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Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West

von D'Arcy Jenish

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
723297,787 (3.78)5
Epic Wanderer, the first full-length biography of mapmaker David Thompson (1770-1857), is set in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries against the broad canvas of dramatic rivalries between the United States and British North America, between the Hudson's Bay Company and its Montreal-based rival, the North West Company, and among the various First Nations thrown into disarray by the advent of guns, horses, and alcohol. Less celebrated than his contemporaries Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Thompson spent nearly three decades, beginning in 1784, surveying and mapping more than 1.2 million square miles of largely uncharted Indian territory. Traveling across the prairies, over the Rockies, and on to the Pacific, Thompson transformed the raw data of his explorations into a map of the Canadian West. Measuring ten feet by seven feet and exhibiting astonishing accuracy, the map became essential to the politicians and diplomats who would decide the future of the rich and promising lands of the West. Yet its creator worked without personal glory and died in penniless obscurity. Drawing extensively on Thompson's personal journals and illustrated with his detailed sketches, intricate notebook pages, and the map itself, Epic Wanderer charts the life of a man who risked everything in the name of scientific advancement and exploration.… (mehr)
  1. 00
    Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West von Stephen E. Ambrose (47degreesnorth)
    47degreesnorth: Detailed tale of courage and determination on par with the explorations of Lewis and Clark many years before they ventured into the great unknown
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Thompson's story makes this well worth reading, but the writing really leaves something to be desired. ( )
  mring42 | Jul 20, 2021 |
For a book subtitled "David Thompson and the mapping of the Canadian West", the maps were terrible! Other than that, I enjoyed the book. I found it comprehensive, intriguing and well written. I liked the details about life in the fur trade and the portrayal of Aboriginal people. I think the book also showed the effectiveness of difference industrial models -- the colonialism of the Hudson's Bay Company vs the entrepreneurship of the Northwest traders. I would have liked to know so much more about Thompson's wife, Charlotte. ( )
  LynnB | Jan 10, 2017 |
David Thompson makes Lewis and Clark appear like day hikers. A thoroughly engaging and comprehensive book on his exploits and explorations. Very well written as well. Only improvement could have been in the maps. ( )
  47degreesnorth | Jul 19, 2013 |
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Epic Wanderer, the first full-length biography of mapmaker David Thompson (1770-1857), is set in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries against the broad canvas of dramatic rivalries between the United States and British North America, between the Hudson's Bay Company and its Montreal-based rival, the North West Company, and among the various First Nations thrown into disarray by the advent of guns, horses, and alcohol. Less celebrated than his contemporaries Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Thompson spent nearly three decades, beginning in 1784, surveying and mapping more than 1.2 million square miles of largely uncharted Indian territory. Traveling across the prairies, over the Rockies, and on to the Pacific, Thompson transformed the raw data of his explorations into a map of the Canadian West. Measuring ten feet by seven feet and exhibiting astonishing accuracy, the map became essential to the politicians and diplomats who would decide the future of the rich and promising lands of the West. Yet its creator worked without personal glory and died in penniless obscurity. Drawing extensively on Thompson's personal journals and illustrated with his detailed sketches, intricate notebook pages, and the map itself, Epic Wanderer charts the life of a man who risked everything in the name of scientific advancement and exploration.

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