Pierre-Esprit Radisson, Merchant, Adventurer, 1636-1710

Pierre-Esprit Radisson, Merchant, Adventurer, 1636-1710

Book - 2002
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Pierre-Esprit Radisson, a French adventurer, came to New France in 1651 in search of opportunity. Captured by the Iroquois at sixteen, he survived torture, was adopted by the Mohawks, and lived among the natives for over a year learning their customs and languages. Once back in New France he led the adventurous life of a coureur de bois, becoming the partner of his brother-in-law, Mdard Chouart Des Groseilliers. When French authorities rejected their plan to reach the rich fur territories of the Hudson's Bay area, they found ready backers and expertise for the expedition in England. Their first successful expedition of 1668-69 resulted in the founding of the Hudson's Bay Company. Historians have been critical of Radisson and Des Groseilliers' changes of allegiance but Martin Fournier shows that they loyally served their English business partners until the political turmoil of the Exclusion Crisis against the succession of the Catholic Duke of York, Radisson's patron, forced the two Frenchmen to leave England. Radisson then worked briefly for French interests before permanently establishing the Nelson River trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1684. From 1687 until his death in 1710 he lived as a gentleman in London. In this accessible biography Martin Fournier makes use of Radisson's six travel narratives to provide an intimate portrait of this intriguing and complex figure. These narratives, too often neglected by historians, provide rich insight into Radisson's character as well as vivid accounts of his periods of captivity, guerilla expeditions, and trading ventures among the natives. Pierre-Esprit Radisson casts a new light on a remarkable figure who was as much at home in the North American wilderness as in the grandest salons of Europe.
Publisher: Sillery, QC : Septentrion, 2002.
Edition: English edition
ISBN: 9782894483282
Branch Call Number: B RADIS
Characteristics: 312 pages


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