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The Adventures Of Captain Bonneville. Digested From His Journal

The Adventures Of Captain Bonneville. Digested From His Journal. (Paperback) by Washington Irving (Author)

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Captain Benjamin L. E. Bonneville left the east for California in May of 1832. No one heard from him, and many people assumed he was dead (or AWOL). Three years later he returned. Washington Irving (Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle) met Bonneville, bought the rights to his journal, and after editing it and recasting it in the third person, published it. It is probably the most literate, readable description of the fur trapper era. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.




5 out of 5 stars Fur Trade Classic, June 6, 2002

By  William J Higgins III (Laramie, Wyoming United States) (REAL NAME)    


This review is from: The Adventures of Captain Bonneville: Digested from His Journals by Washington Irving (Paperback)


While some historians portray Bonneville as an arrogant, contemptuous, bumbling buffoon of the fur trade era, others also denounce the manner in which Irving attempts to place Bonneville on a pedestal. There are certainly subjects open to controversy, such as Irving's treatment (through Bonneville?) of Joseph Walker's "non-authorized" expedition to California, or the building of Fort Bonneville, known to the trappers as Fort Nonsense because of its location, etc. There are well documented accounts of Indian culture; how the trappers coexisted (and didn't) amongst the Native Americans; the never ending feuds between the American Fur Company, the Rocky Mountain Fur Company and the Hudson's Bay Fur Company; the annual mountain rendezvous; the shortages of food; elements of nature; descriptions of geography, geology, etc.; and simply put, survival in the wilderness in the 1830's. This is a classic of the fur trade period, and Irving's writing style is very realistic and expressive of the lifesyles back then.

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