Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver

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Product Details
$16.95  $15.76
ECW Press
Publish Date
5.2 X 8.2 X 0.7 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author
Frances Backhouse is the author of five books, including Children of the Klondike, winner of the 2010 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. She is also a veteran freelance magazine writer and teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Victoria. She lives in Victoria, B.C.

"Fascinating and smartly written." -- Globe and Mail

"Backhouse's history of the web-footed mammals that have a historic tie to Canadian identity makes for unexpectedly delightful reading -- there is much to learn from the buck-toothed rodents of yore." -- National Post

"Frances Backhouse is a writer in her prime, able to parse complex bits of data for the reader while also telling a good story. . . Once They Were Hats works as a cultural history of the beaver. It could almost be used as a master class on how to write long-form creative nonfiction." -- Times Colonist

"Every true-blue cottager should study, if not memorize, Backhouse's writings." -- Ottawa Magazine

"Backhouse is a skilled and personable narrator who guides us on a tour of the long, fond and sometimes lethal relationship we have entertained with this pudgy little rodent." -- Literary Review of Canada

"With diligence and brio worthy of its subject, Backhouse restores the beaver to its iconic status as nature's bucktoothed workaholic." -- Melissa Milgrom, author of Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy

"Cod, salt, whales, and water have all inspired terrific exploration narratives. Now the humble, much-maligned beaver stakes a claim to equal accomplishment. Author Frances Backhouse ranges through history, rambles the contemporary backwoods, and brings us all face to face with . . . wait for it . . . the Mighty Beaver!" -- Ken McGoogan, author of Fatal Passage, Lady Franklin's Revenge, and Celtic Lightning

"Frances Backhouse has written a wise and wily book, effortlessly blending history, natural history, science and sense, she tells us much that we didn't know about our national totem, and about the persistence of nature caught in the spotlight of civilization." -- Wayne Grady, author of The Natural History of the Great Lakes

"A welcome addition to the ranks of accessible histories . . . She expertly guides us through woods, ponds, auction halls, and laboratories as she tracks the Mighty Beaver." - BC Studies