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THE FRASER VALLEY: A HISTORY

Cherrington, John A
Madeira Park (B.C.), Harbour Publishing, 1992. 391pp, cloth, $44.95, ISBN 1-55017-068-6. CIP


Grades 9 and up/Ages 14 and up

Reviewed by John D. Crawford

Volume 21 Number 2
1993 March


This history follows the development of an important region of western Canada from the eighteenth century, when inter-tribal conflict was rife, to the present time, when environmental and other social concerns provide the chief focus of interest.

The reader will find much absorbing detail throughout the book and, in particular, will encounter a range of fascinating characters who played a part in the history of the region. These characters, while interesting in themselves, also reinforce our knowledge of the periods in which they appear. Their activities reflect the opportunities and limitations of these periods.

The author has provided a very good balance between the region and its inhabitants and thus allows the reader to observe, at second hand, the development of the area through time. There is also a satisfactory relationship between chronological narrative and anecdote which helps to maintain the interest of the reader.

The book is considerably enhanced by a wealth of illustrations. These depict the changing features of the area and record many of the more significant historical events. Such illustrations are of considerable value in giving form and shape to the human experience involved. They also complement the text by linking the names of individuals with the places they helped to develop. We will know that Captain Vancouver and Simon Fraser gave their names to our map, and will learn here that they were joined in that respect by Louis Agassiz and the brothers Thomas and William Ladner, among many others.

This book will be enjoyed by those who like to read and learn about the history of British Columbia and Canada. Those with a particular interest in the Fraser River will find the content fascinating. The text draws together features from many of the highly localized histories of Fraser valley communities, and provides an instructive and engrossing picture of the area.

The text is supplemented by copious endnotes indicating that much of the research involved local newspapers. There is also a good bibliography and a reliable index. This book can be highly recommended for all educational institutions above the elementary level.


John D. Crawford is formerly with Marigold School in Victoria, British Columbia
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