Born in 1910, Carol Pearson was a friend and student of Emily Carr who published her fond recollections of Carr in 1954 as Emily Carr As I Knew Her. This memoir was reprinted in 2016 with a publisher's claim that it reveals Carr's personality more fully than any other book. "She was like a fairy Godmother, complete with animals," wrote Pearson, "who I loved completely."

When the pair first met in 1916, Pearson was a seven-year-old and Carr was mostly unknown as an artist. Pearson became her student and companion, then moved in with Carr at age fourteen. Carr nicknamed her companion, Baboo; she called the artist Mom.

For more than two decades they were like a mother and daughter, living under the same roof off and on for the better part of a decade before Pearson married and moved east. Emily Carr As I Knew Her recalls painting trips into the wilderness, hitching canoe rides from Carr's Indian friends; how they cared for beloved pets, including birds, dogs, and monkeys; and how they spent hours picnic-ing and lounging in Beacon Hill Park where, at Carr's insistence, Pearson buried a box of Carr's treasures in 1942--never to be recovered.


Emily Carr As I Knew Her (Clarke, Irwin & Company Limited, 1954 / Touchwood 2016) 978-1-77151-174-2 $19.95

[BCBW 2016] "Carr"