• The Company

  • The Rise and Fall of the Hudson’s Bay Empire
  • By: Stephen R. Bown
  • Narrated by: Traber Burns
  • Length: 16 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A thrilling new telling of the story of modern Canada’s origins

The story of the Hudson’s Bay Company, dramatic and adventurous and complex, is the story of modern Canada’s creation. And yet it hasn’t been told in a book for over 30 years and never in such depth and vivid detail as in Stephen R. Bown’s exciting new telling.

The company started out small in 1670, trading practical manufactured goods for furs with the indigenous inhabitants of inland subarctic Canada. Controlled by a handful of English aristocrats, it expanded into a powerful political force that ruled the lives of many thousands of people - from the Lowlands south and west of Hudson Bay, to the Tundra, the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Northwest. It transformed the culture and economy of many indigenous groups and ended up as the most important political and economic force in northern and western North America.

When the company was faced with competition from French traders in the 1780s, the result was a bloody corporate battle, the coming of Governor George Simpson - one of the greatest villains in Canadian history - and the company assuming political control and ruthless dominance. By the time its monopoly was rescinded after 200 years, the Hudson’s Bay Company had reworked the entire northern North American world.

Stephen R. Bown has a scholar’s profound knowledge and understanding of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s history but wears his learning lightly in a narrative as compelling and rich in well-drawn characters as a pause-resisting novel.

©2020 Stephen R. Bown (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

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There are so many books I want to hear I usually don't bother with anything less than 4.5 stars. But I''ve always been interested in the voyageurs and thought I'd take a chance. I was more than rewarded. Bown is able to bring to life the suffering, spirit and tenacity that drove on men whose love for adventure created Canada.

5 people found this helpful