This previously unkwn collection of letters lets us experience colonial British Columbia through the eyes of a young British naval officer who spent three years on Vancouver Island commanding a Royal Navy gunboat during the Cariboo gold rush. A keen observer of life in the new world, Edmund Hope Verney corresponded on a regular basis with his father, a prominent British MP. In his letters, which are filled with lively narration and description, candid commentary, and fascinating personal detail, he talks about having 'the opportunity to observe a colony in [its first] stage of existence' and to 'watch the development of a community.'
Allan Pritchard is Professor Emeritus of English, University of Toronto. He was born and grew up in Comox and now divides his time between Victoria and Galiano Island.