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Harbour Publishing

Sheltering in the Backrush
A History of Twin Islands
By (author): Jeanette Taylor
Jeanette Taylor


Harbour Publishing - Madeira Park, BC



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Apr 22, 2023
$24.95 CAD


9in x 6 x 0.39 in

Page Count:

160 pages


63 Halftones, black and white
Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Harbour Publishing
HISTORY / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)

Coastal historian Jeanette Taylor unveils the unique past of Twin Islands.

Twin Islands form part of the lacey fringe at the southern edge of the Discovery Islands archipelago, where it meets the north Salish Sea. This is the interface between wilderness and urban settlement. To the north, heavily treed slopes rise vertically from the sea and fast tides churn through the constricted passages of a maze of islands and inlets. Navigating these waters is a white-knuckle challenge many recreational boaters avoid, ending their travels to the east in Desolation Sound Marine Park. To the south, the topography relaxes into a more habitable environment of open waters, villages, towns and highways. Those who do find their way to Twin are richly rewarded by a beautiful and tranquil destination—with a fascinating past.

Discovery of a trove of sepia-toned pictures of Twin Islands from the late 1930s drew Jeanette Taylor to research and document the history of the islands. She found a live-wire cast of characters typical of remote places, including a one-legged sheep farmer; an aristocratic Irish priest who was the victim of an unsolved murder; American tycoons fleeing Japan on the cusp of World War II; German royalty; and an anonymous heiress who rescued the islands from logging.

Through it all, Taylor found a thread among Twin’s people, passed from one generation to the next—like an invisible torch handed over with the deed: a love of nature and the place. Illustrated with historical photos and engagingly written, Sheltering in the Back Rush is an important addition to Harbour Publishing’s catalogue of coastal BC history.

Jeanette Taylor is the author of Harbour Publishing titles on British Columbia coastal history, including The Quadra Story (2009), Tidal Passages (2008) and River City: A History of Campbell River and the Discovery Islands (1999).

Sheltering in the Backrush is Jeanette Taylor’s chronicle of Twin Islands from a geological wonder to a gathering place for the wealthy. With so many enticements to keep us turning the pages, it is her most riveting book yet. She recounts tragic collisions between Indigenous peoples and European settlers. There are romances, murders, wars, visiting royalty, and wealthy entrepreneurs who love and protect the Islands—and timber-hungry developers eager to clear-cut the forests for a fast buck. The people of BC’s Discovery Islands are lucky to have Taylor as their resident historian. She brings such amazing people back from the dead.”

- David Carpenter, author of I Never Met a Rattlesnake I Didn’t Like

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