M. Wylie Blanchet was born Muriel Wylie Liffiton to a prosperous family in Montreal, Quebec. She and her sisters were tutored at home prior to attending St. Paul's, a private girls' school. Muriel was a prize-winning pupil and also made a name for herself as a rower. In 1909, at age 18, she married Geoffrey Orme Blanchet, a banker, with whom she had five children. They lived in Toronto for many years, until her husband took early retirement. In 1922, the family went west and moved into a cottage on Vancouver Island. They purchased an old 25-foot motor boat called Caprice. Five years later, Geoffrey Blanchet took the boat on a camping trip and disappeared; he was never seen again. Muriel educated her children at home and wrote articles for magazines. In summer, they rented out their house and took long trips on the Caprice. As they sailed the coastal waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia, they followed the logbooks and voyages of George Vancouver, the 18th century explorer who was one of the first European visitors to the area. They anchoring in secluded coves to walk through the wilderness, examine the architecture and burial grounds of deserted native villages, and see various animals of the region, including whales, cougars and bears. Muriel's 1961 book, The Curve of Time, documented these travels. A story she wrote for her children in the 1930s was published posthumously as A Whale Named Henry (1982).