Moore, Christopher (Hugh) 1950-
MOORE, Christopher (Hugh) 1950-
PERSONAL: Born June 9, 1950 in Stoke-on-Trent, England; son of M. Vincent (a journalist, civil servant, and author) and Kathleen A. (Lennox) Moore; immigrated to Canada, 1954; married Louise A. Brophy, May 7, 1977; children: two daughters. Education: University of British Columbia, B.A. (with honors), 1971; University of Ottawa, M.A., 1977.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Cooke Literary Agency, 278 Bloor St. East, Toronto, Ontario M4W 3M4, Canada.
CAREER: Writer, historian. Parks Canada National Historic Parks Branch, staff historian, 1972-75; freelance writer, 1978—. Member of the board of Access Copyright, Canada's copyright licensing agency, 2001—.
MEMBER: Writers Union of Canada (national chair, 1990-2000), Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.
AWARDS, HONORS: Governor General's Literary Award in Nonfiction, 1982, for Louisbourg Portraits: Life in an Eighteenth-Century Garrison Town; Mr. Christie's Prize, 1992, for The Story of Canada; Secretary of State's Prize for Excellence in Canadian Studies, 1985, for The Loyalists: Revolution, Exile, Settlement; Vancouver Public Library, 100 Best Canadian Books of the Century, for The Story of Canada and The Illustrated History of Canada.
Samuel de Champlain, Grolier (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1986.
William Van Horne, Grolier (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1987.
Peggy Chrysler of Upper Canada, Grolier (Toronto, Ontario, Canada).
Mathurin Brochu of New France, Grolier (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988.
(With Janet Lunn) The Story of Canada, illustrated by Alan Daniel, Lester Publishing (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992, revised edition, 2000.
Adventurers: Hudson's Bay Company: The Epic Story, Quantum Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000.
The Big Book of Canada: Exploring the Provinces and Territories, illustrated by Bill Slavin, Tundra Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.
Fortress of Louisbourg: Guide, sketches by Terry Sunderland, Fortress of Louisbourg Volunteers Association and College of Cape Breton Press (Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada), 1981.
Louisbourg Portraits: Life in an Eighteenth-Century Garrison Town, Macmillan (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1982, McClelland and Stuart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000.
The Loyalists: Revolution, Exile, Settlement, Macmillan (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1984, McClelland and Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1994.
(Coauthor) The Illustrated History of Canada, 1987, Key Porter (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.
The World's First Gold and Silver Banknotes: The Saga of Treasure Ships and Pirates, Excelsior Collectors Guild (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 1988.
The McClelland and Stewart Guide to Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology, McClelland and Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1993.
The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario's Lawyers, 1797-1997, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997.
1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal, McClelland and Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997.
(With Mark Gerald Kingwell) Canada: Our Century: 500 Visions, 100 Voices, Doubleday (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.
Grave Sites of Canadian Prime Ministers, Parks Canada (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 2000.
Author of the column "That's History" for the Beaver, Canada's national magazine of history; contributor to Story of a Nation: Defining Moments in Our History, Doubleday (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2001; contributor to periodicals, including the Globe and Mail, National Post, and Saturday Night. Frequent contributor of radio documentaries to CBC-Radio program, Ideas. Legal history columnist, Law Times (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997—.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The History of McCarthy Tétrault, 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Canadian Christopher Moore has been a freelance writer since 1978, writing historical works for general audiences, both young and old. Raised in Nelson and Vancouver, British Columbia, Moore has also lived in Nova Scotia and Quebec, and most recently in Toronto, Ontario.
Moore's award-winning books include Louisbourg Portraits: Life in an Eighteenth-Century Garrison Town. Drawing on his experience as a historian for the restored city and fortress on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Moore has written an account of the lives of five people who lived there during the twenty-five years before its surrender to the English in 1758. He examines the French judicial system of the time through Louis Davory, an itinerant sailor and possible thief. Other aspects of life are mirrored in the lives of a young merchant who advances his career through marriage, a fisherman, a businessman, and a seaman.
Anne Collins, in a Books in Canada article, felt that the story of the young merchant, Jacques Rolland, "is the most dramatic … a fascinating slice at the heart of ordinary Louisbourg life." Collins concluded by saying that "readers should thank Moore for the diligent detective work that wrung the meaning out of shipping records and lists of court cases, and for the imagination that persisted in seeing Louisbourg as more than just 'a stage set for battle epics.'"
The Loyalists: Revolution, Exile, Settlement was first published for the 1983-1984 bicentennial of the arrival of the Loyalists in Canada. Here, also, Moore focuses on individuals, drawing on their letters, diaries, and testimonies given to the British commission that compensated Americans who remained loyal to the Crown during the Revolutionary War. Some 50,000 migrated to Canada, the majority to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, including 3,500 free blacks, who were treated so poorly that more than 1,000 later left Canada for the British African colony of Sierra Leone. Native Iroquois loyalists who had fought alongside the British also relocated north of the Great Lakes. Loyalists became an important part of the population of the colonies of British North America, the future Canada, and Moore traces their resettlement and their influence upon Canadian history.
