In Romancing the Rockies: Mountaineers, Missionaries, Marilyn, and More, award-winning popular historian Brian Brennan introduces us to the daring men and women who found themselves attracted irresistibly to the magnificent Canadian Rocky Mountains over the last 250 years. Whether they visited the lofty peaks and sheltered valleys, made journeys of exploration, pilgrimage, adventure, physical endeavour, or cultural achievement, all were drawn by the romance, the allure, and the mystique of these ancient and fabled mountains.
A passionate storyteller, Brennan begins with reference to legends drawn from the Stoney oral tradition, introduces us to an incredible cast of characters: pioneering missionaries Robert Rundle and George McDougall; nineteenth-century botanists David Douglas and John Macoun; famed painters Paul Kane and Henry James Warre; and Jimmy Simpson, the famous Banff guide and outfitter.
Brennan also gives life to one-time Rocky Mountain residents such as:
- Byron Harmon, the first professional photographer to make his home in the Rockies;
- Carl Rungius, the first significant artist to live and paint in the Rockies;
- Chief Smallboy, who led his Cree band into the Rocky Mountain wilderness to find peace and harmony;
- Norman Sanson, the weatherman who climbed Sulphur Mountain one thousand times over a 35-year period to check meteorological data.
- And of course, there are the tourists - the climbers, trail riders, hunters and movie stars - whose dollars made it possible for the residents to be residents.
- And there's more - much more.