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Royce MacGillivray.

Toronto, Natural Heritage/ Natural History, c1983.
Distributed by Natural Heritage/Natural History, Box 69, Station H, Toronto, ON, M4C5H7.
144pp, paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0-920474-31-4.

Grades 7 and up.
Reviewed by Jack Brown.

Volume 11 Number 6.
1983 November.

This is a mythical history of Ontario in a series of eighty-five fictitious extracts from the works of a number of imaginary writers, mostly local historians. They are amusing, but in the midst of their fiction the reader will glimpse the world that existed only yesterday. They cover Loyalist times to the present, and each story recreates an incident imaginary as to history but deeply true as to myth and emotion. It is as though the myths and passionate feelings that have always characterized Ontario created a history we might have had. In MacGillivray's view, "This book is designed to make people look at the history of the province with a more sympathetic and kindly eye. What people fail to realize is that there is an interesting and lively history here which differs considerably from the dry stuff in the books." He captures it in his warm and wry portrayal of rural schoolmasters, country doctors, grave robbers, European visitors, patent medicine men, rural industries, mineral springs, the Ontario volcano, etc.

The author, a native of eastern Ontario and a professor of history at Waterloo, is well known for his earlier A History of Glengarry (Mika, 1979). This new book is a change of pace and will be of general interest although seniors may find the print too small.

Jack Brown, Kingston C. V. I., Kingston, ON.
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