BOWN, Stephen R.




Author Tags: Maritime

Stephen Bown recounts how and why Captain George Vancouver was written out of the Admiralty's history books as the victim of a "smear campaign by his aristocratic enemies," in Madness, Betrayal and the Lash: The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver. This book won for the BC Booksellers’ Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie in 2009.

Born in Ottawa, historian Stephen R. Bown of Calgary has cited Captain James Cook's unparalleled success in preventing scurvy in his maritime history Scurvy: How a Surgeon, a Mariner and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail (Thomas Allen, 2003 $34.95). The wide-ranging and somewhat slight study touches upon Cook's voyages to British Columbia and Alaska.

As a Canmore, Alberta-based husband and wife team, Nicky L. Brink and Stephen R. Bown retraced the pioneering footfalls of David Thompson's 1807 journey across Howse Pass, as well as the Rocky Mountain travel routes of HBC Governor George Simpson, John Palliser and Mary Schaffer, in Forgotten Highways: Wilderness Journeys Down the Historic Trails of the Canadian Rockies (Brindle & Glass, 2006). Routes such as Athabasca Pass are far less-travelled than they were prior to 1850 when Thompson and other explorers laid the foundation for the B.C. fur trade.

Bown's first book, Sightseers and Scholars, offers portraits of some of the naturalists and adventurers who explored the New World prior to Charles Darwin such as William Bartram, Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Waterton, Prince Maxmilian of Wied, David Douglas, John Kirk Townsend, John Richardson, Henry Walter Bates and John Wesley Powell.

Reviews of the author's work by BC Studies:
Madness, Betrayal and the Lash: The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver

BOOKS:

Sightseers and Scholars: Scientific Travellers in the Golden Age of Natural History (Key Porter 2002)

Scurvy: How a Surgeon, a Mariner and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail (Thomas Allen, 2003 $34.95).

A Most Damnable Invention: Dynamite, Nitrates and the Making of the Modern World (2005) A selection of the Scientific American Book Club, the History Book Club and the Quality Paperback Book Club. Shortlisted for the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction and the Canadian Science Writers Association Science in Society Book Award

Forgotten Highways: Wilderness Journeys Down the Historic Trails of the Canadian Rockies (Brindle & Glass, 2007)

Madness, Betrayal and the Lash: The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver (Douglas & McIntyre 2008) $34.95

[BCBW 2009] "Maritime" "Forts & Fur"