Joanna Kafarowski

Mad About Louise Arner Boyd

In writing this biography of explorer Louise Arner Boyd, I’ve committed a cardinal sin. I am completely over the moon with her- no ifs, ands or buts about it. It’s understandable since I’ve been living with her in my head for well over ten years now and my admiration grows the more I learn about her. Luckily, this has not affected how I write and now that I can read my book in its published form, I am pleased with how unbiased it is.

She wasn’t perfect by any means- she could certainly be strong-minded and self-centred and perhaps I don’t mind this because I can see shades of it in myself! One challenging aspect I had to deal with was her fondness for hunting. This was an activity she indulged in regularly during her 1926 Expedition and made one of the chapters more challenging for me to write as a result. I understand that she was no different from many wealthy individuals of that time but I admit that I was pleased that her participation in this ceased over time.

I can’t imagine being able to write about a despicable historical figure. Being with Miss Boyd delighted me as I continually marvelled at what she accomplished despite her limited education and the constraints imposed on women of her class and age.  Each day I wrote brought me closer to the time when her biography would be published and everyone would be astonished that her name and achievements had been forgotten for so long.