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Rebel Women of the West Coast

Their Triumphs, Tragedies and Lasting Legacies

by Rich Mole

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post-confederation (1867-)
list price: $7.99
also available: Paperback
category: History
published: 2011
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Association of Book Publishers of BC
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Rebel Women of the West Coast: Their Triumphs, Tragedies and Lasting Legacies

Rebel Women of the West Coast focuses on nine women and their associates who significantly impacted their communities in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. Beginning with settlers and missionaries who followed the overland route to the west and including suffragettes, doctors, scientists (Dixy Lee Ray), politicians (Grace McCarthy and Dixy Lee Ray), writers, labour activists and a present-day entertainer (Sarah McLachlan), this disparate group of women are all united by the common theme of modifying our society. The selected subjects are nonconformist women who made their own way through life, with varying degrees of outward success, but who all made things a little easier for those who followed.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2010-2011.

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Here are the stories of singularly courageous West Coast women—driven, obsessed, sometimes desperate people whose nonconformist beliefs and actions made them rebels in society’s eyes. Many faced hardship and ridicule as they pursued their goals. In these vivid biographies, Rich Mole chronicles the lives of some of the most celebrated and controversial women in BC, Washington and Oregon, including:

  • pioneer Catherine Schubert, who faced danger and starvation on her heroic journey west;
  • ballot-box rebel Abigail Scott Duniway, who endured poverty and scathing criticism during her fight for women’s suffrage;
  • Irene “Bonnie” Baird, who disguised herself as a nurse to write an exposé of their ordeals of Depression-era protesters;
  • complex and contradictory doctor Bethenia Owens-Adair, who broke gender barriers yet is also remembered for a more tragic legacy.

By demanding equality and respect in lecture halls, shipyards, government assemblies and operating theatres, these women helped shape the society we live in today.

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