CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Pierce, Patricia.

Don Mills (Ont.), Stoddart, c1985. 160pp, cloth, $24.95, ISBN 0-7737-2052-9. CIP

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Phyllis James

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

The author of this work, with her United Empire Loyalist background, has a real interest in Canadian history. The book is well researched and includes a biography and acknowledgements. It contains a selection of four thousand photographs, thought to be lost to Canada, but recently found in the British Library in London. These photographs show Canada as an emerging country between the dates 1895 and 1924. According to the Canadian Copyright Act, one copy of all material kept in Ottawa must be sent to the British Library in London. Fortunately one copy of these photographs was preserved, as a fire in 1916 destroyed the Ottawa library that contained a large collection of books and photographs.

The photographs give an intimate account of life in all parts of Canada. Cramped into thirteen pages is a short history of Canada, followed by the photographs and captions, under nine headings. The first, "Wild Splendour," shows the unspoiled beauty of nature, like the Rocky Mountains through which passes the new railway. "Great Coldness" introduces Canada as a northern land, showing pictures such as Eskimos of the past and the arrival of miners in the Klondike. "The Last Best West" is a collection of photographs of prairie camps, Indian ceremonies, and settlers' homes. The remaining six sections are equally informative, with early records of visiting royalty, the first automobile trip across Canada, as well as comic pictures to show the photographer's skill.

Fortunately Canada grew at the same time as photography developed, resulting in accurate accounts of the country's progress. The Great War of 1914-18 was the single most important event recorded in photographs that show the maturing of our nation. The pictures and short descriptions in this book give a vivid story of Canada's history and make a pleasant way for the student to gain a precise image of the land and its people. Recommended for all secondary students and those interested in Canada's past.

Phyllis James, Qualicum Beach, B.C.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works