English Bloods

He, and other privileged young Englishmen like him known locally as "English bloods," came to north Muskoka in the late 1870s to acquire agricultural skills but soon found himself confronting the reality that most available land that, despite its scenic charms, was not agriculturally friendly. Being an educated person, Frederick de la Fosse adeptly turned his bleak experiences into an engaging tale.

Published in 1930, his richly descriptive, elegantly penned, and delightfully humorous English Bloods memoir captured life in 1870s Muskoka so charmingly that it was soon considered a literary gem. Yet this Canadian classic of life in the woods, published by Graphic Publishers in Ottawa, languished out-of-print for decades. Thanks to the inspiration and painstaking research of Scott D. Shipman of Huntsville, this new edition brings English Bloods to life again.

Shipman, who came to Huntsville as a boy and "loves the great serenity of the area," was researching the history of Bigwin Inn resort when he first stumbled across de la Fosse's 1930 book. His passion for accuracy and authenticity is on full display in this attractive book. Scott has annotated the original, for the benefit of present day readers, and illustrated it with archival photographs, and extensive additional background on this fascinating era in Muskoka's history.

— Review by J. Patrick Boyer

ISBN: 978-1-896219-96-7
Dundurn Press, 2004
224 pages, 6 x 9 in
41 B&W illustrations
$24.95 CDN/USA paperback


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