Saturday, May 02, 2009

Selkirk: A Life

The product of three decades of research, this is the definitive biography of Lord Selkirk. Bumsted’s passionate prose and thoughtful analysis illuminate not only the man, but also the political and economic realities of the British empire at the turn of the nineteenth century. He analyzes Selkirk’s position within these realities, showing how his paternalistic attitudes informed his “social experiments” in colonization and translated into unpredictable, and often tragic, outcomes. Bumsted also provides extensive detail on the complexities of colonization, the Scottish Enlightenment, Scottish peerage, the fur trade, the Red River settlement, and early British-Canadian politics. - From Book Launch, Manitoba Historical Society

A new biography of Lord Selkirk was recently published by the University of Manitoba. Written by the amazing historian J.M. Bumsted, I hope to acquire a copy in the near future.

Lord Selkirk had a huge impact on our region. His settlements and associated actions, along with the fur companies, established the first footholds in what became Manitoba and yes, even the northern U.S. in what became North Dakota and Minnesota. Back in Selkirk's time, the countries, provinces, and states were yet to be established, and even the border was somewhat fluid. Settlers were on the move, and the era was alive with change and challenges. I look greatly forward to reading this book...