Sara Jeannette Duncan

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SJD was a Canadian journalist, poet, and novelist whose work spans the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her writing generally features characters who fail to live up to their own potential, such as Lorne Murchison in The Imperialist, which is probably her best known work. The novels often focus, too, on close female friendships. She spent about twenty-five years living in India under British rule, wrote nine novels on life there, examining in particular the role of the British wife or memsahib. Altogether, she wrote twenty-one works of fiction after beginning as a prolific journalist, motivated in part by the need to make money and escape her Indian home as often as possible. She argued for realism in literature even though her own work sometimes strayed into romance, and she was influenced by William Dean Howells , Henry James , and other realists and naturalists.
Black and white, head-and-shoulders photograph of Sara Jeannette Duncan, wearing a light buttoned blouse with a white flower in her dark curly hair.
"Sara Jeannette Duncan" Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Sara_jeannette_Duncan2.jpg. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.

Milestones

22 December 1861
SJD was born at 96 West Street, Brantford, Ontario.
Fowler, Marian. Redney: A Life of Sara Jeannette Duncan. Anansi, 1983.
14, 16
18 February 1880
SJD 's first literary effort to appear in print, a poem called My Prayer, was featured in the Toronto Globe under the initials S. D.
Fowler, Marian. Redney: A Life of Sara Jeannette Duncan. Anansi, 1983.
43
By late April 1904
SJD published her best known novel, and the only one set in Canada, The Imperialist.
TLS Centenary Archive Centenary Archive [1902-2012].
119 (22 April 1904): 124
Dean, Misao. A Different Point of View: Sara Jeannette Duncan. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1991.
180
22 July 1922
While gardening at her London home, SJD was quite suddenly struck with the pneumonia that took her life on this date.
Fowler, Marian. Redney: A Life of Sara Jeannette Duncan. Anansi, 1983.
302-4

Biography

Birth and Family

22 December 1861
SJD was born at 96 West Street, Brantford, Ontario.
Fowler, Marian. Redney: A Life of Sara Jeannette Duncan. Anansi, 1983.
14, 16