Thursday 5 August 2021

August Book Tuesday er Thursday

 Well, missed by a couple of days.

I blame the heat 😎

Here are two book suggestions for you to enjoy.

Victorian Society of Alberta

The Promised Land: Settling the West 1896-1914
by Pierre Berton

After the pioneers described in The National Dream, The Last Spike and Klondike came the settlers — a million people who filled a thousand miles of prairie in a single generation.

 From GoodReads

"A book that has moved me to tears time and again. (I suspect because I'm descended from some of the peoples described in this book and my hometown of Brandon is featured prominently.) This is Burton's epic of immigration, what would become one of the great defining characteristics of Canada. The seeds of our multicultural nation are explored, as is the start of what we think of as Western Canadian culture. We follow the stories of several people through the era, from impoverished immigrants to powerful politicians. Most fascinatingly, Clifford Sifton, once one of the most powerful men in the country, who is now no more than a footnote to history. Burton tells the story of the people of the West in a way that never fails to captivate.
"This is my favourite of Burton's, and one that I've returned to many times. It reminds me how lucky modern Canadians are to live in the nation that these settlers built as well as the importance of keeping our culture of multiculturalism. (Which I know may not make sense to non-Canadians, but that seemingly contradictory notion is one of the best things about our country, to me at least.)"

Dangerous Days on the Victorian Railways: Feuds, Frauds, Robberies and Riots
by Terry Deary 

Facing feuds and frauds, robberies and riots and the disasters of dangerous drivers, deadly designers and sleepy signalmen, Victorians risked more than just delays when stepping on a steam train.

Victorian inventors certainly didn't lack steam, but squabbling over who deserved the title of 'The Father of the Locomotive' and busy enjoying their fame and fortune, safety on the rails was not their priority. Brakes were seen as a needless luxury (until a steamer started to slide downhill towards disaster) and boilers had an inconvenient tendency to overheat and explode, and in turn, blow up anyone in reach.

Four years after a mysterious murderer left only his victim's crushed hat and walking stick on board a first class carriage, the nation trembled at the trains once more. Poorly timed repairs caused a locomotive to derail and crash into the shallow River Beult, killing ten passengers and injuring 40 more. The infamous Staplehurst disaster is said to have traumatised passenger Charles Dickens, threatening to expose his affair with the young Nell Ternan, and altering his health and writing for the rest of his life.

Often recognised as having revolutionised travel and industrial Britain, Victorian railways were perilous. Few other histories honour the lives of the people killed or injured by the diseases and disasters which accounted for thousands of deaths. The victims of the Victorian railways had names, lives and families, and they deserve to be remembered.

Sunday 1 August 2021

Treaty 7 Presentation

Treaty 7

Rachel Nadon's presentation for this year's Virtual Days of Yore on Treaty number 7.

Posted by Victorian Society of Alberta on Saturday, July 31, 2021