QUICK REFERENCE ENTRY:

Barry Gough, B.C.'s most integral maritime historian, wrote the first book ever published by UBC Press, The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1914 (1971). Now UBC Press publishes more than 50 new books annually and has a backlist of 700 titles. Along the way, Gough has become "the foremost expositor of B.C. nautical history.";

As a former high school teacher who was born in Victoria in 1938, Gough gradually climbed the academic history ladder, becoming founding director of Canadian Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, then a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, fellow of Kings College, London, and life member of the Association for Canadian Studies and of the Champlain Society. He has been archives fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and a member of the board of academic advisors of the Churchill Center, Washington, DC. He has won the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia's Medal and the Clio Award of the Canadian Historical Association. And so on.

But it is the books that count. Fifteen of them so far, including Fortune's a River (2007), a cumulative work that integrates Gough's knowledge of the Spanish, Russian, French, American and British influences on the development of the Pacific coast of North America "with particular emphasis on Canadian traders' influences on and responses to the Lewis and Clark expedition.";

At 400-plus pages, Fortune's a River is not for beginners. It needs to be digested slowly, so only time will tell if it becomes the primary overview for pre-Confederation history for the Pacific Northwest, standing alongside Robin Inglis' wide-ranging who's who, Historical Dictionary of the Discovery and Exploration of the Northwest Coast of America (2008). The art of concision is seldom rewarded, or even mentioned, so few readers will appreciate that Inglis' 428-page labour of love, is as artful as it is indispensable for anyone with an abiding interest in B.C. maritime history.

Fortune's A River was followed by Juan de Fuca's Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams (Harbour 2012). SEE REVIEW BELOW

Soldier, fur trader, explorer, adventurer. Peter Pond's life has long been shrouded in mystery even though he mapped much of northwestern Canada and mentored explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie. Pond's first expedition into the wilds of the northwestern territories gained him a fortune in furs and directions to a portage and river system that ultimately carried traders farther west than they had ever travelled.In The Elusive Mr. Pond: The Soldier, Fur Trader and Explorer Who Opened the Northwest (Douglas and McIntyre $34.95) Barry Gough casts a light Pond's life and times by examining memoirs, newspaper clippings, letters and journals to help reconstruct Pond's past.

Other Barry Gough titles include Distant Dominion: Britain and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1579-1809 (1980), Gunboat Frontier: British Maritime Authority and Northwest Coast Indians, 1846-1890 (1984) and Across the Continent: Sir Alexander Mackenzie (1997).

FULL ENTRY:

BORN: Victoria, B.C.

DATE: September 17, 1938

EDUCATION: B.A. (University of British Columbia); M.A. (University of Montana); Ph.D. (University of London, 1991)

Once described as "a foremost expositor of B.C. nautical history," former high school teacher Barry Gough studied with Gerald Graham, Rhodes Professor of Imperial History, Kings College, University of London and was hired by Western Washington University in 1968. He headed its Canadian Studies Program and was Associate Director of the Northwest Archives Center. In 1972 he went to Wilfrid Laurier University to teach history. He became founding director of Canadian Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University and was promoted to Full Professor 1978 and University Research Professor in 1994. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of Kings College London, and Life Member of the Association of Canadian Studies and of the Champlain Society. He is an Archives Fellow of Churchill College Cambridge and a member of the board of academic advisors of The Churchill Center, Washington DC. He has won the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia's Medal and the Clio Award of the Canadian Historical Society. Having retired from his eminent career in Ontario, Barry Gough has returned to live in British Columbia and produce more books.

Fortune's A River [see review below] was shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize in 2008. It is a cumulative work that integrates Gough's knowledge of the Spanish, Russian, French, American and British influences on the development of the Pacific coast of North America "with particular emphasis on Canadian traders' influences on and responses to the Lewis and Clark expedition."

Soldier, fur trader, explorer, adventurer. Peter Pond's life has long been shrouded in mystery even though he mapped much of northwestern Canada and mentored explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie. Pond's first expedition into the wilds of the northwestern territories gained him a fortune in furs and directions to a portage and river system that ultimately carried traders farther west than they had ever travelled.In The Elusive Mr. Pond: The Soldier, Fur Trader and Explorer Who Opened the Northwest (Douglas and McIntyre $34.95) Barry Gough casts a light Pond's life and times by examining memoirs, newspaper clippings, letters and journals to help reconstruct Pond's past.

