Mountain Masculinity: The Life and Writing of Nello 'Tex' Vernon-Wood in the Canadian Rockies 1906-1938

By Atkinson, Ken | British Journal of Canadian Studies, September 2009 | Go to article overview

Mountain Masculinity: The Life and Writing of Nello 'Tex' Vernon-Wood in the Canadian Rockies 1906-1938


Atkinson, Ken, British Journal of Canadian Studies


Andrew Gow and Julie Rak (eds), Mountain Masculinity: The Life and Writing of Nello 'Tex' Vernon-Wood in the Canadian Rockies 1906-1938 (Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press, 2008), 224pp. Paper. $29.95. ISBN 9781897425052.

'Tex' is both the nickname and the nom de plume of an English immigrant of upper-middleclass background who emigrated to Canada in 1903 and who, after short spells working on an Ontario farm and on an Albertan ranch, arrived in Banff in 1906. Thereafter his career was in guiding eastern Canadian, British, and especially American hunters and fishermen to kill animals for trophies to decorate their lounges and dens. The editors give a long introduction to the life of Tex, and also provide brief comments to each of his writings. The book contains 25 of his articles on guiding experiences written during the 1930s for the magazines Hunting and Fishing, National Sportsman and The Sportsman, with one contribution to the Canadian Alpine Journal; a series of seven Pipestone Letters named after Tex's cabin in Pipestone Creek, then on the edge of (but now within) Banff National Park, forms part of the selection. The quality of the writing is very variable. Most attempt to provide humorous anecdotes about inexperienced clients, so-called 'dudes', but unfortunately many of the derogatory and redneck machismo comments are more rude than comic. …

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