God's Galloping Girl: The Peace River Diaries of Monica Storrs, 1929-1931

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University of British Columbia Press, 1979 - Anglicans - 307 pages

What brought Monica Storrs to embark on a wilderness life in the depressed thirties amidst the hardships of B.C.'s Peace River country - the last North American frontier?

Monica Storrs was to stay in the north for twenty years. She came to a wilderness almost roadless, townless, and schoolless, without amenities or culture; a land of hot, dusty summers and unpredictable, sub-Arctic winters; a land of untamed and unexpected grandeur.

Hearing the "clear call" of duty, she was endowed with a strong desire to serve the Anglican cause. A refined woman of 41, the delicately reared daughter of the dean of Rochester Cathedral, she was following a family tradition in seeking missionary work in rough and alien surroundings.

Her mission was the settlers and the frontier. She came to teach Sunday school and the traditions of guiding and scouting to tough, work-hardened country children. She rode horseback to bring the gospel to the families of isolated farmers and trappers. She welcomed the poor and hungry to her home -- both the God-fearing and the godless. And she was, for the most part, welcome in theirs.

She and the women who became her helpers were known affectionately by the people of the Peace as "God's Galloping Girls." Overcoming early fears of failure and rejection, she learned to subdue the prejudices of her moral and social upbringing and at last won acceptance and a permanent place in the heart of the north.

Monica Storrs' diaries are a moving narrative of a woman's indomitable courage, faith, and humour. Her story is a vivid, realistic description of frontier life and the struggle for survival. Her words convey the wild and primitive beauty of the Peace River country -- not just a region, but an adventure of the spirit.

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About the author (1979)

W.L. Morton is professor of history at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of many books and articles on Canadian history.

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