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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Vancouver Island Letters of Edmund Hope Verney


This previously unknown 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.'

Table of Contents

Illustrations Acknowledgments



1. Family and Early Life

2. Letters of Sir Harry and Lady Verney

3. The Voyage Out: England to Vancouver Island

4. Naval Activites

5. Other Activities

6. People and Politics

7. Native Indians

8. Coastal Scenes and Scenery

9. The Return Journey: Vancouver Island to England

10. Later Life



Notes to Letters


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