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list price: $44.95
also available: Hardcover
category: History
published: Jul 2019
publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

British Columbia

A New Historical Atlas

by Derek Hayes

tagged: historical geography, geography

Early depictions of the West Coast were no more than cartographers’ fanciful guesses. Not until the discovery of “soft gold”—sea otter pelts—and the quest to find a Northwest Passage did explorations, such as the epic voyage of George Vancouver, lead to a better understanding of the region’s geography. Even so, until the gold rush of 1858, the interior of the province was mostly unknown except for the routes blazed by fur traders. Thirteen years later, British Columbia became a province of Canada, and a transcontinental railway was built to connect the land west of the Rocky Mountains with the rest of the country. The efforts of these early explorers, fur traders, gold seekers and builders involved the production of maps that showed what they had found and what they proposed to do. British Columbia: A New Historical Atlas reveals the plans and strategies that created the province we know today through a fascinating visual lens—from maps by early Indigenous inhabitants and the Europeans who arrived to explore and exploit vast resource wealth, to maps drawn by those who, decades later, prepared for war, built dams, promoted real estate and even tracked murders. Presented alongside award-winning historian Derek Hayes’s lively and authoritative text, this unprecedented collection of over 900 maps plus 300 photos and historical documents offers a unique, geographical history. This is the story of both the dreams that came true and those that didn’t—yet all are part of the dramatic tale of the forging of Canada’s western frontier.

About the Author

Derek Hayes, a geographer by training, has a passion for old maps and what they can reveal about the past. He is the author of the bestselling Historical Atlas Series (Douglas & McIntyre), which includes the Historical Atlas of CanadaHistorical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser ValleyHistorical Atlas of Toronto and Historical Atlas of Early Railways. He holds two degrees in geography and worked for a time as a planner with the Vancouver City Planning Commission and as a real estate consultant. He lives in White Rock, BC.

  • Winner, Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing
  • Winner, BC Book Prizes' Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize
  • Winner, Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book
  • Winner, Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award
Editorial Reviews

"Derek Hayes specializes in collecting the raw materials of history. In this glorious volume he delivers a treasure trove of original maps, plans, surveys, drawings, and photographs that will delight anyone interested in B.C.'s colourful past."

— Daniel Francis, editor of the "Encyclopedia of British Columbia"

“If you’ve never owned an historical atlas, or one of Hayes’ previous books, this is the one to get. In this visually engaging volume, Hayes manages to make complex overlapping threads of historical narrative interesting and easily understood. There is almost no aspect of the province’s history that doesn’t find a presence here, from the first sea otter hunters and our political boundary disputes through to modern utopian city plans and dreams, both realized and doomed. A fascinating look at our aspirations and accomplishments.” - David Rahn, for the Western Mariner, December 2019

— The Western Mariner

"This great big gorgeous book is a full-colour collection of maps of B.C. ...Hayes brings together an unprecedented collection of maps, most previously unpublished, including surveys, treaty maps, and even maps of murder."

— Vancouver Sun

"In Hayes’ latest large and lavish tome, we see our home province emerge – map by lovingly reproduced map ...Meticulous research and a thorough grasp of history has allowed Hayes to reconstruct the history of B.C. era by era in the colourful volume"

— Peace Arch News

"A charmer. The author's vast knowledge and understanding come through on every page."

— Jean Barman, author of "The West beyond the West"

“You do not have to be a resident of British Columbia or live anywhere close, to appreciate the absolute beauty of British Columbia A New Historical Atlas. It is like holding a part of the world in your fingertips. Turning every page, reveals another part of the masterpiece.... Map lovers will be in their glory, but so will anyone else wanting to view a book as historically perfect as this.” ~ Shelf Life, December 2019

— Shelf Life

“You will have guessed that this isn't a publication you can sit down and read in one sitting; it's a refer­ence source on a gigantic subject, to consult again and again. Over 900 map and 300 photographs along with other documents make it wor­thy of its size. The tome is huge and therein lies my only complaint. It won't fit in our compact little book­ shelf in our galley!” ~ Cherie Thiessen, Pacific Yachting, January 2020

— Pacific Yachting

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