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.