In 1853, Étienne Mercier, a French-Canadian voyageur painter, is tasked by his employer to return to the Queen Charlotte Islands and document his travels into Haida territory. A wide-eyed and good-natured Mercier takes the opportunity to try to track down his long-lost friend, Clément, in the wilderness of what would later become the Canadian Pacific coast.
Written in Mercier’s own broken English, or Franglais, and punctuated with traditional Canadien folk songs, David Bouchard’s candid glance into the everyday tribulations of a typical voyageur vividly depicts—along with Gordon Miller’s evocative illustrations—life on the colonial frontier in the mid-nineteenth century.
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