Historian Barry Gough has been revealing secrets about the sea for almost four decades. The award-winning author will be sharing some of the stories surrounding his newest book Juan de Fuca’s Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams at the Mulberry Bush Bookstore in Parksville Oct. 25.
Gough’s new book begins with the Greek mariner Juan de Fuca in 16th-century Venice, where the explorer relays a story about a marine passageway connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
Using his extensive research (over five years, and then another five to bring the book to fruition) Gough traces out a likely sequence of events surrounding discovery on the Northwest coast. The book highlights a host of interesting characters like Martin Frobisher, Francis Drake, James Cook and George Vancouver, and throws in some piracy, betrayals and victories.
Writing the book had its share of challenges, Gough said, but its important for historians to tell stories of waterways.
“The thing I’m proudest about is that it has never been done before, this is new stuff,” Gough said. “Whereas land seems to tell its own story—we can see the roads and markers and surveying—it’s very different with the sea.”
Gough, who live in Victoria, said British Columbians generally appreciate their past and are fascinated by those who have come before. Many coastal residents spend most of their time in or near the sea, he said, and wonder about its mysteries.
Gough’s previous book Fortune’s a River (Harbour, 2007) won the John Lyman Book Award for best Canadian naval and maritime history and was shortlisted for the Nereus Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction. Join Gough for a talk and book signing Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Mulberry Bush Bookstore in Parksville‚ 102-280 E. Island Hwy.
This author event is made possible with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
For more information call the Mulberry Bush Bookstore at 250-248-1193.