Biography

1255 Victoria’s religion of the heart

Queen Victoria: This Thorny Crown by Michael Ledger-Lomas Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. (Spiritual Lives Series). $40.00 (U.S.) / 9780198753551 Reviewed by Simon Devereaux * This compact, densely written volume fills a surprisingly large gap in the vast biographical literature on Queen Victoria. The Victorian age is well-known for its public religiosity. It was manifest…
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1253 Running away in old age

Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto, illustrated by Ann Xu New York: First Second Books (Macmillan), 2021. Distributed by Raincoast Books. Please order from your local independent bookstore $24.99 (U.S.) / 9781626723566 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * Vancouver poet and novelist Hiromi-Goto’s graphic novel Shadow Life, brilliantly illustrated by Ann Xu, is a vollendungsroman, a story…
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1252 J.W. McKay & the Métis mystery

Joseph William McKay: A Métis Business Leader in Colonial British Columbia by Greg N. Fraser Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $22.95 / 9781772033403 Reviewed by John R. Hinde * By coincidence, Greg N. Fraser’s biography, Joseph William McKay: A Métis Business Leader in Colonial British Columbia, arrived on my desk the same day that the Tk’emlups…
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1244 Golden City to Tobacco Plains

ORMSBY REVIEW PRESS: Frederick Paget Norbury, Chapter Three: Letters, 1887 by Brenda Callaghan  * Editor’s note: we are pleased to present Chapter 3 of Brenda Callaghan’s hitherto unpublished biography, Frederick Paget Norbury, Remittance Man or Gentleman Immigrant? The Story of an Englishman in Canada. Earlier in 2021 we published  the Introduction,  Chapter 1, and Chapter 2….
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1232 Unwelcome in the academy

Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment by Sarah Milroy (editor) Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2021, in collaboration with The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario $60.00 / 9781773271194 Reviewed by Maria Tippett * Today, we all accept that historically Canadian female artists were excluded from major exhibitions and art societies, given little financial support…
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1227 John Jensen, northern socialist

No Compromise: A Memoir by John Jensen, edited by Rod Link, foreword by George Heyman Vancouver: Walhachin Press, 2021. This book is for sale at Munro’s Books (Victoria), People’s Co-op Bookstore (Vancouver), and Misty River Books (Terrace) — Ed. $20.00  /  9781777582302 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Northern Socialist. Tracing the life of a B.C….
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1195 A serious thinker of the labour left

Able to Lead: Disablement, Radicalism, and the Political Life of E.T. Kingsley by Ravi Malhotra and Benjamin Isitt Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021 $34.95 / 9780774865777 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * “Impossibilist” Crusader: E.T. Kingsley led the Socialist Party of Canada and edited the Western Clarion Eugene Thornton “E.T.” Kingsley (1856-1929) was a sharp-tongued orator in…
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1193 From Scapa Flow to Lord Byng

In Action with Destroyers 1939-1945: the Wartime Memoirs of Commander J.A.J. Dennis, DSC, RN by J.A.J. Dennis (author) and Anthony Cumming (editor) Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen and Sword Maritime, 2017 £19.99 (U.K.) / 9781526718495 Reviewed by Michael L. Hadley * BC books and authors offer a rich palette of local and international perspectives. They…
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1187 Renaissance art & misogyny

Abject Eroticism in Northern Renaissance Art: The Witches and Femmes Fatales of Hans Baldung Grien by Yvonne Owens London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2020 $108.00 (U.S.)  /  9781784537296 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * Art scholar and feminist Yvonne Owens has turned her gaze to the Northern Renaissance artist, Hans Baldung Grien, who adopted the orthodoxies of…
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1186 Excuses: a preemptive review

The New Race: Selected Writings, 1901-1904 by William H.H. Johnson, afterword by Jade Ferguson Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, forthcoming 2022 $19.99 / 9781771124140 Reviewed by Frank Mackey * My only excuse for writing this account of a book yet unpublished is that I grew tired of waiting for it. The request had come…
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1185 Mountain colony of polygamy

Balancing Bountiful: What I Learned about Feminism from my Polygamist Grandmothers by Mary Jane Blackmore Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $24.95 / 978177386-0046 Reviewed by Lynne Bowen  * People who live in British Columbia have become familiar with the names Blackmore and Bountiful over the past three decades. And so my motivation for choosing to…
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1183 Why I love Lucy Maud

ESSAY: Why I love Lucy Maud by Carol Volkart * When I first met Lucy Maud Montgomery in her journals a few months ago, she was a sparkling flirt of 14 tumbling off sleds in winter snowbanks, losing her hat and laughing, laughing, laughing. When I said goodbye to her recently, she was an anguished…
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1179 History galleries & robber barons

The Object’s the Thing: The Writings of Yorke Edwards, A Pioneer of Heritage Interpretation in Canada by Richard Kool and Robert A. Cannings (editors) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9780772678515 * Craigdarroch Castle in 21 Treasures by Moira Dann, with an afterword by Bruce Davies  Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2021 $20.00 /…
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1177 Paint those final portraits

obittersweet: Life Lessons from Obituaries by Tamara Macpherson Vukusic Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781771615280 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * As a long-time reader of obituaries, I was delighted to receive a copy of Tamara Macpherson Vukusic’s collection of essays which is aptly titled obittersweet. Describing her Sunday morning ritual “with coffee in…
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1172 Gunanoot at large, 1906-1919

Pinkerton’s and the Hunt for Simon Gunanoot: Double Murder, Secret Agents and an Elusive Outlaw by Geoff Mynett Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781773860503 Reviewed by Tyler McCreary * There has been a recent resurgence of interest in the story of the Gitxsan outlaw Simon Gunanoot. Accused of killing two mixed-race men, Alex…
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1166 Canadian poetry: the untold story

Little Resilience: The Ryerson Poetry Chap-Books by Eli MacLaren Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020 $37.95 / 9780228003496 Reviewed by Carole Gerson * We have long needed this book! For 35 years, from 1925 to 1960, Canadian poets writing in English were sustained by the Ryerson Poetry Chap-Book series, which issued some 200 booklets…
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1152 A career in postwar medicine

Improbable Journeys: From Crossing the Himalayas on Horseback to a Career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Dr. Bernard A.O. Binns and Ron Smith Oakville, ON: Rock’s Mills Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772441932 Reviewed by John Kenwright * Editor’s note: Occasionally we run two reviews of the same book at The British Columbia Review. May Q….
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1148 Morality, poison & infanticide

The Trial of Jeanne Catherine: Infanticide in Early Modern Geneva by Sara Beam Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781487587673 Reviewed by John Lepage * Historians are usually careful to establish the relevance of their publications. It is part of the ongoing program of history’s defence of itself as a field of study…
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