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Romancing the Rockies: Mountaineers, Missionaries, Marilyn, and More [Paperback]

Brian Brennan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Feb. 9 2005

In Romancing the Rockies: Mountaineers, Missionaries, Marilyn, and More, award-winning popular historian Brian Brennan introduces us to the daring men and women who found themselves attracted irresistibly to the magnificent Canadian Rocky Mountains over the last 250 years. Whether they visited the lofty peaks and sheltered valleys, made journeys of exploration, pilgrimage, adventure, physical endeavour, or cultural achievement, all were drawn by the romance, the allure, and the mystique of these ancient and fabled mountains.



A passionate storyteller, Brennan begins with reference to legends drawn from the Stoney oral tradition, introduces us to an incredible cast of characters: pioneering missionaries Robert Rundle and George McDougall; nineteenth-century botanists David Douglas and John Macoun; famed painters Paul Kane and Henry James Warre; and Jimmy Simpson, the famous Banff guide and
outfitter.



Brennan also gives life to one-time Rocky Mountain residents such as:

  • Byron Harmon, the first professional photographer to make his home in the Rockies;
  • Carl Rungius, the first significant artist to live and paint in the Rockies;
  • Chief Smallboy, who led his Cree band into the Rocky Mountain wilderness to find peace and harmony;
  • Norman Sanson, the weatherman who climbed Sulphur Mountain one thousand times over a 35-year period to check meteorological data.
  • And of course, there are the tourists - the climbers, trail riders, hunters and movie stars - whose dollars made it possible for the residents to be residents.
  • And there's more - much more.


Product Details


Product Description

Review

"As a longtime Rockies-oholic, I'm delighted with this book. For anyone with an interest in Canada's favourite mountains, Brian Brennan has given us more to know and love."

-- Alberta Views magazine

Book Description



Winner of the Dave Greber Award for freelance writing for the chapter What's in a Name?-1896, Ha Ling Finally Gets his Due Recognition

Canadian Rockies Award nominee, 2005


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5.0 out of 5 stars Biographical gem April 29 2005
By G C
Format:Paperback
Romancing the Rockies is a biographical study of the people who have been attracted to the Rockies by its romance; sometimes seduced and rejected, other times wooed and wed, but always held spellbound by its majesty.
Arranged chronologically, the book starts with the earliest aboriginal inhabitants of the Canadian Rockies and moves up through early explorers and pioneers to modern times. The book can broadly be broken down into two parts: historical figures and contemporary luminaries.
Bringing historical figures to light is a difficult task; the author has to reach back in time, and, working with often scant records, bring relevance and insight to an individual while simultaneously adhering to the biographical facts. From explorer Peter Findler, the first known European to enter the Rockies, to naturalist painter Paul Kane and botanist David Douglas, who came to chronicle the region, Brennan manages to portray their lives in an approachable manner that illuminates the personalities and motives of these unique and adventurous people in sympathetic and insightful manner. Even though centuries separate us from their worlds, they step out of the dry, sterile environment of the history book and come alive under the author's skill.
In the latter part of his work, Brennan deals with many of the colorful and eccentric individuals who called the Rockies their home, or simply visited and were captivated by its beauty. His narrative includes the bizarre tale of Charles Bedeaux, a French millionaire who, in the 1930s, launched a filming trek across the northern Rockies to the Alaskan panhandle, complete with 10 Citroen trucks, several cases of champagne, his wife and mistress.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biographical gem April 29 2005
By G C - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Romancing the Rockies is a biographical study of the people who have been attracted to the Rockies by its romance; sometimes seduced and rejected, other times wooed and wed, but always held spellbound by its majesty.
Arranged chronologically, the book starts with the earliest aboriginal inhabitants of the Canadian Rockies and moves up through early explorers and pioneers to modern times. The book can broadly be broken down into two parts: historical figures and contemporary luminaries.
Bringing historical figures to light is a difficult task; the author has to reach back in time, and, working with often scant records, bring relevance and insight to an individual while simultaneously adhering to the biographical facts. From explorer Peter Findler, the first known European to enter the Rockies, to naturalist painter Paul Kane and botanist David Douglas, who came to chronicle the region, Brennan manages to portray their lives in an approachable manner that illuminates the personalities and motives of these unique and adventurous people in sympathetic and insightful manner. Even though centuries separate us from their worlds, they step out of the dry, sterile environment of the history book and come alive under the author's skill.
In the latter part of his work, Brennan deals with many of the colorful and eccentric individuals who called the Rockies their home, or simply visited and were captivated by its beauty. His narrative includes the bizarre tale of Charles Bedeaux, a French millionaire who, in the 1930s, launched a filming trek across the northern Rockies to the Alaskan panhandle, complete with 10 Citroen trucks, several cases of champagne, his wife and mistress. He also recounts the exploits of Marilyn Munroe when she came to Jasper in 1953 to shoot River of No Return with Robert Mitchum, the visit to Banff of King George VI in 1939, and the tale of British spy Conrad O'Brien-ffrench, who leased his homestead ranch east of Banff to Princess Margaret during her Canadian tour in 1958. In all, it is an entertaining, illuminating and enjoyable account of one of Canada's most beautiful regions.
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