One of my favourite things to do in summer is read. In this lovely weather I have been enjoying our outdoor spaces while enjoying a variety of books. I generally prefer fiction to nonfiction but I also enjoy history and have explored that in three different nonfiction books this month.
Lion is a personal history of a man’s journey back to the home and family he lost as a five year old child in India when an unintentional ride on a train took him far from home. He was adopted by a family in Australia and had a good life there, but was pulled by memories of his other family and realizing the devastation his disappearance would have caused. With the help of Google Earth and his memories, this is the story of his journey back to his beginnings.
The Banker and the Blackfoot
This is the history of southern Alberta in the late 1800’s to the early 1900s through the recounted memories of the author’s grandfather (the banker in the title). The Blackfoot in the title is Crop Eared Wolf, who would become his friend and Kainai chief. The story centres around Fort Macleod, but reaches as far north as Calgary, and includes the arrival of the Northwest Mounted Police, the making of Treaty Seven, forming ranching leaseholds, settlers coming to farm, the national railway, the Calgary stampede, residential schools and a lot of information I did not know about southern Alberta. It is populated with well-known figures from that era such as Crowfoot, Red Crow, James Macleod, Sam Steele, John Ware, George Lane, Jerry Potts, and the Sundance Kid.
This book is a feast for the eyes and contains the histories of the outstanding jewelry pieces sold by Christies over the years. As much as my magpie heart was captivated by the glossy photos, I was also intrigued by the stories comprising the histories of the jewelry, and that of their owners, some of whom lost their heads…