Hudson Bay or Everyday Life in the Wilds of North America. by Robert Michael Ballantyne


Cat No.:   CA0164:

Here is a narrative of first hand experience in the service of the Hudson Bay Company during the 1840s. This was the first book written by Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825 - 1894) although not his first experience at writing as he spent much of his free time in Canada writing down his adventures so his mother could read what an experience her son was having. It was not until the end of his period of employment that he decided to rewrite his experiences in book form. When published his book was so successful that he continued to write story books for boys for the rest of his life. This is the only one based on actual experience although he always researched the background to his stories carefully. Being written as much to entertain as to instruct, this book is easy to read and has the feel of a novel - even containing dialogue in some places. On the whole, we are told, it is a true account of the actual personal experience of the author during his six years spent in Canada.

During his tour Robert was assigned to a number of different forts from his initial assignment in the York Factory (Hudson Bay) to the Red River settlement and Norway House and finally the places he visited while progressing through Lachine and at Seven Islands in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence leading up to to his return to England.

There are numerous tales of encounters with the First Nations peoples and with the Canadian wildlife all given with an eye to detail and without any significant attempt to judge the indigenous lifestyle on the basis of a European upbringing.

The copy of the book used to make this CD was actually the fourth edition, published in 1902, 8 years after the author's death. In some ways this is fortunate as the publishers have included, in this edition, a Preface and a Biography of Robert which helps to place him in perspective and adds some character to the individual whose tales you are reading.

We are grateful to Joyce Johnson for allowing us to make a copy of her book so that you may also have the benefit of this easy introduction to the activities of one of Canada's great institutions. Please join with us in thanking Joyce for her generosity.

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No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  No;  ISBN No.:   1-897338-53-8;