Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


September 19, 2016


When I was a kid one of the only books about British Columbia on the family bookshelves was British Columbia: A History by Margaret Ormsby. I still own it, inherited from my parents and inscribed by the author. From its publication in 1958 (that's the cover of the paperback edition above), Ormsby's book was the definitive one-volume history of...

September 12, 2016

Interesting that this week a group of Vancouver sex trade activists will be unveiling some kind of memorial to one of the most acrimonious episodes in the city's history: the West End "sex wars" of the late 1970s, early 1980s.

The story is told in my book, Red Light Neon. Briefly, once the police wrongheadedly cracked down on prostitution taking place in the relative safety of downtown clubs in 1975, hundreds of sex...

August 28, 2016


Nice spread about my new book in the Vancouver Sun this weekend.

You can read it online here.

(Credit for the photo belongs to Bee Chalmers.)

August 9, 2016

Mel Hurtig, who died last week at the age of 84, was my publisher for a few years during the 1980s. I had been working as a fur-trade historian and thought that the time was right for a popular history of the trade incorporating some of the new ideas which were transforming the academic approach to the subject, chiefly a re-assessment of the role played by the First Nations. Mel was encouraging and Battle for the West appeared under the Hurtig imprint in 1982. Next he suggested that...

August 5, 2016


August 10 (next Wednesday) is the District of North Vancouver's 125th birthday. Celebrations will occur, among them a talk by yours truly at the District Hall at 2 p.m. I'll be showing slides from my new book, Where Mountains Meet the Sea: An Illustrated History of the District of North Vancouver.

There will be cake!