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Chronicles of Canada
In 32 volumes

I discovered this excellent collection. I note that due to the tight binding that the first several pages of each volume have cut our the first or last letter or two so a touch challenging to read but as you progress the problem mostly goes away. However, I have also found text versions of these books so have also placed a link to them.

I have found scans on another site which do not have these problems but several volumes are missing but they can be found at:

I have also found audio recordings of most of these volumes at:

I am going to add a volume each week so you have time to read them.  Here is a description of the first volume...

Most readers of Stephen Leacock's works are familiar with his witty and humorous writings, but few may be aware that he was also a gifted teacher, political ideologue, economist and fiction writer. Though he wrote six books on Canadian history, none of them attained the status of a standard text on the subject and were regarded more as opinion pieces without much academic foundation. Yet, the Chronicles of Canada series by Stephen Leacock remains an interesting and entertaining read.

In this volume, Dawn of Canadian History: Aboriginal Canada, which is part of a thirty-two book series of short and simple essays, Leacock explores the little known origins of Canada's past. Leacock begins with his theories on the geological formation of the country and the beginnings of the earth's structures. The emergence of human beings and the original settlers of the North American Continent, the Native Americans as we know them today, is also well described, though in terms that may seem outdated to modern readers.

The “Canadian aborigines” and their culture is also described in terms of the different tribes and their relationship to the Eskimos in the extreme northern part of Canada. The advent of the white races like the Vikings or Norsemen is also one of the important events in Canada's history, as it changed the course of civilization in this country. Legends of Greenland and Iceland are well retold in the chapter entitled The Legend of the Norsemen. Another crucial event was the arrival of John Cabot of Bristol somewhere on the Labrador coast in the sixteenth century.

Politics in the sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe and the rivalry between nations like Spain, Portugal, England and France, seeking to explore new worlds and enrich their own countries is also well described. Leacock ends his book with the arrival of French explorer Jacques Cartier, known today as the Father of Canada. In historical terms, this would be set in the seventeenth century, when another great French explorer, Samuel de Champlain was making the first accurate map of the country.

For present day readers, Chronicles of Canada..., is a pleasant blend of facts with myths and legends. It is this quality which makes it much more entertaining than a pure historical account.

Audio files of these volumes are available at:

Volume 1
The Dawn of Canadian History: A Chronicle of Aboriginal Canada
Text format version

Volume 2
The Mariner of St Malo: A Chronicle of the Voyages of Jacques Cartier
Text format version

Volume 3
The Founder of New France.
Text format version

Volume 4
The Jesuit Missions: A Chronicle of the Cross in the Wilderness
Text format version

Volume 5
The Seigneurs of Old Canada
Text format version

Volume 6
The Great Intendant: Chronicle of Jean Talon in Canada 1665-1672
Text format version

Volume 7
The Fighting Governor: A Chronicle of Frontenac
Text format version

Volume 8
The Great Fortress: A Chronicle of Louisbourg 1720-1760
Text format version

Volume 9
The Acadian Exiles: A Chronicle of the Land of Evangeline
Text format version

Volume 10
The Passing of New France: A Chronicle of Montcalm
Text format version

Volume 11
The Wining of Canada: A Chronicle of Wolfe
Text format version

Volume 12
The Father of British Canada: A Chronicle of Carleton
Text format version

Volume 13
The United Empire Loyalists; A Chronicle of the Great Migration
Text format version

Volume 14
The War with the United States
Text format version

Volume 15
The War Chief of the Ottawas: A Chronicle of the Pontiac War
Text format version

Volume 16
The War Chiefs of the Six Nations: The Red Man in Canada
Text format version

Volume 17
The Red Man in Canada: Tecumseh
Text format version

Volume 18
The Adventurers of England on the Hudson Bay: A Chronicle of the Fur Trade in the North
Text format version

Volume 19
Pathfinders of the Great Plains: A Chronicle of La Vérendrye and his sons
Text format version

Volume 20
A Chronicle of the Arctic Seas
Text format version

Volume 21
The Red River Colony
Text format version

Volume 22
Pioneers of the Pacific Coast: A Chronicle of Sea Rovers and Fur Hunters.
Text format version

Volume 23
The Cariboo Trail: A Chronicle of the Gold-fields of British Columbia
Text format version

Volume 24
The Struggle for Political Freedom: The Family Compact.

Text format version

Volume 25
The Struggle for Political Freedom: The 'Patriots' of ’37
Text format version

Volume 26
The Struggle for Political Freedom: The Tribune of Nova Scotia

Text format version

Volume 27
The Struggle for Political Freedom: A Chronicle of the Union of 1841

Text format version

Volume 28
The Fathers of Confederation

Text format version

Volume 29
The Day of Sir John MacDonald

Text format version

Volume 30
The Day of Sir Wilfred Laurier

Text format version

Volume 31
All Afloat: A Chronicle of Craft and Waterways

Text format version

Volume 32
The Railway Builders

Text format version


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