Biography

#264 From John McCrae to Morrison

First published March 15, 2019. Morrison: The Long-lost Memoir of Canada’s Artillery Commander in the Great War. Major-General Sir Edward Morrison by Susan Raby-Dunne (editor) Victoria: Heritage House Publishing, 2017. $22.95  /  9781772032147 Reviewed by Michael Sasges * Edward Morrison was one of no more than fifty general officers who directed Canadian Corps battlefield activities…
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#256 Norman Bethune and women

First published Feb. 28, 2018. I’m not your man: Norman Bethune & women An essay by Larry Hannant * Doctor, medical innovator, propagandist, artist, political activist — Norman Bethune is nothing if not multitalented. The same complexity marks his character. The accounts of friends and acquaintances portray a man whose personality was multifaceted and contradictory,…
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#255 Spitfire luck

First published Feb. 28, 2018. Badly injured, Spitfire pilot Alfred “Skeets” Ogilvie spent nine months in hospitals in Lille and Brussels, being treated by German surgeons, before being sent to Stalag Luft III in Poland where, in March of 1944, he took part in the Great Escape. * The Spitfire Luck of Skeets Ogilvie: From…
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#226 Rescuing Riel, revising history

First published Dec. 20, 2017. Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done by David Doyle Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2017. $24.95  /  978-1-55380-496-3 Reviewed by Max Hamon * Few Canadians have been more misunderstood and controversial than Louis Riel. Now that Canadians are even re-assessing the reputation of our first prime minister, David Doyle’s Louis Riel: Let…
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#211 From Prussia to Victoria

Essay: The Mysterious and Difficult Hermann Otto Tiedemann by Robert Ratcliffe Taylor First published November 26, 2017 * In this essay written specially for The Ormsby Review, Robert (Rob) Ratcliffe Taylor provides biography of Hermann Otto Tiedemann (1821-1891), the German-born surveyor, engineer, architect, and artist. He was one of thousands attracted to Victoria by the…
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#207 From the fur trade to UBC

First published Nov. 22, 2017. Royal Blood: A Memoir Vancouver: Paper Trail Publishing, 2016. $22.95.  /   9780994930309 by Laurenda Daniells Reviewed by Nancy Marguerite Anderson Royal Blood, by Laurenda Daniells, is a memoir in the form of a collection of short stories written by a woman who has clearly led a long, interesting, and rewarding…
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#184 Margaret Ormsby remembered

First published October 18, 2017 Just over a year ago, in “Welcome to the Ormsby Review” (September 16, 2016), Richard Mackie provided his memories of Margaret Ormsby, the B.C. historian after whom The Ormsby Review is named. Mostly these referenced his conversations in two fine, old living rooms in the Coldstream Valley, near Vernon, where…
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#183 Modernist poet Blaise Cendrars

Blaise Cendrars Speaks… by Blaise Cendrars. Edited and with an introduction by Jim Christy, translated by David J. MacKinnon Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2016 $24.95  /  9781771711906 First published in Paris by Denoël, 1952 and 2016 Reviewed by Serge Alternês Review first published Oct. 16, 2017 * This upcoming Remembrance Day we might recall and commemorate…
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#182 Reckoning the beckoned

First published October 16, 2017 REVIEW: Beckoned by the Sea: Women at Work on the Cascadian Coast by Sylvia Taylor Victoria: Heritage House, 2017. $19.95  /  9781772031799 Reviewed by Molly Clarkson   * Sylvia Taylor’s Beckoned by the Sea: Women at Work on the Cascadian Coast brings together the stories of twenty-four women whose career…
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#181 Mousewoman meets Spandex

First published October 14, 2017 REVIEW: The Seriousness Of Play: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas by Nicola Levell London: Black Dog Publishing, 2016. £19.95 (U.K.) 9781910433119 Reviewed by Eldon Yellowhorn Play, playful, and playfulness best describe the visual jazz that Nicola Levell presents in her portrait of Michael Nicoll and the Yahgulanaas experience. After a short preface by…
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#175 The Kane scrutiny

First published October 3, 2017 An artist among the Songhees… REVIEW:  Wanderings of an Artist Among the Indians of North America by Paul Kane, edited and with an introduction by Kenneth Lister Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2016. $39.99  /  978-0-88854-507-7 Reviewed by Grant Keddie *   Between November 1846 and November 1847, the Irish-Canadian…
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#141 Retrieving Noel from obscurity

First published June 21, 2017 REVIEW: Abenaki Daring: The Life and Writings of Noel Annance, 1792-1869 by Jean Barman Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016. $35.96  /  9780773547926 Reviewed by Michel Bouchard SUB HEADS: Noel Annance was an “Abenaki gentleman” whose trans-continental travels gave rise to the name for Annacis Island. “His seeking to pass…
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#129 Hornby haven for herd of steel

The Art of Jeffrey Rubinoff by James Fox (editor) Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2016 $36.95  / 9781771621298 Reviewed by Catherine Nutting First published May 22, 2017 * The Art of Jeffrey Rubinoff concerns Rubinoff’s sculpture, the park on Hornby Island he shaped as a permanent sculptural exhibit and his conviction that the process of…
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#124 Grappling with Indian apples

First published April 25, 2017 Chief Tetlenitsa’s Apples: Commercializing Indigenous Horticulture in British Columbia, 1907-1916 By Michael Sasges * John Tetlenitsa, chief of the Nlaka’pamux nation, was a collaborator with ethnographers Marius Barbeau and James Teit. Michael Sasges revisits Tetlenitsa’s challenges to officialdom after Merritt City Council prevented him from selling 40 boxes of apples…
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#123 “I’ll bid you Klahowya”

A Great Old Tramp: Letters from a Canadian Sojourner in British Columbia, 1873-1875 by Greg Stott (editor) First published April 22, 2017 * Editor’s foreword: George Skippon–of whom there is no known photo–reached Victoria on April 26, 1873. He worked as a labourer on the present site of the Victoria airport and recorded the Lord’s…
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