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Champlain's Dream by David Hackett Fischer
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Champlain's Dream (2008)

by David Hackett Fischer

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6041925,972 (4.43)33
Traces the story of Quebec's founder while explaining his influential perspectives about peaceful colonialism, in a profile that also evaluates his contributions as a soldier, mariner, and cultural diplomat.
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» See also 33 mentions

English (18)  French (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
A vivid portrayal of this time, I felt like I was with the explorers seeing North America wilderness for the first time, meeting tribes of Indians. And meeting this extraordinary man who brought it aĺl off. ( )
  charlie68 | Mar 19, 2019 |
Fascinating ( )
1 vote ibkennedy | Jul 6, 2016 |
I read this book maybe five years ago but it has stuck with me. The stories of Champlain's interactions with the native people are so rich and were certainly nothing I had expected. The sophistication of the Huron people versus the bare bones lives of the Micmac people.

Seriously anybody with any interest in North America should read this book! ( )
2 vote kukulaj | May 7, 2016 |
If you are a writer who doesn't yet understand the all important idea of "theme," this book makes it very simple. In addition, it is a good read with tons of information about the early French fur trade in North America.
1 vote nancymanderson | Dec 16, 2012 |
Outstanding! Probably too detailed for a casual reader, but excellent for anyone with an intense interest in the contact period. ( )
1 vote pmerriam | Apr 9, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
David Hackett Fischer has produced a dense, learned, and readable
tour de force. Through the life and activities of Samuel de Champlain
narrated in Champlain’s Dreams, Fischer has painted a detailed portrait
of an important i gure in the story of French colonization of North
America and who, Fischer believes, has important lessons to impart in
the complex times of the early twenty-i rst century.
 
Dans cet imposant ouvrage, David Hackett Fischer propose une biographie de Samuel de Champlain (vers 1570–1635), certainement la plus complète à ce jour. Le Rêve de Champlain porte évidemment sur ce grand navigateur et explorateur, le fondateur de la ville de Québec, qui a fêté son 400e anniversaire en 2008.
 
Il faut mettre d'autres bémols. Le Champlain présenté comme un «humaniste» avant-gardiste en sol nord-américain, comme un fondateur «tolérant» envers les Français protestants et les cultures et croyances des Amérindiens, ne concorde pas bien avec le discours offert dans ses écrits.
(....)
En un mot, disons que le travail de recherche et de documentation accompli par David Hackett Fischer est colossal.
 
Champlain's Dream is history in the grand style, a blend of the old-style narrative about great men and amazing deeds, and the newer contextual narratives of race, social currents, and localities - or what Prof. Fischer in conversation in Ottawa yesterday called the "third way" in history.
 
Fischer responds to this challenge the way any careful researcher would. He scours the record, archaeological as well as historical, to find out what we can reliably conclude, and then fills in the holes with some informed speculation. Because he is a rigorous historian, not a historical novelist, he is always scrupulous about drawing a firm line between facts and inferences, and he presents a wide variety of views. He even includes appendixes to examine competing theories about Champlain’s birth date, the scene of some of his most famous victories, the accuracy of his published writings and other matters of dispute.
added by Serviette | editNew York Times, Max Boot (Oct 31, 2008)
 
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Dedication
To my father, John Henry Fischer, on his 98th birthday. For the continuing gift of his wisdom and judgment.
First words
An old French engraving survives from the early seventeenth century.
Quotations
Champlain told them he wanted to visit another nation called the Nebicerini (or Nipissing) who lived on today’s Lake Nipissing, and asked for the use of four canoes. The island Indians said the Nebicerini were a nation of wizards who killed people with magic, and Chaplain would not be safe among them. Champlain persisted, pointing to his interpreter and saying that Nicolas de Vignau had been there.
To his amazement the Indians responded with an explosion of anger. Tesouat called Vignau a liar to his face and said, “If you visited those tribes it was in your sleep, and every night you slept beside me and my children.” They refused to allow Champlain to go farther, allegedly for his own protection, and offered to deal with Vignau themselves. “Give him to us,” Tessouat said, “and we promise he will tell no more lies.” Champlain protected Vignau, gave up his plan to go farther, and prepared to return south. Before he left, Champlain erected a cross of white cedar with the arms of France and asked the Algonquin to protect it. On June 10, he started home again with an escort of Tessouat and his sons and warriors, who were suddenly friendly again. One suspects that the Indians were protecting the sources of their fur trade, much as other nations had done. Champlain was careful not to challenge them.
On June 17, he and his party were back at the falls near Montreal. Champlain confronted Vignau and demanded an explanation. The young Frenchman confessed that he had never been to the northern sea, and had lied about it so that he would be taken back. He asked Champlain “to leave him in the country among the Indians.” Champlain asked some of the Indians to take him in, but wrote that “none of the Indians would have him, in spite of my request, and we left him in God’s keeping.” Vignau walked off into the forest, and Champlain never saw him again. Perhaps he formed a union with an Indian woman, or possibly he became a solitary trader. He may have been killed by the Indians, who hated a liar more than a murderer. His fate is unknown.
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