In 1905 Mina Benson Hubbard became the first white person to cross Labrador, documenting her travels in the classic A Woman's Way Through Unknown Labrador. This reissue, edited and fully annotated by Sherrill Grace, makes the complete work available for the first time since the original 1908 publication and features an introduction that situates Hubbard's writing in the context of her life and times, making clear how unusual - and unexpected - it was for a woman to undertake such an expedition, let alone going on to write and lecture about it. In 1903 Hubbard's husband, Leonides, starved to death on his cartographic and ethnographic expedition to Labrador. Hubbard decided to complete her husband's work, becoming a skilled explorer and cartographer in her own right. She set out in July 1905 and with the help of George Elson, a Metis guide who had been employed by her husband on the original trip, and three other guides completed her expedition in record time with significant results, including completing the first accurate map of the Labrador river system, thus correcting the earlier map that had led to her husband's death. Her original photographs and the map are reproduced in this volume. The resulting description of her trip gives us the perspective of a Victorian woman on the landscape, the people she met - including Innus, Crees, Inuits, and Metis - and the journey itself. The book also includes her husband's diary and Elson's description of her husband's journey, providing a valuable and unusual opportunity to compare three accounts of the exploration of Labrador. Reading Hubbard's account we see her gradually come to terms with her husband's death, gain confidence in her own abilities, and discover not just Labrador but herself. She writes about her experiences with sensitivity, speaking to us of a place that has been changed almost beyond recognition by so-called progress.
About Mina Benson Hubbard
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Published January 1, 2003
Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, History, Education & Reference.