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Montcalm And Wolfe

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  187 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Francis Parkman thought of Montcalm and Wolfe (1884) as his masterpiece, and that estimate has prevailed for more than a century. At its heart lies the gripping story of the struggle between France and England for control of North America, the French and Indian Wars. Parkman marshals facts and anecdotes to make us eyewitnesses to this confrontation on both sides of the Atl ...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Published March 21st 1995 by Da Capo Press (first published January 1st 1884)
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Douglas Dalrymple
“..The forest was everywhere, rolled over hill and valley in billows of interminable green, - a leafy maze, a mystery of shade, a universal hiding place, where murder might lurk unseen at the victim’s side, and Nature seemed formed to nurse the mind with wild and dark imaginings. The detail of blood is set down in the untutored words of those who saw and felt it. But there was a suffering that had no record, - the mortal fear of women and children in the solitude of their wilderness homes, haunt ...more
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many of the great 19th century American historians -- such as Francis Parkman, John Lothrop Motley, and William H. Prescott -- are good enough to be considered as literature. This, the last volume of Parkman's six-volume history of the French in North America, is probably the best of all. It covers the French and Indian War from the point of view of the French, the American colonies, the British, the Indians, and the Acadians (who were French but not integrated with the Quebecois). The title is ...more
The British and French struggle for the continent is told in a grand old style in this book with a cast of characters and story out of a Hollywood movie. We are introduced to a young George Washington who learns lessons which he will skillfully apply less that 15 years later against the British and read about a final epic battle between the brilliant but hand-cuffed leader of the French, Montcalm, and the coldly efficient leader of the British, Wolfe, fighting it out on the Plains of Abraham in ...more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recall aloudreading three pages to my daughters, on the Plains of Abraham, Quebec Cite. These were the pages on the Battle of
Quebec, and the titular generals' mutual decease there. Great writing, worthy the great event upon which the fate of a continent--or half
the continent--depended.
Philip Lee
Montcalm and Wolfe

by Francis Parkman

About a dozen years ago I finally got round to reading James Fenimore Cooper's “Last of the Mohicans”. A shocking tale, I thought, and one that portrayed the Huron - a native people of North America - as utter savages. Let's be clear about that term (which Parkman uses throughout his “Montcalm and Wolfe”): savage denotes those who would practice cruelty as a matter of course; force prisoners of war to 'run the gauntlet'; and - in prima facie evidence of the ac
Alec Hastings
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A long, detailed history of the French and Indian War (part of the Seven Years War) by one of the pre-eminent 19th century historians in the United States. It is not a light and entertaining read but for those wanting in-depth knowledge of this war, it is one of the best known, thoroughly researched accounts.
When I picked this up at Barnes & Nobel in 2003 my life was changed!

I'm sorry but this is going to be long dysfunctional ramble...but no one is forcing you to read it so-

Although I knew this elephant existed prior to reading it in 2003, I had been so busy with work and kids that I had never attempted to start to read it.

How many books can you say that about!

I have always loved the American Revolution (AR) since my early childhood. Growing up in Bergen County, Northern New Jersey, my home t
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Austria battling each other to reshape Europe in the years after 1740, the struggle over their colonial outposts often became set piece battles with implications far beyond the borders being fought over. So it was with Great Britain and France squaring off for control of the North American continent. This would evolve into a major component of the Seven Years War, the North American portion being referred to as the French Indian War. The global import of ...more
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I'm torn about this book. It really is entertaining and engaging, but the writing style really took me a while to get used to. After the first 100 pages, I wanted to throw in the towel, but I stuck with it and felt a sense of accomplishment after finishing it. The prose describing the battles and landscapes really is terrific and is what made me give it 5 stars. The moral of the story is to go in prepared for a rewarding and entertaining, but sometimes demanding, read.
Francesca Forrest
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research
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 ...more
Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book based on a recommendation by a friend when I was visiting Montreal and Quebec City who recommended it as a good guide to the French and Indian War. The book is very well written and extensively details all the battles fought. However, what it does not do a good job of is analyzing the political and social context for the French and Indian War and the personalities of the characters involved and the motivations behind their actions. If you are looking for a blow-by-blo ...more
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read. It is often considered the premier early history of the French & Indian War, and since it was originally published in 1884, so very much of it is so politically incorrect by current standards, that sometimes I just couldn't believe some of the things he had just wrote about either the French, or the Indians. But that is part of what made reading it so much fun. Some of the paragraphs were so poetic, that I read them out loud for other friends, and often the response was "Wow!". I ...more
Mike Rogers
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The" must read for anyone interested in learning about the Seven Years War. Although the writing can be dry at times, the story is fascinating. I took it off my Dad's bookshelf when I was in high school and devoured it.

Additionally, if you're ever going to upstate New York or Eastern Canada you should read this book. Lake Champlain, the Plains of Abraham, and Fort Ticonderoga will come alive in your imagination.
John E
Jan 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At 624 pages it is quite a journey. It seemed that I would never get out of the dark, everlasting primal forest of North America (and it seemed that the English would never get out of it either).

Excellent history even if it was written in the rather florid style of the nineteenth century. Parkman was avidly pro-British and didn't appoligise for it. Much time was spent on the early years of the war and only about page 400 do the Brits finally begin to prevail.

Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history
I approached this book with some trepidation, given that it had been written in the 1880s. Boy, was I wrong -- Montcalm & Wolfe is one of those timeless treasures. It is extremely well-written, not dry at all, and the lessons imparted in the course of the story are still valid today. Parkman is the recognized authority on pre-Revolution America, and he describes the wild North America of the 18th century with true verve. I highly recommend this book to any student of American history.
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really extraordinary writing as well as a very detailed picture of the period. It is clearly written to different historical standard but the writing is at such a high level and the narrative is so engaging that it will be a pleasure for anyone interested in history. The book also makes me want to go back to Quebec, and not just for the restos.
Fred R
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Parkman turns out to be one of the most accomplished prose stylists in 19th century America. This book, the culmination of his chronicles of France in the New World, achieves a dramatic and moral grandeur worthy of Plutarch.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A extraordinary book in its care (for the age) of detail to describe both the French and the English in a balanced manner. It loses some strength at the end though
Chuck Leonard
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone with an interest in the time period.
Recommended to Chuck by: Friend
Written in 1884 this book has been a key source in many of subsequent treatments of the French and British conflict in the Americas.
Ted Flanagan
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American historian.

He is best known as author of The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life and hisseven-volume France and England in North America. These works are still valued as historical sources and as literature. He was also a leading horticulturist, briefly a Professor of Horticulture at Harvard University and author of several books on the topic.

Parkman was a trustee of
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“Her manifold ills were summed up in the King. Since the Valois, she had had no monarch so worthless. He did not want understanding, still less the graces of person. In his youth the people called him the “Well-beloved”; but by the middle of the century they so detested him that he dared not pass through Paris, lest the mob should execrate him. He had not the vigor of the true tyrant; but his languor, his hatred of all effort, his profound selfishness, his listless disregard of public duty, and his effeminate libertinism, mixed with superstitious devotion, made him no less a national curse.” 0 likes
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