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Montcalm and Wolfe by Francis Parkman
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Montcalm and Wolfe (1884)

by Francis Parkman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: France and England in North America (7)

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Showing 4 of 4
A lively, but out of date account of the fall of Quebec and Montreal. Published originally in 1884. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jun 8, 2014 |
I didn't read this cover to cover--focused on the sections having to do with Fort Ticonderoga, but also read the chapter introducing Montcalm, and also the one on the Siege of Quebec. The writing was beautiful--it was written in 1884, and the language is just wonderful. Even though 1884 is more than 100 years after the French and Indian War, there are still so many close connections between Francis Parkman (author) and the events of the war: he speaks to descendants of the people involved, gets quotes from people who heard stories from people involved, etc. The appendices include the legend of Duncan Campbell, whose murdered cousin appeared to him as a ghost and told him he'd die at Ticonderoga. His troops--who knew about the ghost's warning--tried to keep from him that they were approaching the fort--but eventually it comes out, and of course, he does die there. The appendices also have the French texts of the letters Montcalm wrote his wife--so intimate! Francis Parkman didn't think much of the Indians, so we have lots of downputting remarks about savages, which is pretty depressing, but even there, sometimes you can see through the prejudice to discover interesting things (like the amount of time taken putting on war paint). Anyway, I loved the book. ( )
  FrancescaForrest | May 12, 2014 |
I didn't read this cover to cover--focused on the sections having to do with Fort Ticonderoga, but also read the chapter introducing Montcalm, and also the one on the Siege of Quebec. The writing was beautiful--it was written in 1884, and the language is just wonderful. Even though 1884 is more than 100 years after the French and Indian War, there are still so many close connections between Francis Parkman (author) and the events of the war: he speaks to descendants of the people involved, gets quotes from people who heard stories from people involved, etc. The appendices include the legend of Duncan Campbell, whose murdered cousin appeared to him as a ghost and told him he'd die at Ticonderoga. His troops--who knew about the ghost's warning--tried to keep from him that they were approaching the fort--but eventually it comes out, and of course, he does die there. The appendices also have the French texts of the letters Montcalm wrote his wife--so intimate! Francis Parkman didn't think much of the Indians, so we have lots of downputting remarks about savages, which is pretty depressing, but even there, sometimes you can see through the prejudice to discover interesting things (like the amount of time taken putting on war paint). Anyway, I loved the book. ( )
  FrancescaForrest | May 12, 2014 |
Montcalm and Wolfe was published in 1880, midway between the French and Indian War and today. Parkman conveys an immediacy of the events with a strong, clear narrative. There are heroes (Montcalm and Wolfe, Rogers Rangers and Pitt) and villains (the corrupt civil administration of Canada, particularly Vaudreuil and Bigot, and Pitt’s rival Newcastle) and “Indians” are portrayed as merciless savages. Although Parkman’s approach to history is dated, this is a book well worth reading.

I was struck by the portrait of Pitt, a strong war leader, seen as a war monger by his opponents. He sounds a lot like Churchill who almost certainly would have read this book as a young man. Parkman writes about “the gathering storm” around Pitt and I wonder whether this was the inspiration for the title of Churchill’s first volume of his WWII history.

The French and Indian War was part of the first true World War (Seven Years War) and set the stage for the American Revolution which followed less than a generation later. The removal of France as a force in North America made the colonies much less dependent upon England for military protection. The colonies learned the importance of military co-operation and developed the leaders (e.g., Washington) of the Revolution. England “won” the French and Indian War but the seeds were sown for American independence. ( )
1 vote dhinden | May 16, 2009 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Francis Parkmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morison, Samuel ELiotIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Harvard College, the alma mater under whose influence the purpose of writing it was conceived, This Book is affectionately inscribed.
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The latter half of the reign of George II. was one of the most prosaic periods in English history.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0306810778, Paperback)

Montcalme and Wolfe frames the war years through the lives of its two brilliant opposing generals. Weaving together the campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic. Parkman travels from opulent royal courts to muddy colonial fields, from Fort Necessity to the Plains of Abraham. He couples impeccable history with rich insightful narration, revealing the war as a deeply personal conflict between Louis de Montcalm and James Wolfe, the two ambitious leaders who ultimately died heroes’ deaths on the frontlines. Accompanied by over forty detailed maps and illustrations—some selected specially for this edition—Parkman’s timeless work shows how the enormous transfer of land from France to England at the war’s end sowed the first seeds of colonialism—seeds that, in the due course, led America to its revolution, and eventually, its independence.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:35 -0400)

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