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Author details maritime history

Vancouver Island author Barry Gough’s book Juan de Fuca’s Strait delves into the stories of a host of explorers who went in search of a waterway connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Canadian scientists are currently scouring this same waterway in search of ships that sunk while in search of Juan de Fuca’s fabled Northwest Passage.

From Gough, an internationally recognized author and historian, is another riveting history of exploration on the high seas.

The tale begins in sixteenth-century Venice, when explorer Juan de Fuca relayed to English merchant Michael Lok a fantastic story of a marine passageway that connected the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This tale would be the catalyst for centuries of dreaming, and exacerbate the English and Spanish rivalry.

The search for the fabled Northwest Passage inspired explorers to seek out fame, adventure, knowledge and riches. Gough delves into diplomatic records, narratives of explorers and court documents to illuminate the journeys of characters like Martin Frobisher, Francis Drake, James Cook and George Vancouver.

A sea venture tied up with piracy, political loyalties and betrayals, all bound in a web of international intrigue, Juan de Fuca’s Strait is Gough’s contribution to the history of discovery on the Northwest coast.

Gough won the John Lyman Book Award for best Canadian naval and maritime history and was shortlisted for the Nereus Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction for his previous book, Fortune’s a River. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and King’s College London, and has been awarded a Doctor of Letters for distinguished publications to Imperial and Commonwealth Literature.

Gough discusses the book during a presentation at Harbourfront library Oct. 3 at 6 p.m.

For more information, please call 250-753-1154.

Books are available at the reading and at Nanaimo Maps and Charts.

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