Between 1880 and 1914, thousands of British remittance men came to the Canadian West, urged overseas by a rapidly changing British society.
In a land of cowboys and loggers, their attempts to recreate the aura of landed gentry were sometimes misunderstood - and often ridiculed. Many Canadians thought steeplechase tracks, easels, tennis and "taking ease" were futile pursuits for a group of otherwise pleasant and well-educated men. What some saw as a chase after failed dreams, a lack of family ties, and a refusal to ever settle down to serious work, remittance men saw as the very things that made their lives worth living.
With a hint of nostalgia for the pre-war era that harboured these colourful outcasts of a diminishing empire, Mark Zuehlke fondly recounts the often humourous and sometimes dismal efforts of "good breeding" in Canada's West.
Mark Zuehlke lives and writes on Vancouver Island. His previous books include Ortona: Canada's Epic World War II Battle (1999), The Yukon Fact Book (1998), The Alberta Fact Book (1997), The BC Fact Book (1995), The Gallant Cause: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 (1996), and the Castle Street Mysteries novel Hands Like Clouds (2000).