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History General

Canada Day 2016 Preview

The Promise of Canada

by (author) Charlotte Gray

Simon & Schuster
Initial publish date
Jun 2016
General, Social History, Historical
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2016
    List Price
    $0.00 USD

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Celebrate Canada Day with this Preface to Charlotte Gray’s The Promise of Canada: 150 Years—People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country.

“I knew it was time to engage Canadians in our past in a new way. I’ve always been fascinated by the gap between the modesty of my fellow citizens and the extraordinary success of this country. Every issue, every period, every region I explore, I find intriguing characters, painful tensions and surprising triumphs. Yet most of us know so little about the layers of history and ideas that make this country work.

We have a unique and lively history, but too often it is told from only one perspective. Sometimes that perspective is political, other times it is regional, but it rarely captures the complexity of our sprawling land and diverse people. A big birthday, like Canada’s 150th, is the perfect time to bring both national heroes and unexpected guests to the table. I want their personal dramas and brilliant visions to bring a sparkle to the sesquicentennial.”

—Charlotte Gray on The Promise of Canada, available October 2016 from Simon & Schuster Canada

About the author

Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s best-known writers, and author of ten acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Gray’s most recent bestseller is The Promise of Canada: People And Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country. Her previous book,  The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and The Trial that Shocked a Country, was also a bestseller and won the Toronto Book Award, the Heritage Toronto Book Award, the Canadian Authors Association Lela Common Award for Canadian History and the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book. It was shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize, the Ottawa Book Award for Non-Fiction and the Evergreen Award and was long-listed for the B.C. National Book Award for Non-Fiction. An adaptation of her bestseller Gold Diggers, Striking It Rich in the Klondike was broadcast as a television miniseries in early 2014 on the US Discovery Channel, under the title Klondike.

An Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University, Charlotte is the Recipient of the Pierre Berton Award for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history. She has chaired the boards of both Canada’s National History Society and the Art Canada Institute, has served on the boards of PEN Canada and the Ottawa International Writers Festival. She has frequently served on Writers Trust committees, as well as being a juror for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the RBC Taylor Prize, the City of Ottawa Book Prize, several CBC awards and the Kobzar Literary Award. Charlotte is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Charlotte Gray's profile page

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR The Massey Murder

“Narrated with a great sense of presence, irony, and verve, this book recreates a vanished world of Canadian jurisprudence and politics, invests it with life, and makes it memorable.”

The Globe and Mail

PRAISE FOR Gold Diggers

“A lively, delightful reenactment of a signal era of 'Klondike mythology.”

Kirkus (Starred Review)

“Stampeding through our misconceptions of history, Gray reveals a country built on risk, passion and unparalleled adventure. And did I mention romance? Treachery? Gray is more than a writer. She is a treasure hunter. And in these pages, she has struck gold.”

Evan Solomon

“What a fascinating, rich account Ms. Gray’s book presents of one of the most astonishing moments in Canadian history: the Klondike gold rush. . . . Ms. Gray’s previous books have borne this hallmark of a historian’s scrupulous attention to the written record—she adores diaries, letters, newspaper clippings, yellowed books—blended with the context of character and place.”

Jeff Simpson, The Globe and Mail

“Refreshing… [and] very readable.”

National Post

“A captivating read, balancing intense research with richly drawn characters and lively storytelling.”


“Gold in the story and gold on the page. With meticulous research and a keen eye for the crucial detail, Charlotte Gray disentangles the story of the great Klondike Gold Rush from its myths and clichés to tell the story of the extraordinary adventurers who struggled to survive and prosper in a harsh land.”

Margaret MacMillan

“An engrossing chronicle of Toronto’s social life at the beginning of the 20th century. . . . Gray’s description of the trial and the Toronto of a century ago allow us to understand much more about the city we call home.”

Toronto Star

Other titles by Charlotte Gray