We acknowledge that we live and work on unceded Indigenous territories and we thank the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations for their hospitality.

Index

Results (36)

Review

The Canadian Pacific’s Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway: The CPR steam years, 1905-1949

While the roundhouses are now mostly silent and only the occasional freight train makes its way up and down the island, the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway (E&N) occupies a prominent place in Vancouver Island’s history....

Review by David Hill-Turner


Review

The Wheel Keeper

In The Wheel Keeper , first-time novelist Robert Pepper-Smith, an instructor at Malaspina University College in Nanaimo, British Columbia, has written an engaging and often enchanting tale that draws heavily on three generations of the...

Review by Gabriele Scardellato


Review

Carlo Gentile, Gold Rush Photographer, 1863-1866

Like most colonial-era Victoria photographers, Carlo Gentile arrived and departed with little notice. Born in Italy, he eventually found his way to California around 1860. Having reached Victoria from San Francisco in 1862, he was...

Review by David Mattison


Review

The Gold Will Speak For Itself: Peter Leech and Leechtown

Vancouver Island has a distinctive personality among the regions of British Columbia, one that has been shaped in complex ways by geography and history. The books reviewed here vary in their candlepower, but all of...

Review by Patrick Dunae


Review

Gateway to Promise: Canada’s First Japanese Community

  The authors, Ann-Lee Switzer and Gordon Switzer are both historians and writers with an interest in the Japanese Canadian experience. Gateway to Promise: Canada’s First Japanese Community is a rich history of the Japanese...

Review by Masako Fukawa, Stanley Fukawa


Review

No One to Tell: Breaking My Silence on Life in the RCMP

Like all new recruits graduating from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) training academy in 1991, Janet Merlo was looking forward to getting to work at her first posting in Nanaimo, British Columbia. It was...

Review by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt


Review

Raymond Collishaw and the Black Flight

Raymond Collishaw (1893-1976), a native of Nanaimo, began his career in uniform as a teenager with the Canadian Fisheries Protection Service. In 1915 Collishaw volunteered for the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). He qualified as...

Review by Andrew Iarocci


Review

Vancouver Island’s Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway: The Canadian Pacific, VIA Rail and Shortline Years, 1949-2013

Brimming with stunning photos of trains in the Vancouver Island landscape, Vancouver Island’s Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway: The Canadian Pacific, VIA Rail and Shortline Years, 1949-2013 is a detailed account of both the railway’s day-to-day...

Review by Kelly Black


Review

The Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway: The Dunsmuir Years: 1884-1905

Originally, Robert Dunsmuir, the founder of the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway (E&N), had intended the southern terminus to be Esquimalt and the northern terminus to be Nanaimo, as the name suggests, but before he had...

Review by Bruce Hodding


Review

When Coal Was King: Ladysmith in the Coal-Mining Industry on Vancouver Island

WHEN COAL WAS KING, Ladysmith was a small, undistinguished pit-town, one of thousands around the industrializingworld. On the eve of the Great War, Ladysmith’s population barely passed 3,200. Compared with Nanaimo or Cumberland, let alone...

Review by John Belshaw


Review

The Library Book: a History of Service to British Columbia

Accepting the challenge to produce, within a fixed deadline, a comprehensive overview of the evolution of libraries in British Columbia must have been daunting. Works of this sort are most often destined to grow old,...

Review by Tom Shorthouse


Review

Harbour City: Nanaimo in Transition, 1920-1967

Nanaimo is a perplexing place for a historian. The city’s elected officials and first Nations leaders often disregard and frequently disdain historical structures. Recently, two buildings that had been listed on the city’s heritage register...

Review by Patrick Dunae


Review

Becoming British Columbia: A Population History

If Canada, as William Lyon Mackenzie King once quipped, has too much geography, John Belshaw might well reply that Canadian historiography has too little demography. Regional historical writing, including that found in British Columbia, has...

Review by Forrest Pass


Review

Colonization and Community: The Vancouver Island Coalfield and the Making of the British Columbian Working Class

JOHN DOUGLAS BELSHAW has provided the historical community with a well-researched, artfully written, and well-indexed account of an important aspect of Vancouver Island coalmining history: the experience of nineteenth-century British immigrant miners. He gives the...

Review by Lynne Bowen


Review

Brokering Belonging: Chinese in Canada’s Exclusion Era, 1885-1945

This is a groundbreaking book in Chinese Canadian History and in the history of the global Chinese diaspora. It challenges conventional perceptions of Chinese relations with the mainstream society in Canada during the historical era...

Review by Zhongping Chen


Review

Kilts on the Coast: The Scots Who Built BC

Despite the title, this is not a comprehensive history of the Scots in British Columbia. The best overview remains the BC chapter in Ferenc Morton Szasz, Scots in the North American West, 1790-1917 (2000), which...

Review by Jack Little


Review

Senewelets: Culture History of the Nanaimo Coast Salish and the False Narrows Midden

PDF – Book Reviews, BC Studies 91/92, Autumn/Winter 1991/92  

Review by Gregory Monks


Review

Klondike Cattle Drive

Klondike Cattle Drive, Norman Lee’s account of his attempt to “make a few dollars” by driving his cattle north in 1898 to sell beef to the Klondike miners, was first published in 1960. This reprint...

Review by Fran Gundry


Review

Waste Heritage

The protagonist of Irene Baird’s Depression-era novel Waste Heritage is Matt Striker, a twenty-three-year-old transient from Saskatchewan. A veteran of the Regina Riot in 1935, which ended the On-to-Ottawa trek, Matt arrives in Vancouver by...

Review by Andrew Parnaby