Award-winning Vancouver Island author Mark Zuehlke is launching the new edition of his book Scoundrels, Dreamers & Second Sons: British Remittance Men in the Canadian West at the Cowichan Valley Museum in Duncan on Wednesday, May 18 at noon.
Beginning in 1880, thousands of young, upper-class British men with dubious histories and few prospects were sent to the Canadian West to distance them from British society.
Still supported by their families, thus earning them the title “remittance men,” these men set out to continue their lives of leisure in this new land.
Feeling entitled to a soft life, they hunted, played games, courted women, and enjoyed distinguished pursuits that squandered their parents’ money and made hard-working Canadians raise their eyebrows.
Though their era in Western Canada was short, 1880–1914, “they left an indelible mark perpetuated by the stories and legends that sprung up around them,” Zuehlke says.
In 2014, Zuehlke, a Victoria resident, won the prestigious Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Popular Media, also known as the Pierre Berton Award.