Thursday, November 19, 2009

Madge Macbeth

Journalist, writer

Born Madge Hamilton Lyons in Philadelphia, USA in 1881; moved to Ottawa circa 1904.

Educated at Hellmuth Ladies' College, London, Ontario.

Writer of first-wave feminist fiction. Her first novel was The Winning Game in 1910. Tackled pertinent political and social issues of her time such as the right of women to perform traditionally male occupations (The Patterson Limit, 1923) and the double day of labour for married women (Shackles, 1926).

Was a prolific writer - articles, short stories, novels, memoirs, radio and stage drama, history; published articles in Canadian Courier and Mayfair magazines.

Founding member of the Canadian Authors Association, being its first woman, and only three-time national president. Headed the Ottawa branch of the CAA.

Actively involved in the Canadian Women´s Press Club and the Ottawa Drama League. Founding organizer of the Ottawa Little Theatre, Canada's longest running community theatre.

Granddaughter of Louisa Hart Maffitt, one of the first professional American press women.

Wrote a column titled "Over my shoulder", featured in the Ottawa Citizen throughout the 1950s.

Key figure behind the establishment of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Wrote The Superwoman, in 1926, possibly the first Canadian play written for radio.

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