Emperor Of The North: Sir George Simpson and the Remarkable Story of the Hudson's Bay Company

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HarperCollins Canada, Aug 1, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 496 pages

The adventure-filled story of the legendary Hudson’s Bay Company is inextricably linked to the formation of a Canadian nation stretching from sea to sea to sea. In an absorbing and lively new book on The Bay, James Raffan explores the forces that moulded a man, a company and a country.

The histories of Sir George Simpson and the HBC in the golden years of the 19th century are in many ways one history, for Simpson’s professional acumen and personal ambitions propelled a failing business to a position of great wealth and political power. At its height, the HBC trading territory covered an astonishing one-twelfth of the world’s surface. Raffan captures the many contradictions of the larger-than-life man at its centre: a brilliant manager who kept an iron grip on his fur forts from east to west, ensuring British power across the land; a pompous dandy who was most at home in a voyageur-paddled canoe; a man ashamed of his illegitimate birth but who went on to sire 13 children with eight different women, only one of whom was his wife; a master businessman who laid the foundations for the single greatest business enterprise of its day. Emperor of the North is the vibrant tale of a man who shaped much more than a fur-trading company—he launched an empire of ideas that led to the creation of a country. Meticulously researched, highly readable and wonderfully illuminated by maps and archival photographs, Emperor of the North is a delight for history buffs, armchair adventurers and biography fans alike.

 

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User Review  - Northlaw - LibraryThing

Most of my working life has been in the Canadian Arctic and this has made me curious as to how any complex organization was managed over the great spaces of the north prior to modern telecommunication ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER XV
Cover
CHAPTER XVI
ACHINE CHAPTER XVIII
THEE
M
NDEX
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

James Raffan is one of our foremost authorities on the North, the wilderness and the canoeing tradition. He is the author of Fire in the Bones, the acclaimed bestselling biography of Bill Mason; Bark, Skin and Cedar: Exploring the Canoe in Canadian Experience; and Deep Waters. He is also the editor of Rendezvous with the Wild: The Boreal Forest and The Lure of Faraway Places. Raffan is a fellow and former governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and has served as chair of the Arctic Institute of North America. A recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, he is the curator of the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough. He lives in Seeley's Bay, Ontario.

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