The White And The Gold

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by Thomas B. Costain. Doubleday & Company. 482 pp.

Once again Mr. Costain demonstrates that the ability to write interesting and swiftly-moving prose is a talent badly needed in historical writing. In this book he tells the story of the French in Canada, from the earliest days down to the end of the Seventeenth Century—the period during which French Canada produced great explorers, leaders and administrators—and he makes of it, as the saying goes, a story that is “fascinating as a novel.” And why not? Like most other segments of history, the story is fascinating: all it needs is someone who can tell it so that the fascination gets a fair chance to come through to the reader. This talent Mr. Costain has, and he couples it with a solid capacity for factual research.