Shirley Temple stars in Susannah of the Mounties - 1939

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The following was written about Muriel Denison (Goggin) in Mary Savigny's book - 'Bon Echo - The Denison Years' and explains the connection between Bon Echo and actress Shirley Temple.

'Although (Muriel Denison) was not as compulsive and persistent a writer as Merrill, she had, over the years, been writing articles for such magazines as Reader's Digest and McCall's. Once settled with Merrill and her father in their West 57th Street apartment (in New York City), Muriel began writing a successful series of books for young girls, beginning with Susannah: A Little Girl With The Mounties for Dodd, Mead & Company. In many respects this was autobiographical and so made an entertaining and believable story.

Born in Winnipeg, she spent her early years with her father in Regina, then the capital of the North-West Territories. The book jacket blurb explains that "she spent much of her time in the Barracks of the North-West Mounted Police, rode the Canadian Prairies with her red-coated friends, who were her wise counsellors, beloved teachers and good companions".

The success of this book led to a film contract with Twentieth Century Fox. Shirley Temple starred as Susannah and the movie was a hit. In spite of Merrill's initial scepticism, Muriel had made a name for herself as a writer of books for juveniles. She went on to write more of the same, Susannah Of The Yukon, Susannah At Boarding School and Susannah Rides Again. Her final book was another success. It was Happy Tramp, a story about a little girl and her sheepdog.'

An interesting note: Susannah of the Mounties was released the same year as Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind - a big year for motion pictures. That year Gone With The Wind won 'Best Picture'.

Mary Savigny's book is available online from the CDHS Bookstore for a more complete history of the Denison Years:

Thanks to Evan Morton from the Tweed Heritage Centre for sharing this publication for scanning.

Note: All CDHS Flickr content is available for the public use (non-commercial) providing our Rights Statement is followed:


Owner: CDHS
Source: Flickr Commons
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bonecho historical shirleytemple susannahofthemounties marysavigny twentiethcenturyfox merrilldenison murieldenison murielgoggin writer childrensbooks mounties northwestmountedpolice doddmeadcompany 1939 martin goodrider

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