The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660

By Bruce G. Trigger | Go to book overview

Preface to the 1987 reprinting

When The Children of Aataentsic was published in 1976 I doubted that, whether its reception was favourable or unfavourable, there would ever be a call to reprint this mammoth work. Indeed I had serious reservations about whether a book of this scale was worthwhile and was greatly relieved when favourable reviews started to appear, beginning with the late Walter Kenyon’s “Masterwork” in Canadian Forum. In recent months I have received a growing number of inquiries about how copies might be obtained. It was therefore good to learn that McGill-Queen’s University Press, with the generous support of the Max Bell Foundation, was planning to reprint it in a handier and more economical format.

Practical considerations alone have dictated that the text and pagination remain unchanged, although in 1982 I had produced a partially revised manuscript version of the text for translation into French. (This translation will be published early in 1988 by Libre Expression.) It is also clear that many readers wanted a copy of the original work which has become of some historical interest in relation to the development of ethnohistorical studies of the Iroquoians. A substantial updating of The Children of Aataentsic has already been achieved in Natives and Newcomers (1985) which examines more recent developments in the historical and ethnohistorical study of the native peoples of central Canada, with special emphasis on methodological problems.

In The Children of Aataentsic my main objective was to demonstrate that it was possible to write a history of a native people that was not focused exclusively on their relations with Europeans. In order to make this work attractive to the general reader, I sought to keep methodological discussions as brief as possible. In my introduction I limited myself to considering the importance of archaeological data for ethnohistorical research, the value of the long-established concept of interest groups for achieving parity in analyses of native and European behaviour, and the necessity of trying to understand native actions as far as possible in terms of the rational pursuit of interests in order to expose the erroneousness of long-standing claims that native people were less rational than Europeans. Unknown to me, the latter goal was simultaneously being pursued by the American historian Francis

-xxiv-

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The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Illustrations xvi
  • Maps xxi
  • Preface to the 1987 Reprinting xxiv
  • Preface to the First Edition xxxviii
  • To Barbara, Isabel, and Rosalyn xliv
  • Chapter 1- Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2- The Huron and Their Neighbours 27
  • Chapter 3- The Birth of the Huron 105
  • Chapter 4- Alien Shadows 177
  • Chapter 5- Forging an Alliance 246
  • Chapter 6- The Quiet Years 331
  • Chapter 7- The Interregnum and - The New Alliance 455
  • Chapter 8- The Deadly Harvest 499
  • Chapter 9- The Storm 603
  • Chapter 10- The Storm within 665
  • Chapter 11- The End of the Confederacy 725
  • Chapter 12- Betrayal and Salvation 789
  • Chapter 13- Conclusions 841
  • Notes 851
  • References 857
  • Index 885
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