women to gentlemen. Faith's skill was rooted in her ability to reassure her middle-class readers of the acceptability of challenging new ideas, while at the same time showing how much she respected and valued women's often small domains.
A truly absorbing portrait of a woman who, even after her death, remained an enigma, A Passionate Pen is a biography that is both a romance and a mystery, rich in character and the texture of turn-of-the-century Canada.
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