Date of this Version
Great Plains Quarterly Vol. 29, No. 1, Winter 2009, pp. 000-000
You might just want to buy two copies-one for yourself, and one for a friend. This book by a Regina lawyer turned writer tells the story of the Canadian prairie West from the arrival of the first European explorers to 1881, although most of the book deals with the period beginning in 1869, and five of the twenty-two chapters deal with the events surrounding the time that Sitting Bull and several thousand other Sioux spent in Canada. The book was obviously written with a popular audience in mind, but it makes a significant contribution to scholarship on the history of the Canadian West.
Despite its nostalgic title and sentimental passages, Frontier Farewell possesses many of the best attributes of popular history. Wilson is strongest when telling stories based on his exhaustive research, his impressive historical sense, and his evocative prose. But thanks to his meticulous approach, his stories present evidence and difficult-to-find details that many historians will not have seen before, making this a fine source book.