Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

January 2016

January 30, 2016

Last week marked the hundredth anniversary of women beginning to get the vote in Canada. At least at the provincial and federal level. I think they had the vote at different times and different places at the municipal and school board level but it is pretty complicated. For that matter, the whole issue is pretty complicated, as Chris Moore makes clear in his thorough blog posts on the...

January 18, 2016


When I first began studying Canadian history back in the 1970s, Donald Creighton, the old curmudgeon of Canadian historiography, was past his prime. He was already being criticized for being anti-Quebec, deaf to Aboriginal issues, blind to the social history that had moved to centre stage.

All of which was true. Yet when I first...

January 6, 2016

One of the best reasons I know of to get out of bed every morning is the expectation that Sadie Stein might have posted one of her delightful reports at The Paris Review blog.

Yesterday Ms Stein revealed herself to be the only other person besides myself (OK, I'm exaggerating) to use the term quasquicentennial in a sentence. Next time you are at a dinner party, tell everyone to turn their cellphones off and ask if anyone knows...

January 6, 2016

The generosity of family allows me to spend time regularly on Savary Island, a small piece of paradise adrift in the Salish Sea. 

For Christmas this year I acquired a camera, the first I have owned since I toured Europe in 1966 with a little Kodak Instamatic. I have recently been conducting forays on foot into the history of Vancouver and I've felt the urge to record what I see.

Here are some results of the convergence of these two enthusiasms -- Savary Island and photography...