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Biography & Autobiography Women

Clearing in the West

My Own Story

by (author) Nellie McClung

Initial publish date
Mar 2014
Women, Political, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2005
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price

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Clearing in the West is the first of McClung's two autobiographical works. In it, she examines her life from birth to age twenty-three, recounting the events and influences that shaped her political and personal future, including her first years in school – both as a student and later a teacher – her early passion for writing, and her burgeoning interest in social reform. It was this interest that led to McClung's first political involvement with the Women's Christian Temperance Movement, the organization that spearheaded the women's right to vote effort in Canada.

About the author

Nellie McClung was one of the most important leaders in Canada's first wave of feminism and social reform. She was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and the Women's Equity League, which were concerned with the health issues related to alcohol and the social problems facing women and children. She was also a member of the Canadian Women's Press Club and later, the Edmonton Equal Franchise league, which fought for women's rights, prohibition and factory safety legislation. In 1921, she was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and, in 1927, joined Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, Louise Mckinney and Henrietta Edwards in their fight to have women declared "persons" under the law. Throughout the 1930s, McClung's writing career flourished with the publication of numerous newspaper articles, short stories, a novel and two memoirs. McClung was also the first woman appointed to the CBC's Board of Directors. Through her positions with the Canadian Authors' Association and Canadian Women's Press Club she was a strong promoter of women's writing and cultural nationalism. She died in 1951 in Victoria, B.C.

Nellie McClung's profile page

Editorial Reviews

...Nellie McClung, prairie reformer, suffragette, parliamentarian, author, newspaperwoman, and Canada's leading pioneer feminist, kept right on fighting for women's rights with the cherry battlecry: "Never retract, never explain, never apologize--get the right thing done and let them howl."

Toronto Star

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