Monday, November 07, 2011

Book Notes: Soldiers for Sale

How does a pur-laine Quebecois de souche come to have a surname like Wilhelmy?  Jean-Pierre Wilhelmy,  an "expressway interchange technologist" by profession, found himself wondering -- and ended up an expert on the German regiments and military companies that served with the British forces during the American revolutionary war 1776-83, and left no small number of their soldiers behind in Quebec when the war ended.

Soldiers for Sale, from Baraka Books, is a translation of the 2009 expanded edition of Wilhelmy's French-language study, first published in 1984.

Admirers of the late Marcel Trudel, who writes a preface to this book, will appreciate Wilhelmy's story of getting a reception that was "little more than polite" from academic historians until he encountered Trudel, who became "somewhat like a thesis director" over four years of studies, a research fellowship, an scholarly article, and a a publishing contract.
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