From Classroom to Battlefield: Victoria High School and the First World War (Heritage House $19.95) coincides with the 100th anniversary of Victoria High School, the oldest public high school in Western Canada. Designed in 1911 by architect Francis Mawson Rattenbury, the school opened its doors in 1914 onto a new era, one vastly different from the gentle Edwardian one that preceded it. Barry Gough, a 1956 school alumni, retraces the lives of 20 former students who fought in the trenches and on the battlefields of the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Amiens and other frontlines. In a poignant book about war, memory, and sacrifice, Gough weaves a thread of hopes and dreams into the realities of poison gas, trench warfare and pain, while examining the legacies the conflict left on the home front.

In 2018, writing in the Times Literary Supplement, Jan Morris declared Barry Gough's dual biography about the early 20th century relationship between Winston Churchill and Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher as "enthralling"; and "a work of profound scholarship and interpretation."; Gough investigated how the two friends clashed over World War One strategies in his 600-page Churchill and Fisher: Titans at the Admiralty (Seaforth £35). Gough delved deeply into the collisions of their temperments, describing the work as "an inquiry into . . . the role of personality and character in the making of history"; chiefly when Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty, the Navy's political chief, and Fisher was its First Sea Lord, its professional chief. The book chiefly arose from access to Jacky Fisher's papers.

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Clifford Sifton. Volume One: The Young Napoleon, 1861-1900
Fortune's a River: The Collision of Empires in Northwest America
From Classroom to Battlefield: Victoria High School and the First World War
Gunboat Frontier: British Maritime Authority and Northwest Coast Indians, 1846-90
Juan de Fuca's Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams
The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade, and Discoveries to 1812
The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1914
Searching for a Seaport: with the 1870s CPR Explorer Surveyors on the Coast of British Columbia
The Elusive Mr. Pond: The Soldier, Fur Trader and Explorer who Opened the Northwest

BOOKS:

Churchill and Fisher: Titans at the Admiralty (Seaforth £35 or Lorimer 2017) 9781459411364 $39.95 Cdn.

From Classroom to Battlefield: Victoria High School and the First World War (Heritage House 2014) $19.95 978-1-772030-05-1

The Elusive Mr. Pond: The Soldier, Fur Trader and Explorer Who Opened the Northwest (Douglas and McIntyre 2014) $34.95 978-1-77162-039-0

Juan de Fuca's Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams (Harbour, 2012) $32.95 978-1-55017-573-8

Fortune's a River: The Collision of Empires in the Pacific Northwest (Harbour 2007). $36.95

Through Water, Ice and Fire: Schooner Nancy of the War of 1812 (Dundurn, 2006).

Britain, Canada and the North Pacific. 2004.

Fighting Sail on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay: The War of 1812 and its Aftermath. 2002.

HMCS Haida: Battle Ensign Flying. (Vanwell Publishing, 2001).

Gough, Barry M. First Across the Continent: Sir Alexander Mackenzie. (University of Oklahoma Press, 1997).

The Falkland Islands/Malvinas: the contest for empire in the south Atlantic. (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Athlone Press, 1992).

Gough, Barry M., ed. The Journal of Alexander Henry the Younger. (Toronto: Champlain Society, 1988, 1992).

Gough, Barry M., ed. The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade and Discoveries to 1812. (UBC Press, 1992).

Gunboat Frontier: British Martime Authority and Northwest Coast Indians, 1846- 1890. (UBC Press, 1984).

Gough, Barry M., ed. The Hudson's Bay Company in British Columbia: Forts Langley, Kamloops, Victoria and Simpson. Rodney Wiens...[et al.] (History Dept., Simon Fraser University, 1983).

Distant Dominion: Britain and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1579-1909 (UBC Press, 1980)

To the Arctic and Pacific with Beechey. (London: Hakluyt Society, 1973).

The Royal Navy on the Northwest Coast. (UBC Press, 1971). Reprinted, revised, as Britannia's Navy on the West Coast of North America, 1812-1914 (Victoria: Heritage House, 2016) $29.99 / 9781772031102 / See review below

[BCBW 2018]