David Thompson's Travels is one of the finest early expressions of the Canadian experience. The work is not only the account of a remarkable life in the fur trade but an extended meditation on the land and Native peoples of western North America. The tale spans the years 1784 to 1807 and extends from the Great Lakes to the Rockies, from Athabasca to Missouri. A distinguished literary work, the Travels alternates between the expository prose of the scientist and the vivid language of the storyteller, animated throughout by a restless spirit of inquiry and sense of wonder. In the first volume of an ambitious three-volume project that will finally bring all of Thompson's writings together, editor William Moreau presents the Travels narrative as it existed in 1850, when the author was forced to abandon his work. Accompanying Moreau's transcription is an introductory essay and a textual introduction, extensive critical annotations, historical and modern maps, and a biographical appendix. The definitive collection of Thompson's works, The Writings of David Thompson will bring one of North American's most important early travellers and surveyors and his world to a whole new generation of readers.
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 658 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
"In a very well-written introduction, editor Moreau points out that Thompson is best understood if the reader views him in the multiple roles of storyteller, interpreter of events, scientist, philosopher, and mediator. Thompson's own writings give ample evidence of this astute observation." CHOICE
"The Travels is one of the pillars of Canadian writing, and as such, a primary source for scholars and researchers. Thompson is essential to the concept of the West; in some (European) ways, he created it. He predicted the demise of the bison, the decimat
"Thompson's descriptions of his experiences transports the reader to the era of Euro American contact with Indigenous people in the pre-colonial West like no other - his observations are amongst the clearest and most perceptive written during the period.