Roaring Days: Rossland's Mines and the History of British Columbia

By Jeremy Mouat | Go to book overview

Preface

Oh, who would paint a gold-field,
And paint the picture right,
As old Adventure saw it
In early morning's light?

- Henry Lawson, 'The Roaring Days'

British Columbia in the 1990s is an urban and multicultural place. A book which looks at an industry and an area now relegated to the margins of this world needs to begin by confronting the question, 'so what?' What is the relationship or importance of this study to the modern world?

It is tempting to respond by paraphrasing Shelley's 'Ozymandias,' a poem that describes a shattered and ancient ruin bearing an empty boast of might and power. The world that we have constructed will not survive forever. The fundamental and rapid change that British Columbia has experienced over the last 100 years is not at an end, and it is not hard to imagine that the gulf between British Columbia of the 2090s and today will be as great as that between the 1890s and the 1990s.

To repeat, what interest can we have in, and what lessons can we draw from, mining's trajectory in Rossland? The history of the mining industry is one that reflects the history of British Columbia as a whole. Many of the themes that dominated the broader history of the province and the nation

-xi-

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