Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
August 2004

Biographies of Prominent Quebec and Canadian

Historical Figures

Sara Jeannette Duncan




Damien-Claude Bélanger,

Department of History,

McGill University


Novelist and journalist, was born at Brantford, Canada West. She was educated at the Toronto Normal School. Duncan soon abandoned teaching for journalism and served as an editorial writer and book reviewer for the Washington Post (1885-1886), as a columnist for the Toronto Globe (1886-1887), and finally as a columnist for the Montreal Star (1887-1888). During this period she also contributed numerous articles to the Week. In September 1888 she set off on a round-the-world tour and met her future husband, museum curator and journalist Everard Cotes, in Calcutta. She married him in December 1890 and spent most of the next three decades in India. She died at Ashtead, England, in 1922. Sara Jeannette Duncan wrote nearly twenty novels in the years that followed her marriage. Though only two of her novels drew directly on her Canadian experience - including her most brilliant work of fiction, The Imperialist (1904) -, she frequently explored the differences between the Old and the New World in her work. This theme can be found in two of her more commercially successful novels, An American Girl in London (1891) and Those Delightful Americans (1902).





© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College