If You Liked x, Read y: Historic Canadians Edition

If you liked getting an insight into Canadian life through stories of some of its famous and not-so-famous citizens in The Promise of Canada, you might like to follow it up with Geoff Mynett’s River of Mists: People on the Upper Skeena 1821-1930 (Caitlin Press).


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If you’re a fan of Canadian author and historian Charlotte Gray’s The Promise of Canada: People and Ideas that Have Shaped our Country, you’ll be sure to enjoy Geoff Mynett’s River of Mists: People of the Upper Skeena, 1821-1930.

In The Promise of Canada, Gray explores what it means to be Canadian through startling stories and unique portraits of compelling Canadians. From lesser-known Canadians to the more famous George-Étienne Cartier, Tommy Douglas, Margaret Atwood, Emily Carr, and Elijah Harper, Gray presents a collection of fascinating Canadians who have shaped the country.

Similar to Gray, Mynett weaves together portraits of influential Canadians in his latest, River of Mists, creating a colourful, humanized picture of our collective history.

While Gray focuses on Canada as a whole, Mynett zeroes in on the wild frontier of the Upper Skeena from 1821 to 1930.  He shares unfamiliar stories of Canadians who left their mark on the region: Hudson’s Bay Company trader Simon McGillivray, Western Union Telegraph medical officer George Chismore, and famed painter Emily Carr. He also entertains readers with stories and the occasional scandal of lesser known pioneers, prospectors, and longtime residents such as Hudson’s Bay Company agent turned local business owner Thomas Hankin and the founders of the old Hazelton Queek newspaper.

For anyone who enjoys seeing history come alive through photos, River of Mists, just like The Promise of Canada, does not disappoint —- maps, portraits, and even photos of old newspaper pages punctuate Mynett’s folksy, small-town chronicles.

Both Mynett and Gray breathe new life into Canadian history through stories that are as riveting as they are informative.

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Thanks to Malaika at Caitlin for sharing the similarities between these two heavyweight history books (that don’t read that way, at all!). River of Mists .

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