AUGUSTA — “A Pioneering Mainer’s Wife Who Landed in the Klondike Gold Rush” will be the topic of the Kennebec Historical Society’s presentation set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the Maine State Library, 230 State St.

Eleanor Phillips Brackbill will discuss how she came to research and write “The Queen of Heartbreak Trail: The Life and Times of Harriet Smith Pullen, Pioneering Woman.” Pullen was both the subject and the source of myriad crazy tales about her years in Alaska during and after the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush, which muddied the author’s journey of discovery in uncovering her story. But as a historian, her goal was to separate fact from fiction and ferret out the real story.

“The Queen of Heartbreak Trail” is a finalist for a 2017 Willa Literary Award, which honors the best in literature featuring women’s stories set in the West. The award is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather.

Brackbill earned a master’s degree in art history at Boston University and studied in the art history doctoral program at City University of New York. Following 25 years as a curator at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York, she embarked on a second career writing about history. She lives in Westbrook.

The presentation is co-sponsored by the Maine State Library and free to the public (donations accepted).

For more information, call Scott Wood at 622-7718.

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