“The Place of Stone” review in Winterthur Portfolio

One must have patience where reviews of academic-press books are concerned. It can take years for some to appear, but it's nice when the waiting is worth it. The Place of Stone (UNC Press, 2017), which was developed from my 2015 doctoral dissertation, "Stone of Power," has earned another strong review, this time by Patricia … Continue reading “The Place of Stone” review in Winterthur Portfolio

What’s in a name? Douglas, Deborah, and Karen

This post has been updated The twitterverse and media had all sorts of fun with the boys’ and girls’ names registered in Alberta in 2018. Released in January 2019 under the province’s open government policy, the lists of baby names included some real, well, horrors. Who names their son “Despot”? Who names their daughter “Anger”? … Continue reading What’s in a name? Douglas, Deborah, and Karen

Columbus, Indians, and the Guanches

When Christopher Columbus strode ashore in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, he famously called the indigenous people he met “Indians.” The main talking points of his legacy are still the consequences of his arrival for the people who bear that incongruous label: millions would suffer and die, and cultures would struggle to endure the … Continue reading Columbus, Indians, and the Guanches

Pseudohistorians claim scholars are hostile to innovative ideas. Do they have a point?

Spend any time (it won’t take very long) listening to or reading the words of people in the pseudohistory and pseudoarchaeology worlds, and you will encounter a standard riposte to scholarly objections to their theories and evidence. The scholarly world is a closed shop that suppresses innovative ideas of outsiders—even of its own accredited members—in … Continue reading Pseudohistorians claim scholars are hostile to innovative ideas. Do they have a point?

The Race to the New World: Excerpt

  On November 4, 1494, Nürnberg’s Jerome Münzer ascended the bell tower of Seville’s Cathedral of the Virgin Mary. It had been built in the late twelfth century as the minaret of Seville’s great mosque, when the city was the capital of the Muslim empire of the Maghreb, which included North African territories from present-day … Continue reading The Race to the New World: Excerpt

Rewriting History: Alwyn Ruddock and John Cabot

A shorter version of this story was published by Canada’s History in April 2010. I also wrote about Ruddock and her Cabot research in The Race to the New World On February 17, 2006, a 418-word obituary for Alwyn Amy Ruddock appeared in The Guardian. Written by Edith Emma Mason, a former colleague in the … Continue reading Rewriting History: Alwyn Ruddock and John Cabot

Beardmore: The Middle Claim

Excerpted from Beardmore: The Viking Hoax that Rewrote History, by Douglas Hunter, published Sept. 2018 by McGill-Queen’s University Press. On the hot summer night of 16 July 1934, a Canadian National Railways (CNR) train clattering through the boreal gloom of northern Ontario was brought to a sharp halt about four miles southwest of the whistle … Continue reading Beardmore: The Middle Claim

Was New France Born in New England?

One of the enduring curiosities of early Canadian history is what Samuel de Champlain, routinely celebrated as Canada’s founding father, was even doing in eastern North America when he first arrived in 1603. From his initial appearance on the St. Lawrence River in that year, until his departure from Acadia in 1607 as the Port … Continue reading Was New France Born in New England?

The Mystery of Champlain’s Astrolabe

  The four hundredth anniversaries of Samuel de Champlain’s many new-world adventures are upon us, and will roll over us like successive Fundy tides until 2035, when this nation’s founding father officially has been dead and gone for four centuries. It’s an opportune time to do some historic housecleaning on Champlain, as the last big … Continue reading The Mystery of Champlain’s Astrolabe

The Hudson mutiny

  Illustration by Douglas Hunter Habakkuk Prickett was lying in his cabin, his weakened legs aching from scurvy, when Henry Greene, accompanied by the boatswain, William Wilson, approached him on Saturday, June 21, [1611] with the plan to overthrow Henry Hudson. Excerpt from God's Mercies: Rivalry, Betrayal, and the Dream of Discovery, by Douglas Hunter. … Continue reading The Hudson mutiny