Grey Owl: 3 Complete Works

Front Cover
Firefly Books, 2001 - History - 560 pages

Grey Owl was born Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, the son of an aristocrat in Hastings, England, in 1888. Raised by his two aunts, he led a lonely childhood in England until 1906, when, at the tender age of seventeen, he emigrated to North America to live among the Native people. He returned to England a few years later to serve in the First World War, was wounded, and returned to live with the Ojibway in northern Canada.

In mid-life Archibald Belaney adopted the Ojibway name Wa-sha-quon-asin, or Grey Owl. He married three times and fathered three children. He also lived for many years with an Ojibway woman named Anahareo, moved to northern Quebec, where he began his writing career in earnest.

All of Grey Owl's stories are based on true-life experiences. As a canoeman, packer guide, fur trapper, naturalist, and storyteller, Grey Owl's nature writings have delighted readers worldwide since they first began to appear in 1929. That same year Grey Owl began to lecture as a conservationist.

During the course of his writing career, Grey Owl's deep love and respect for nature created a body of work devoted to promoting conservation awareness through true tales of life lived in the wilderness. Grey Owl: Three Complete and Unabridged Works contains three of his best-loved works.

The Men of the Last Frontier was Grey Owl's first book, published in 1931. In this collection of stories, Grey Owl, one of the early voices to sound an alarm for increased conservation, tells about his life on the trail, his Native friends, and their animal companions. In so doing, Grey Owl hoped to evoke sympathy and caring for the land that sustains us all.

Pilgrims of the Wild was published in 1934. Primarily an animal story, it also relates Grey Owl and Anahareo's struggle to emerge from the chaos that followed the failure of the fur trade and the breakdown of the old proprietary system of hunting grounds. This is a humble and moving collection that paints a beautiful picture of a quickly changing land.

Sajo and the Beaver People was published in 1935. The "beaver people" are two beaver kittens rescued and adopted by an Indian hunter. The kittens soon become the beloved pets of the entire village. Their adventures and eventual reunion with their parents make this one of the most touching and irresistible stories in Grey Owl's body of work.

Grey Owl will be fondly remembered as both a mystery and a legend. His love of nature and the wilderness and his stories of life as a guide have become part of the canon of nature writing.

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Belaney, Archibald Stansfeld was known as Grey Owl (Wa-sha-quon-asin), forest ranger, guide, trapper, environmentalist, conservation officer, Canadian soldier, writer, and lecturer (1888 in Hastings ... Read full review


The Men of the Last Frontier
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