Woodsmen of the West (New Canadian Library) (Paperback)

Woodsmen of the West (New Canadian Library) By Martin Allerdale Grainger, Caroline Adderson (Afterword by) Cover Image
Email or call for price


When Woodsmen of the West first appeared in 1908, most readers could not relate to its rendering of the rough edges of logging-camp life. M. Allerdale Grainger refused to sentimentalize the West – he drew from life. While his dramatic and loosely structured tale is at heart a love story, it also tells of what happens when the novel’s British narrator encounters a small-time logging operator whose obsession with lumber is matched by his lust for power over other men.

Today the novel is recognized as marking a significant shift in fiction written in and about the Canadian West. The accuracy of its detail makes it one of the finest examples of local realism in Canadian writing. It is also a fascinating chronicle of conflicting personalities, and of the genius of British Columbia hand-loggers, the culture of camp life, and the intrigues and corruption of the lumber business at the turn of the century.

The New Canadian Library edition is an unabridged reprint of the original text, complete with the original photographs.

About the Author

Martin Allerdale Grainger was born in London, England, in 1874. When he was two years old, his family moved to Australia, where he spent his childhood. He returned to England following his early education abroad, eventually entering King’s College, Cambridge, in 1893.

After his graduation, Grainger set out for the Klondike, where he stayed briefly before volunteering to serve in the Boer War in 1899. After the war he fashioned a varied and colourful career which included logging and placer mining in the Canadian Northwest, tutoring students in England, and teaching mathematics on Vancouver Island.

Grainger began his career in the British Columbia forestry industry in 1909, first as chief of records, serving as a secretary of a royal commission on logging practices in the province, and writing most of the report that led to the Forestry Act of 1912 and the creation of the British Columbia Forest Service. In 1917 he was appointed chief forester, a position he held until he retired to his private lumber business in 1920.

Drawing extensively on his first-hand experience in the coastal forests, Grainger wrote his single literary work, Woodsmen of the West, in 1908, a highly original depiction of the frustrations and struggles of the West Coast logger at the turn of the century.

Martin Allerdale Grainger died in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1941.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780771035814
ISBN-10: 0771035810
Publisher: New Canadian Library
Publication Date: January 5th, 2010
Pages: 248
Language: English
Series: New Canadian Library