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Three Against the Wilderness (Classics West): A Gripping Memoir of a Pioneering Family in the Chilcotin - A Classic (Classics West Collection) Paperback – 11 Jul 2007
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About the Author
Wilderness guide, trapper and conservationist Eric Collier was born in England in 1903. He was sent to Canada to work as a "mud pup" for his cousin, Harry Marriott, the author of Cariboo Cowboy. Collier died at Riske Creek, B.C., in 1966.
Top customer reviews
I read the 5s 3d `Companion Book Club' version of this book as a boy (about 11) and loved it. However I would recommend an original 1959 to 1960 Hutchinson (London) hardback, as print and paper quality is far better, probably as they originally cost £1 1s (although they appear identical otherwise). Amazon resellers often have them for sale, and they aren't expensive (a fiver or so) - otherwise try ebay. The books all have piccies of the log cabins, the family and local moose. I loved this book as a kid back in the sixties, it opened a window on another world. The book was lying about as part of my fathers 'bookclub' selections, but went missing years ago. I've since purchased a better 2nd hand copy from Amazon. The story should suit boys (probably 10 upwards) who could identify with Veasy. It is a solid read though with 272 pages of quite small text. Given that Veasy was brought up alone in the Colliers original tiny 12x16 foot log cabin at Meldrum Creek (that later became the garage for their Landrover), it's a shame he never added 'his story' to this superb account by his dad.
Soft-spoken and usually unassuming, Eric Collier moved his family to Riske Creek in 1960. He sold his 38-mile trapline on March 26, 1964 for $2,500. He died at Riske Creek on March 15, 1966. Collier's wife and trapping partner Lily moved to Williams Lake and died in 1992. Their son Veasy, schooled by correspondence, served in the Korean War, married Judy Borkowski, and settled at Williams Lake to raise their three children. Erected in 1946, the Collier's much-deteriorated, second, four-room log home at Meldrum Creek was slated for demolition in 1989, under the auspices of the Chilcotin Military Reserve north of Riske Creek, but local protests in Cariboo encouraged Captain Paul Davies and the Canadian Army Engineers to resurrect the remote dwelling and its log barn with new roofing, shakes, doors and windows. A very rough road leads 40 kilometres off Highway 20 to the site--one of the few literary historical sites that have been preserved in British Columbia. The story would actually make quite a good film, and its very sad that the book is now virtually unknown to the younger generation.
one of the most interesting books I have ever read. I would recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure and a love of wildlife.
The pioneering spirit of this family is evident throughout, and the hardships they overcome sometimes beggar belief, but their life in the wilderness as portrayed in this book is an example to all conservationists.
Signed William Eaton
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