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PostPosted: February 26th, 2008, 10:29 pm 
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I recently aquired a copy of Warburton Pike's book "The Barren Ground of Northern Canada" published in 1917 by E. P Dutton & Company. It's a very interesting read. It has some the usual racist crap of the times in it but it's still a good read. The book is signed by an E. Basil Holmes and has been annotated by Basil (?) very carefully, correcting typo's and and obvious errors. What is truly facinating is that the map in the back has been updated in pencil to add the Coppermine river to Cornation gulf (Pike didn't travel there), Great Bear lake and the Dease river (Pike didn't travel there) and the location of Fond du Lac on Great Slave lake. I keep thinking I should know/recognize the the name Basil Holmes but don't know why. Very clearly Basil knows the country up there to do the corrections and map additions. Does any one have any idea who he might be?

BTW googling the name didn't get me anywhere.

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PostPosted: February 26th, 2008, 11:42 pm 
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Isn't he Sherlock's brother? :D

Sorry, couldn't resist that one........

That is one heck of a book you got there. I've been looking for a copy for years. Your copy sounds special...good luck with your search!!

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PostPosted: February 26th, 2008, 11:47 pm 
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Where is George Luste when you need him? Bet he would know!


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PostPosted: February 26th, 2008, 11:50 pm 
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Google thinks the same thing or that I am looking for Basil Rathbone.
I got my copy through Alibris books http://www.alibris.com/ and as I recall they had a number of other copies available (different editions) I picked a nice old one that wouldn't bankrupt me. Strange things can happen when buying old books a friend of mine got one of Eric Morse's books by a complete fluke.

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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 1:11 am 
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There was a Basil Holmes, a sculptor and painter. He traveled a bit, so perhaps it could be him.

"Barren Ground" was originally published in the 1890's, so the version you have was published after Pike's death. He committed suicide in 1915 at a sanatarium in England. Some say it was because he was in the final stages of VD, but I've also read that he was despondent over not being accepted for service in WW1.

Pike may not have paddled the arctic Dease, but the sub-arctic Dease was his home for quite some time. There is a monument at Porter Landing erected by his friends after his death.


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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 9:51 am 
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littleredcanoe wrote:
Where is George Luste when you need him? Bet he would know!

Sorry. I know nothing about E. Basil Holmes.

But I can add a few words about Warburton Pike (1861-1915) and his death – from two sources.

First, in “Lobstick and Stone Cairns”, R. H. Cockburn writes:
“In 1915, Warburton Pike sailed for England, anxious to serve his king and the empire. On October 20, in Bournemouth, a few miles from his birthplace, he was turned down. He was fifty-four. He walked out of the recruiting office and down to the shore; then striding into the sea until he was nearly submerged, he stopped, opened his clasp-knife, felt for the spot he wanted, and drove the blade into his heart.”This may be somewhat overstated with poetic license

In 1994 Gwen Hayball published a brief biography (57 pages in all) on Warburton Pike. (I met Ms Hayball in 1996 at Bathurst Inlet Lodge as I was passing through there on a long solo canoe trip.)
According to her account , yes he was turned down by the Navy. He was a very sick man and very depressed. On Tuesday 19th October Pike was admitted into a nursing home. The next day he was walking near the sea with a nurse when he ran away from her. The next morning a boy on the beach found the body. “He had committed suicide by piercing his heart with a pocket knife he had been opening and shutting repeatedly during the afternoon.” This and other details came out in the inquest.

He published two books.

(1) The Barren Ground of Northern Canada” in 1892 – This was reprinted in 1917, after his death.
He and James Mackinlay explored the region from Great Slave Lake to the Back River and back in 1890 (from 7 May to 24 August). Going northward they left Macleod Bay via Lac des Morts, Wolverine Lake and Camsell Lake to MacKay Lake and then as far north as Beechey Lake on the Back River. They turned back from there on July 23 and returned to Great Slave by the the more familiar route to Artillery Lake and ‘Pike’s Portage”.

(2) His second book was “Through the Subarctic Forest”, published in 1896 – which is much scarcer to find than his first book.
From July 1892 to the autumn in 1893 Pike was on this hunting expedition to the Yukon Territory. He canoed up the Stikine River, crossed over to Dease Lake, canoed down the Dease River and overwintered near the Pelly River. In the spring he continued the canoe expedition, on the Yusezyu River, Woodside River, and the Yukon River to its mouth.


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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 11:48 am 
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Doug,

I can't help with Basil Holmes, sorry.

As Erich and George have pointed out, Pike did travel in the Dease area and wrote that up in his second book. A photo of the memorial cairn for Pike erected by the HBC at Dease Lake is available here (on page 3 of this 4 page pdf), along with some biographical information focusing on his time in BC:

http://www.historysociety.ca/media/pdf/ ... p22-25.pdf

It does not discuss his Barren Land travels or the cause of his death.

Pike's description of his guides is certainly jarring in modern terms. It is too bad the Beaulieu clan never wrote their side of the story. I think it was Sousie Beaulieu who told P.G. Downes that Pike was the "biggest **** liar he ever met."

On the other hand, compared to Caspar Whitney, Hubbard's editor at Outing magazine and author of "On Snowshoes to the Barren Grounds" (1895), Pike sounds almost like a liberal . . .

Pike made a fall and a spring trip north from Ft. Resolution. On his spring trip he was accompanied by James Mackinlay of the HBC. Mackinlay's diary of this trip was subsequently published in the Canadian Field Naturalist magazine (can't remember the issue off-hand, if anyone is interested let me know and I'll look it up) and makes an interesting complement to Pike's book.

