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FELLOWS, Eleanor Caroline

Tottingham, England, 1831
Great Mongeham, England, 1926
Biography synopsis
Eleanor Fellows (nee Hill) took art lessons in England with James Mathews Leigh (Leighs Academy) after studying the arts in France as a young girl. After her marriage in 1861, she moved with her husband to Victoria, BC; they travelled through the United States on their way to Vancouver Island where they lived for most of the 1860s. Her sketches of Victoria and surrounding landscapes as well as indigenous peoples, incorporated in letters to her family, have served as visual documentation of the period. She was viewed as unconventional as she chose to spend time with First Nations and Asian people who worked for her family rather than partake in colonial white society. Raised in a family of social reformers, she espoused an open-minded attitude. After leaving Victoria, she lived in Nova Scotia in 1880-1882 and travelled extensively in eastern Canada before returning to England. She was widowed and eventually was remarried to Henry Smyth in 1903 in England. In 1916 she published reminiscences of her life which included extensive descriptions of her early days in British Columbia as well as some of the other travels in France, United States, Canada and South America. A number of her drawings and watercolours are held at the Royal B.C. Museum.
Media used
File & Archive locations
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
British Columbia Archives

Writings about
"Find Old-fashioned Xmas Fun at Museum." Cowichan Valley Citizen 15 Dec 2004: B3
Bridge, Kathryn. By Snowshoe, Buckboard and Steamer: Women of the frontier. Victoria, B.C.: Sono Nis Press., 1998
Bridge, Kathryn. "Two Colonial Artists" British Columbia Historical News Vol. 16, no. 4 (1983): 6-13
Bridge, Kathryn Anne. Two Victorian Gentlewomen in the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia: Eleanor Hill Fellows and Sarah Lindley Crease. Victoria: University of Victoria, 1984
Brown, Lorraine Cecilia. Domestic Service in British Columbia, 1850-1914. (M.A. Thesis) Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria, 2007
Gilmore, Berenice C.. Artists Overland: A Visual Record of British Columbia 1793-1886. Burnaby, BC:: Burnaby Art Gallery, 1980
Harper, J. Russell. Early Painters and Engravers in Canada Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970
Lillard, Charles. “An Early Victorian Remembers.” Times Colonist. 5 June 1993
Lugrin, Nora de Bertrand. Pioneer Women of Vancouver Island Victoria: The Women Canadian Club of Victoria, BC, 1928
Perry, Adele. "Writing Women into British Columbia History." BC Studies No. 122 (1999): 85-88
Roy, Wendy. "Women's Travel Narratives and the Colonization of Canada. Essays on Canadian Writing. 67 (1999):181-189
Williams, Carol Jane. Framing the West: Race, Gender and the Photographic "Frontier" on the Northwest Coast, 1858-1912. Rutgers: State University of New Jersey, 1999

Writings by
Smyth, Eleanor Caroline. An Octogenarian Reminiscenses Letchworth, Eng.: ?, 1916

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