Flirting with Erasure: Mollie Glenn Niblett and the publishing of Sam Steele’s Forty Years in Canada

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Abstract

Mollie Glenn Niblett was an American journalist with the Winnipeg Telegram in 1912 when Sam Steele hired her to act as both his literary agent and editor of his memoir Forty Years in Canada, which was about his service with the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) and his heroics during the Second Boer War. She had first travelled to Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush to report for both the San Francisco Examiner and New York Herald in 1898 and had written stories about the NWMP and Steele, though she did not meet the man until Winnipeg. Steele, a neophyte author, hired Niblett to edit his manuscript and to go to Britain to find him a publisher, as well as act his proxy in all matters pertaining to the editing of the memoir. Situating Niblett’s story against the backdrop of the wider struggles women were facing as they entered publishing in the early twentieth century, this article examines Niblett’s role in shaping Forty Years in Canada and how her correspondence in the Steele Archive

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