In The De Cosmos Enigma (Ronsdale, 2015), Gordon Hawkins examines one of the most colourful and forgotten politicians in B.C.'s history. The man who would become B.C.'s second premier was born William Alexander Smith in 1825 in Windsor, Nova Scotia, but changed his name to Amor De Cosmos in 1854 while in California. De Cosmos ventured north to Victoria BC in 1858 where he started a newspaper that aimed to be the "voice of the people,"; a direct challenge to the only existing paper that was heavily influenced by the Hudson's Bay Company and then-Governor James Douglas. From journalism, De Cosmos pushed his way into politics, was elected premier and eventually won a seat in the House of Commons. The publicity materials for this book tell us it "offers a portrait of De Cosmos in his struggle with the Hudson's Bay Company, his fight for the union of the two colonies on the West Coast and finally for British Columbia's joining of Confederation in 1871.";

Gordon Hawkins holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Toronto. He currently lives in Victoria, B.C.


The De Cosmos Enigma (Ronsdale Press, 2015) $21.95 978-1-55380-353-9

[BCBW 2015]

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
The De Cosmos Enigma