Scoundrels, Dreamers & Second Sons

British Remittance Men in the Canadian West

Between 1880 and 1914, thousands of British remittance men came to the Canadian West, urged overseas by a rapidly changing British society. In a land of cowboys and loggers, their attempts to recreate the aura of landed gentility were sometimes misunderstood-and often ridiculed. Many Canadians thought steeplechase tracks, easels, tennis, and “taking ease” were futile pursuits for a group of otherwise pleasant and well-educated men. What some saw as a chase after failed dreams, a lack of family ties, and a refusal to ever settle down to serious work, remittance men knew as the very things that made their lives worth living. With a hint of nostalgia for the pre-war era that harboured these colourful outcasts of a diminishing empire, Mark Zuehlke fondly recounts the often humourous and sometimes dismal efforts of “good breeding” in Canada’s West. Published by Harbour Publishing, 2016: 231 pages.

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Reviews:

Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Sun July 1, 2016 Review

The re-issue of this charming book is timely. It will make an entertaining summer read, especially for readers who live in some of the communities across the west where the remittance men had their brief turn on the Canadian stage. The prose is consistently competent and amusing, and occasionally moving.
Victoria Times Colonist

Victoria Times Colonist

Well-researched and written in a comfortable, easy-reading style, Scoundrels, Dreamers & Second Sons is well worth a look.

About the Author

Mark Zuehlke is an award-winning author generally considered to be Canada’s foremost popular military historian. His Canadian Battle Series is the most exhaustive recounting of the battles and campaigns fought by any nation during World War II to have been written by a single author.

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