Ian Darragh noted in Canadian Geographic that "ironically, as Moore points out, the absorption of 50,000 loyalists into Canadian society helped to democratize this country in unexpected ways. Many loyalists had been infected with some of the ideals of the very revolution they fled."
The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario's Lawyers, 1797-1997, commemorates the bicentennial of the Law Society, the governing body of lawyers in Ontario. Christopher English noted in Canadian Book Review Annual that "although this is a commissioned work, it does not rest on special pleading…. His [Moore's] analysis of themes, problems, failures, challenges, and personalities is even-handed and often critical…. This is a first-rate scholarly study."
1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal is the first full-scale story of the making of the confederation to be written since Canada's constitutional negotiations of the 1980s and 1990s. Bemrose wrote that 1867 is "a fascinating analysis of the messy but effective politics that made Canada 131 years ago…. Moore thinks that, in a sense, today's Canadian politicians are not political enough—at least not compared to those of the mid-nineteenth century." Moore notes that those politicians who came together in Charlottetown in 1864 to begin the formation of the new country were far more independent, and that they could, and did, often vote against their own leaders and parties. The leaders of the provinces invited those who opposed them to the conferences and a broad multi-party consensus on Constitutional change was achieved. In comparison, Moore feels that the contemporary parliamentary system is held captive by the demands of its parties.
Moore and Mark Gerald Kingwell cowrote Canada: Our Century: 500 Visions, 100 Voices, a tribute to the Canadian twentieth century. The photographs and essays provide a history of culture, politics, society, economics, and urban and rural life over that period, with each decade represented in its own chapter. A Resource Links reviewer called it a "nostalgic look at the growth of our nation over the last 100 years."
Moore's most recent project is a book-length history of McCarthy Tétrault, founded in 1855, and the largest law firm in Canada, with nearly 1,000 lawyers and both Canadian and international offices.
Moore's books for children include individual biographies and his prize-winning The Story of Canada, which was described by Maclean's reviewer John Bemrose as "excitingly written and superbly illustrated…. There is no other children's history book like it." The goal of Moore and coauthor Janet Lunn and illustrator Alan Daniel was to create a volume that would be suitable for both school and home, and the resulting work is as appreciated by adults as it is by children. The authors reach back to the age of dinosaurs and end with the Millenium celebrations at the start of the year 2000.
Bemrose noted that The Story of Canada "pays a great deal of attention to women, native people, and other groups that have often received scant attention in conventional histories. As well, the authors have selected their stories from all regions of the country, creating a strong sense of the breadth and diverse nature of the Canadian experience…. The authors have managed to forge a sense of a single, continuing epic—the tale of one incipient nation."
The Big Book of Canada: Exploring the Provinces and Territories is a gazette written for children which includes many little-known trivia, facts, and stories about Canada's ten provinces and three territories. The book includes nearly 300 photographs, both archival and contemporary, and original illustrations. Like The Story of Canada, it is "very well-done," noted Victoria Pennell in Resource Links. Pennell wrote that "the format of the book encourages browsing, yet because of its organization and its index, it will be a great research source."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Books in Canada, August, 1983, Anne Collins, review of Louisbourg Portraits: Life in an Eighteenth-Century Garrison Town, pp. 38-39; October, 1984, Al Purdy, review of The Loyalists: Revolution, Exile, Settlement, pp. 33-34; September, 1997, Michael Fitz-James, review of The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario's Lawyers, 1797-1997, p. 27; April, 1998, Michael Fitz-James, review of 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal, pp. 19-20.
Canadian Book Review Annual, 1997, Christopher English, review of The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario's Lawyers, 1797-1997, p. 331.
Canadian Geographic, August, 1984, Ian Darragh, review of The Loyalists, pp. 85-86; January, 2000, Jeanie MacFarlane, review of Canada: Our Century, p. 72.
Canadian Historical Review, March, 1999, Jerry Bannister, review of The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario's Lawyers, 1797-1997, pp. 159-161.
In 2 Print, summer, 2000, Nathan Hauch, review of Canada, pp. 36-37.
Maclean's, December 14, 1992, John Bemrose, review of The Story of Canada, p. 58; March 2, 1998, John Bemrose, review of 1867, p. N11.
Quill and Quire, December, 1982, Michael D. Behiels, review of Louisbourg Portraits, p. 24; November, 1997, Joan Givner, review of 1867, p. 34.
Resource Links, February, 2000, review of Canada, p. 33; December, 2002, Victoria Pennell, review of The Big Book of Canada: Exploring the Provinces and Territories, p. 40.
Christopher Moore Home Page, http://www.christophermoore.ca/ (July 2, 2003).