By day she was a respectable schoolteacher named Alice Freeman. By night she was The Empire's crusading journalist, Faith Fenton, who dared to challenge the conventions and values of the Victorian era. Jill Downie has uncovered the secret of Alice/Faith, the unconventional daughter of a shopkeeper who took on another identity to penetrate the closed, very male world of journalism. As columnist Faith moved with ease through society, equally at home with the rich and powerful and the less fortunate - from Lady Aberdeen, wife of the Governor- General, to the working mothers of Toronto's slums. She was everywhere, attending costume balls, visiting an aging Sir John A. Macdonald, interviewing the fiery suffragette Susan B. Anthony, covering sensational murder trials. At the height of the Klondike gold rush she reinvented herself once again heading for Dawson City as the special correspondent of The Globe. And there she met and married the love of her life.
A Passionate Pen is a stylish, richly documented portrait of turn-of-the-century Canada. Meticulously researched and filled with the spirit of the times, it brings alive a witty and intelligent woman whose passionate concerns are as relevant today as they were a hundred years ago.