Audiobook of Emily Murphy


Lifetime: 1868 - 1933 Passed: ≈ 90 years ago


Author, Activist



Emily Murphy

Emily Murphy was a pioneering Canadian women's rights activist, jurist, and writer. As one of the Famous Five, she played a pivotal role in the Persons Case, which recognized women as persons under Canadian law. This essay explores the life of Emily Murphy, her principles, notable accomplishments, and lasting impact on society.

Who was Emily Murphy?

Emily Murphy, born on March 14, 1868, in Cookstown, Ontario, Canada, was a remarkable woman ahead of her time. She was a writer, reformer, and advocate for women's rights and social justice. Despite facing gender-based obstacles, she broke barriers and became a leading figure in the fight for equality and legal recognition for women.


Emily Murphy firmly believed in the equality of all individuals, regardless of gender. Her principles revolved around the idea that women should have equal rights and opportunities as men. She dedicated her life to challenging discriminatory laws and practices that perpetuated gender inequality.

What was Emily Murphy famous for?

Emily Murphy is primarily renowned for her instrumental role in the Persons Case, a landmark legal battle that sought to redefine the status of women in Canadian society. Alongside her fellow activists, known as the Famous Five, she fought to have women recognized as persons under the British North America Act of 1867. This achievement was a significant milestone in advancing women's rights in Canada.

Notable Works:

  1. "The Black Candle" (1922): Emily Murphy's book exposed the perceived dangers of drug addiction and prostitution, which she believed were interconnected social problems. The publication sparked public debate and paved the way for her later involvement in legal and social reforms.
  2. "Janey Canuck in the West" (1910): This collection of essays chronicled Murphy's experiences as a pioneer in Western Canada. It highlighted her love for the country and her determination to overcome the challenges of frontier life.


Emily Murphy's philosophy was rooted in the belief that women should have equal rights, equal opportunities, and equal access to justice. She fought tirelessly against discriminatory practices and aimed to create a more equitable society. Her work reflected a commitment to social justice and the empowerment of women through legal reform.

Death and Legacy:

Emily Murphy passed away on October 17, 1933, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is remembered as a trailblazer and a driving force behind women's rights in Canada. Her advocacy laid the foundation for future advancements in gender equality and women's legal rights. Emily Murphy's legacy continues to inspire generations of activists and serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for gender parity and social justice.

Interesting Facts:

  • Emily Murphy was the first woman magistrate in the British Empire, appointed in 1916.
  • She was an active member of various organizations, including the National Council of Women and the Victorian Order of Nurses.
  • Murphy was also an accomplished writer and published numerous articles and books addressing social issues and women's rights.


Emily Murphy's life and work exemplify a remarkable dedication to women's rights, social justice, and legal reform. As a pioneering figure in Canada's women's suffrage movement, her tireless efforts helped secure legal recognition for women as persons. Emily Murphy's principles, advocacy, and notable works continue to inspire and shape the ongoing fight for gender equality. Her enduring legacy serves as a testament to her indelible contributions to Canadian society and the global struggle for women's rights.

Books by Emily Murphy

The Black Candle Cover image

The Black Candle

Crime Fiction
Mystery Culture Moral Society Heritage Communism Research Danger Compassion

This is a groundbreaking book that shines a light on the interconnected issues of drug addiction and prostitution, unearthing the societal perils that lurk beneath the surface. With meticulous research and compelling storytelling, Murphy delves into...