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In this blog we have read about several men;

Henry Birdsall

Jean Guilliame Bessac

Lt. Col. Birdsall

and now – – – we are in the middle of the Poetry of Paul Hamilton Hayne.

It is time to introduce a woman to this blog.

To a few people Isabel Paterson needs no introduction. However, to most of us, she needs to be introduced. Like the others that have appeared in this blog, Isabel Mary Paterson was almost lost to us; and that would have been a shame.

As I said, a few people have resurrected “I.M.P” as she sometimes liked to refer to herself.

She has been adopted by people who have the Libertarian political bent. This is not much different than Ayn Rand who has been adopted by people who have the Conservative political leanings. Or any different than Sinclair Lewis who has been adopted by today’s Liberals who favor government intervention as opposed to today’s Libertarians who prefer government not interfere with daily life.

I must hasten to say that this series of posts will remain clear of politics. Politics have ruined Facebook and I am not about to do the same to this blog.

So soon, I must amend that last paragraph.

Isabel Paterson did not wish to be political, she wished to be logical; and straight forward. But her views on her adopted country, America, were straight forward and logical; therefore, she invited political commentary to be aimed at her.

Isabel Paterson’s writings were “life and purpose” as she saw it; clearly and succinctly. It was her philosophy, her viewpoint. These viewpoints were so clear-cut that others, who did not know how to clearly explain their thoughts, grasped on to it. Therefore her writings resulted in the adoption of her thoughts by the others.

Isabel Mary Paterson was born Isabel Mary Bowler on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. She was self-taught and worked at several clerical jobs, became a stenographer, book keeper, journalist, author, editorial writer and aide to a future Prime Minister of Canada.

Needless to say she was a voracious reader and learner; or as some people have called her, an autodidact.

{From Wikipedia: Autodidacticism is self-directed learning that is related to but different from informal learning. In a sense, autodidacticism is “learning on your own” or “by yourself”, and an autodidact is a self-teacher. Autodidacticism is a contemplative, absorptive procession. Some autodidacts spend a great deal of time reviewing the resources of libraries and educational websites.}

Isabel Mary Paterson was born on January 22, 1886 and died on January 10, 1961.

She had been a thoughtful and prolific writer before her 30’s; however, the majority of her public work was done between the mid 1930’s and 1950.

Her work had been ridiculed by various book reviewers such as those in the Times Magazine. On the other hand her work has been resurrected in the last fifteen years.

This introduction is a very short overview of I.M.P.

In future posts we will look at some of her work, her travels and those that she influenced.

For a frail girl born on an island in the middle of Lake Huron, she has left an indelible mark on the thinking of her America; particularly on the United States.

Some may call her an iconoclast. To me, it seems, she just had a wish to be clear on her thoughts and – – – was confident enough to have a desire to share them. Possibly that could be the reason she was, and continues to be, a target for so many people; her self-confidence.

When she passed away, in 1961, she had almost been forgotten.

However, through an ironic twist, a woman she mentored, a woman who wanted to out-do her, a woman who had to use Isabel’s master work “The God of the Machine” to explain her own views, may have been the very person that kept I.M.P.’s work alive.

This unexpected consequence may have been what kept Isabel Paterson visible from her death in January, 1961 until the mid-1990’s.

A young boy’s discovery of a dusty old copy of  I.M.P.’s 1933 “Never Ask the End” followed by the discovery of her “The God of the Machine” inspired Stephen Cox to carry her story forward from her death until today.

I hope you enjoy her story and thoughts as much as I have.