Passing Through Missing Pages

The Intriguing Story of Annie Garland Foster

By Frances Welwood

Categories: Biography, BC History
Imprint: Caitlin Press
Paperback : 9781894759618, January 2012


Annie Garland Foster was born in Fredericton, NB, in 1875. She was an educator, nurse, politician, social reformer, journalist and biographer of Pauline Johnson. But she was also a bit of a mystery.

In 1939, Annie wrote an autobiography titled "Passing Through" in which she described the challenges and adventures of her earlier life: as a co-ed at UNB in the 1890s, teaching in rural Saskatchewan and British Columbia, nursing the Great War's wounded in Britain's military hospitals, being elected to the City Council in Nelson, BC, in 1920 and consorting with suffragettes. But despite her efforts to share her story, she was an intriguingly private person. Her memoir, peppered with pseudonyms and cryptic information, reveals more about the mysteriousness of her character than about the events of her life. Most curious of all is her deliberate removal of one of the most intriguing and critical chapters of her story.

In this thoughtful and thorough biography, Frances Welwood begins her work where Foster ends her tale. Welwood follows her elusive subject from Fredericton to Nelson, giving historical context to Annie's insightful and cinematic prose. But most exciting of all, Welwood finally sheds light on the events described in the six pages excised from "Passing Through" the circumstances connecting Annie to a 1926 murder trial.


"Passing Through Missing Pages is a carefully researched and written biography of a serious and productive life lived in interesting times. Annie Garland Foster deserves to be better known in British Columbia and beyond — this book will certainly help in that process."

— Duff Sutherland for BC Studies