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Potomac Books


The Canoe and the Saddle, The Canoe and the Saddle, 0803298633, 0-8032-9863-3, 978-0-8032-9863-7, 9780803298637, Theodore Winthrop Edited and with an introduction by Paul J. Lindholdt, , The Canoe and the Saddle, 0803205473, 0-8032-0547-3, 978-0-8032-0547-5, 9780803205475, Theodore Winthrop Edited and with an introduction by Paul J. Lindholdt

The Canoe and the Saddle
A Critical Edition
Theodore Winthrop
Edited and with an introduction by Paul J. Lindholdt

2006. 240 pp.
$14.95 t

In 1853, with money in his pocket and elegant clothes in his saddlebags, a twenty-four-year-old New Englander of aristocratic Yankee stock toured the territories of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. The Canoe and the Saddle recounts Theodore Winthrop’s Northwest tour. A novelized memoir of his travels, it became a bestseller when it was published shortly after the author’s untimely death in the Civil War.

This critical edition of Winthrop’s work, the first in over half a century, offers readers the original text with a narrative overview of the nature and culture of the Pacific Northwest and reflections on the ecological and racial turmoil that gripped the region at the time. It also provides a fresh perspective on the aesthetic, historical, cultural, anthropological, social, and environmental contexts in which Winthrop wrote his sometimes disturbing, sometimes enlightening, and always riveting account. Whether offering portraits of Native American culture—in particular, commenting on the Chinook Jargon—making keen and often prescient observations on nature, or deploying transcendental, animist, or Hudson River School aesthetics (likely learned from his friend Frederick Church), Winthrop develops a clear and compelling picture of a time and place still resonant and relevant today.

Paul J. Lindholdt is an associate professor of English at Eastern Washington University. He is the coeditor of Holding Common Ground: The Individual and Public Lands in the American West and Cascadia Wild: Protecting an International Ecosystem.

“Like the lenses of a slightly cracked pair of binoculars, Winthrop’s narrative allows us a glimpse of a time and a Pacific Northwest wrapped in ecological and racial turmoil that is still relevant and resonant today. Thanks to Lindholdt’s literary criticism, the first in over 50 years, we are able to see through and around the cracks for an even sharper view. Gorgeous, compelling, funny, sad, and infuriating by turns, this book is simply riveting.”—Spokane CDA Living

“If you have a hankering for Northwest history, you won’t want to miss the new edition (the first in more than 50 years) of an Old Northwest chestnut. . . . Winthrop’s voice rings clear and lively across a century and a half.”—Kitsap Sun (Bremerton, WA)

“The long-cherished notion that the Pacific Northwest’s unique topography and climate produce a special breed of men will find eloquent support in the recently republished account by Theodore Winthrop, The Canoe and the Saddle. . . . Paul J. Lindholdt . . . provides an excellent introduction. . . . The Canoe and the Saddle is an extraordinary example of literary nonfiction informed by personal experience.”—Western American Literature

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