Pike admits in the text he was no cartographer, and his map of his routes north from Great Slave has provided me with hours of speculation and frustration both. While many of the names Pike bestowed on features remain on modern maps, it is far from clear that they remain attached to the features Pike intended them for.

Regards,

jmc


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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm 
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This is a long shot but...

You could try contacting the Metropolitain Public Gardens Association
http://www.mpga.org.uk/index.php

They had a secretary named Mr Basil Holmes around the time period you reference. He wrote a paper called "Open Spaces, Gardens and Recreation Grounds" in London England, 1910. Maybe he travelled in northern Canada.

I found this using google book search (http://www.books.google.com), in a book called "Forest, Woods and Trees in relation to Hygiene" by Augustine Henry. :o

http://books.google.com/books?id=pr01AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA38&dq=%22Basil+Holmes%22&lr=&ei=z5jFR9zzCIbOiQHlkJixCA#PPA42,M1

Good luck in your search!


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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 1:03 pm 
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Nice to see the cairn to Pike in a photograph. Several of us on different trips have tried to find it, without success.

George Dawson referred to Pike in his survey, and apparently used some of Pike's notes.

One account has it that Pike was one of the investors in the railroad fiasco. The idea was to build a railroad up the Telegraph trail to Atlin, but it never panned out.


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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 2:18 pm 
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Doug Flint wrote:
I recently aquired a copy of Warburton Pike's book "The Barren Ground of Northern Canada" published in 1917 by E. P Dutton & Company. It's a very interesting read. It has some the usual racist crap of the times in it but it's still a good read. The book is signed by an E. Basil Holmes and has been annotated by Basil (?) very carefully, correcting typo's and and obvious errors. What is truly facinating is that the map in the back has been updated in pencil to add the Coppermine river to Cornation gulf (Pike didn't travel there), Great Bear lake and the Dease river (Pike didn't travel there) and the location of Fond du Lac on Great Slave lake.

Regarding the 1917 edition of Pike, it would have been possible to add the annotations on the basis of other published accounts at the time. In particular, Hanbury went to all of these places, and included a map of these areas in his 1901, "Sport And Travel in the Northland of Canada." I am not sure exactly what you mean by "Fond du Lac on Great Slave Lake." The Great Bear Lake and Dease River route was traveled by Hanbury, the Coppermine is documented on his map, and he traveled along the Fond du Lac and Great Slave Lakes. I know that many explorers who came after Hanbury regularly mentioned his book, often traveled with it in their canoes, and frequently updated his descriptions. Lands Forlorn (regarding Dease River Route) was also published in 1914, and the Fond du Lac area and Chipman Portage is documented by Tyrrell (1897), and others.

I don't have a scanner, but here is a photo of the map that appears in Hanbury (1901). Is there a resemblance to any of the hand drawn annotations on the 1917 Pike edition?

Image

I always like looking at the original … but it may interest some to know that each of these books are also available to download in full from Google as a PDF. The 1917 edition of "The Barren Ground of Northern Canada" doesn't include a scan of the map (presumably it was missing from the actual book).

Hanbury (1901)
Pike (1892 edition)
Pike (1917 edition)
Lands Forlorn, Douglas (1914)
Tyrrell (1897)

jmc wrote:
As Erich and George have pointed out, Pike did travel in the Dease area and wrote that up in his second book.

We have two Dease Rivers don't we? The one in B.C. (which makes an appearance in Pike, 1896, "Through the Subarctic Forest"), and the one in Hanbury and Douglas, which is the river route from Great Bear Lake to the Coppermine?


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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 3:17 pm 
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idylwyld wrote:
... Regarding the 1917 edition of Pike, it would have been possible to add the annotations on the basis of other published accounts at the time. In particular, Hanbury went to all of these places, and included a map of these areas in his 1901, "Sport And Travel in the Northland of Canada.
....
The 1917 edition of "The Barren Ground of Northern Canada" doesn't include a scan of the map (presumably it was missing from the actual book).

My strong impression is that the 1917 printing of Pike was simply a cheap knock-off of the 1892 original. Cheaper cover, cheaper binding, cheaper paper, etc. compared to the 1892 edition. Nobody took the initiative to update it or to add to it. I'm guessing that the reprint may have come out to capitalize on the interest generated about the north by the books from Hanbury, Douglas, and others after 1892. :roll:


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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 3:46 pm 
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idylwyld wrote:

I always like looking at the original … but it may interest some to know that each of these books are also available to download in full from Google as a PDF. The 1917 edition of "The Barren Ground of Northern Canada" doesn't include a scan of the map (presumably it was missing from the actual book).

Hanbury (1901)
Pike (1892 edition)
Pike (1917 edition)
Lands Forlorn, Douglas (1914)
Tyrrell (1897)

thanks for these links
see ya on Monday

Both of Pike's books are avaiable online as scanned page images,
something closer to reading the original


http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/we ... mode=words

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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 9:59 pm 
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There is an interesting biographical note on Warburton Pike, including comments by George M. Douglas and Guy Blanchet on his account. Here (PDF). It looks like CCR isn't the only place where wilderness paddlers sometimes argue and dispute individual claims. An ignoble tradition?

Kingfisher … thanks for the link to "Early Canadiana Online." It looks like a lot of really great works.


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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 10:02 pm 
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I didn't realize what I was starting.

Thank you for all of you comments & tips. For any of you that can smell smoke that 's my credit cards getting warmed to buy another book!

When I decided on this edition I knew it was not the original edition but the first edition for the publisher.

I am going to keep digging as Basil clearly put a lot othought in to his comments and notes.

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PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 10:19 pm 
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Here are the signatures and the map

Image
Image

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