Author Tags: Gold

Greg Nesteroff of Nelson, B.C. is the co-author of Gold or Im a Dutchman! Ernest Mansfield (Trondheim, NorwayAkademika Publishing, 2012)

[BCBW 2012]

Gold or Im a Dutchman!
Publisher's Promo (2012)

For over 30 years, adventurer, prospector, and author Ernest Mansfield circled the globe seeking fortunes. He seldom found them, but left behind fascinating tales and a legacy of huts and mining equipment in the Norwegian arctic archipelago of Svalbard that continue to bewilder arctic cruise ship passengers and tourists.

Charismatic and well-liked, even when his ventures didn't work out, Mansfield lived the lives of several men. He emigrated from England to New Zealand as a teenager, taught music lessons and wrote for newspapers and magazines. But his real passion lay in mining: he found the lure of gold irresistible and became involved in several speculative and controversial enterprises.

In the 1890s, he joined the Klondike gold rush in Canada's Yukon, but detoured to the Kootenay mountains around Nelson, British Columbia for a short but memorable stay. Later, he established himself in the Essex village of Goldhanger, and persuaded the local rector and doctor to join him in prospecting for gold in largely unexplored Spitsbergen.

The trio formed the Northern Exploration Company, which raised substantial capital on the London stock market to develop gold, marble and coal mines. Over 50 buildings were erected in Svalbard, and many Scottish and Norwegian miners were employed for over a decade before things went awry.

This new biography, a collaboration by authors in three countries, examines Ernest Mansfield's life and legacy, augmented by extracts from his books, newspaper and magazine articles, together with special maps and many never-before-published photographs.

Greg Nesteroff is a journalist and historian in Nelson, BC.

Dr. Susan Barr is a special advisor in polar matters with the Norwegian Directorate of Cultural Heritage, Oslo

David Newman is a Goldhanger historian and retired professional engineer.


Gold or Im a Dutchman! Ernest Mansfield. Editors: Susan Barr, David Newman and Greg Nesteroff, Akademika Publishing, NO-7005 Trondheim, Norway. Published: November 2012. Pages: 192