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list price: $26.95
also available: eBook
category: History
published: Nov 2022
publisher: Ronsdale Press

Gold, Grit, Guns

Miners on BC's Fraser River in 1858

by Alexander Globe

tagged: pre-confederation (to 1867), native american, north america

The first book to reveal the 1858 mining milieu by those who witnessed it firsthand.

"An extraordinary book." - The Tyee

Only four extensive miners' journals are known to have survived from 1858. Quoting generously from the diaries, Alexander Globe focuses on the miners' actual words providing an engaging authenticity and bringing the miners' distinctive voices, personalities and experiences back to life. History comes alive as these personal testimonies reveal the adventures and dreams of glory that these courageous men sought, the hardships they endured, and the fortunes won and lost.

By focusing on ordinary miners, this remarkable book captures the transformative events that led to the creation of British Columbia. For example, Slocumb's diary is distinctive for his many literary quotations, capturing his psychological state at any given moment, like the musical score in a film. In contrast, Beam's diary focuses outwardly on work, providing the most detailed record of 1858 mining practices that has surfaced.

Gold, Grit, Guns is the first detailed study of 1858 mining practices, miners' costs and the grim reality of how mining culture compromised First Nations life. The book is richly researched with rarely seen illustrations of life on the Fraser in 1858 and maps of the area.

About the Author

Alexander Globe

Contributor Notes

Alexander Globe is a Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the University of British Columbia. He enjoys the interplay of texts, illustrations, and history from antiquity to the present through studies of Sumerian poetry, seventeenth-century English engraving, Catharine Parr Trail's Canadian Wild Flowers (Canada's first illustrated book on botany), and the development of early Canadian air mail.

Editorial Review

"Gold, Grit, Guns offers perhaps the single best account of the experiences of miners on the Lower Fraser." - BC Studies
"An extraordinary book" - The Tyee
"A fascinating read." - Andrew Bell, host of BNN Bloomberg's "Commodities"
Featured in the Vancouver Sun
Profiled in BC Book World
Gold, Grit, Guns is a surgical social analysis of the Fraser Gold Rush, combining a literary deep dive into the personalities of its participants with a detailed exploration of the political crises it engendered." - The BC Review
"Eureka. Alexander Globe has hit a literary jackpot . . . the diaries in Gold, Grit, Guns are foundational." - Alan Twigg, author of Out of Hiding

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