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Marjorie Wilkins Campbell.

Vancouver, Douglas & Mclntyre, c1957, 1983.
295pp, paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0-88894-376-8.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Maureen R. Harper.

Volume 12 Number 1
1984 January

I sat down to review this book with reluctance because, in my previous experience, many Canadian history books are dull, nearly always guaranteed to put you to sleep before a warm fire. Marjorie Wilkins Campbell's story of the North West Company did not live up to my expectations. Instead, I found an incredible history of one of Canada's first business ventures into an unlikely new commodity, fur pelts used to create men's high fashion hats. The story of the fight between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company for supremacy in the fur trade is an incredible story of heroism, hardship, and deprivation, almost unparalleled in any other country. Out of this struggle between the English on the one side, and the Scots, French, and some Americans on the other, came the exploration and eventual settlement of Canada's great northwest.

Marjorie Campbell's carefully researched account is factual, exciting, and sparingly written, full of believable heroes, villains, opportunists, and fools. I would recommend it for Canadian history courses in high school or university and for anyone wishing to acquire a better understanding of why Canadian allegiance contradicts geography and runs east and west instead of north and south.

Maureen R. Harper, B. C. Drury H. S., Milton, ON.
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