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The White and the Gold (Canadian History Series #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  9 reviews
This is the fascinating story of the French regime in Canada. Few periods in the history of North America can equal it for romance and color, drama and suspense, great human courage and far-seeing aspiration. Costain, who writes history in the terms of the people who lived it, wrote of this book: "Almost from the first I found myself caught in the spell of these courageous ...more
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Published August 24th 2010 by Random House Audio (first published 1954)
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Elizabeth (Alaska)
Non-fiction isn't my usual fare, but having read Costain before, I was pretty sure this would be OK, which it was. The only reason I gave it just 3 stars is that it doesn't really compare to good fiction (but it's pretty darn good non-fiction!). The first 80 years of Canadian history was a swashbuckling time, full of adventure and plenty of colorful characters. I connected on two fronts: great great grandparents on my maternal line settled first in Canada before the line coming here; this story ...more
If I could give a 1/2 star, I would have given it 2 and 1/2. Costain does a great job exploring the roots of Canada, starting with the first explorers, from John Cabot, Cartier, and Champlain. It follows the French struggle to colonize Canada through its fighting with the Iroquois and other members of the Five Nations. The first half of the history ready very slowly, until Quebec is founded and minimal progress gets made. The history of the founding of the HBC (led by two French Coureur de bois) ...more
William Clifford
This historical fiction/non-fiction was quite enjoyable. It gave some factual history that spread some light in previously ignored arenas. It was humourous and enlightening.
Fascinating history as always. Just happy that the first Lavallee in New France, who came as a soldier to fight the Iroquois, started the family line before being killed by said Iroquois. Oh, also found out the Dutch armed the Iroquois in hopes of getting rid of the French.
Dee-ann Lang
I hated Canadian history when I was in high school, but I think I would have been more interested if we'd had this book to read. Living in Montréal, it was interesting to read about so many historical figures who've lent their names to streets, bridges and towns.

I read this on my breaks while I was working, and every time my break ended I'd come back to my desk and tell my co-worker..."Did you know that so-and-so did this?"

I don't understand why it's not a part of every history class in Canada.
Heaven prevent me from writing a book as poor as this one. It is racist, deals only in stereotypes, and is completely devoid of meaningful and deep historical analysis. Many passages seem directly lifted out of his sources, an unfortunate habit that passes itself off as analysis. I do not see how my understanding of Québec has increased. Even though relying heavily on Mr Parkman's books, this volume falls dreadfully short of that high standard.
As always, Thomas Costain makes history read almost like fiction, full of colorful people and exciting deeds.

I certainly know far more about early Canadian history than I did before, and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series of 6, even though they have different authors. Unfortunately, they are not in Kindle form and are only available in hard copy and paperback. The prices are quite reasonable.
OMG did I only start this in April? Feels like forever! Good for putting me to sleep every night, and a more in-depth look at the history I don't remember from high school. Now, off to check if I'm related to any of these famous people from Canadian history, on
Matt Sparling
While the subject matter was very interesting and I enjoyed learning about history that I knew very little about. I found the book to be disjointed. Also the lack of dates (years that events happened) to be a real detriment to the overall value of the book.
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Costain was born in Brantford, Ontario to John Herbert Costain and Mary Schultz. He attended high school there at the Brantford Collegiate Institute. Before graduating from high school he had written four novels, one of which was a 70,000 word romance about Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange. These early novels were rejected by publishers.

His first writing success came in 1902 when the Brantford
More about Thomas B. Costain...

Other Books in the Series

Canadian History Series (6 books)
  • Century of Conflict: The Struggle Between the French and British in Colonial America (Canadian History Series, #2)
  • The Path of Destiny: Canada From the British Conquest to Home Rule 1763-1850 (Canadian History Series, #3)
  • From Sea unto Sea: The Road to Nationhood, 1850 to 1910 (Canadian History Series, #4)
  • Ordeal by Fire: Canada 1910-1945 (Canadian History Series, #5)
  • The Search for Identity: Canada, War to Present (Canadian History Series, #6)

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