Her Own Person
The Life of Mary Quayle Innis
In Her Own Person: The Life of Mary Quayle Innis, a daughter uncovers the story of her mother’s extraordinary professional achievements at a time when gender expectations relegated her work to the background. Anne Innis Dagg recalls how her mother produced exceptional scholarship and literature while raising a family and supporting the career of her husband, Harold Innis, the eminent economist from the University of Toronto. But this book—based on Mary’s own diaries and personal anecdotes—provides a daughter’s insight into her mother’s life, work, and achievements, highlighting the detrimental effects that rigid gender roles had on how a woman’s professional accomplishments were received by her peers.
Mary Quayle Innis (1899–1972) was a writer and an economist and the author of over 100 short stories, magazine features, and research articles. She is the author of the celebrated An Economic History of Canada (1954), a best-selling university textbook that retained its popularity with professors and students for nearly twenty years. As a scholar, she was interested not only in Canadian economics but in early Canadian history, and authored several books and articles on that subject. She became Dean of Women for University College in 1952, and was the only Canadian woman chosen to attend a world conference on education. Although her legacy has been eclipsed by the fame of her husband, Innis was an accomplished woman for her time and in her own right. Her Own Person places Innis’s accomplishments in the spotlight for the first time, recounting her life and work through a feminist lens.