Book details life of female polar pioneer

Mark your calendar for October 15 at 2 p.m.

That’s when we’ll be joined on Zoom by Dr. Joanna Kafarowski, author of “The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame: A life of Louise Arner Boyd”. The County of Prince Edward Public Library gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the Canada Council through The Writers’ Union of Canada for this event.

“The Polar Adventures…” is the first comprehensive biography of Louise Arner Boyd — the intrepid American socialite who reinvented herself as the leading female polar explorer of the twentieth century. Born in the late 1880s to a gritty mining magnate who made his millions in the California gold rush and a well-bred mother descended from one of New York’s distinguished families, society beauty Louise Arner Boyd was raised during a glittering era. After inheriting a staggering family fortune, she began leading a double life. She fell under the spell of the north in the late 1920s after a sailing excursion to the Arctic Ocean. Over the next three decades, she achieved international notoriety as a rugged and audacious polar explorer while maintaining her flamboyant lifestyle as a leading society woman. Yet despite organizing, financing, and directing seven daring Arctic expeditions between 1926 and 1955, she is virtually unknown today.

Kafarowski is a Canadian independent scholar and inveterate traveller who has a passion for the North. She has worked extensively with Indigenous women in the Arctic regarding natural resource management issues and has participated in a Last Degree North Pole Expedition. Joanna has a bachelor’s degree in English literature, a master’s degree in Geography, a doctorate in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies and a Professional Specialization Certificate in Heritage Conservation Planning. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Member of the Society of Woman Geographers, an Affiliate Member of the American Geographical Society, a Member of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association and a Member of the Canadian Association of Geographers.

If you would like to join us, register at or call (613) 476-5962. If you don’t have internet access and would like to watch, call your local branch and reserve a spot in the library. We will help you get set up if you need assistance.

We are also excited to announce another author event which will happen Friday, November 13  at 2 p.m. Authors in Conversation: Kathryn Kuitenbrower will interview Catherine Bush. Introduction by Elizabeth Etue. Catherine Bush and Kathryn Kuitenbrower are both writing on the climate crisis and the relationship between science and fiction writing, which is one of the topics they will discuss in their conversation. We’ll share more about these authors in an upcoming article and you can register for this event at or by phone (613) 476-5962.

-Liz Zylstra