search : contact us : about us : site guide : home

  University of British Columbia Press
 Search Our Catalogue
  search by subject

 UBC Press
About UBC Press
Conferences & Events
Contact Us
Media Centre
Publishing With UBC Press
Publishers Represented
Staff Directory

Forthcoming Titles
How To Order
Recent Reviews
Review Copies

 Join Our Mailing List
Sign Up
Privacy Statement
Frequent Questions
Privacy Statement
Site Guide
Website Feedback

 Featured Title
At the Far Reaches of Empire
The Life of Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra
Freeman M. Tovell  

$87.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 4/21/2008
ISBN: 9780774813662    

$41.95 Paperback
Release Date: 11/1/2008
ISBN: 9780774813679    

496 Pages


About the Book

Winner, 2009 Keith Matthews Award , Canadian Nautical Research Society
Honorable Mention, 2008 John Lyman Award, North American Society for Ocean History

Capitán de Navío Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra was the most important Spanish naval officer on the Northwest Coast in the eighteenth century. Serving from 1774 to 1794, he participated in the search for the Northwest Passage and, with George Vancouver, endeavoured to forge a diplomatic resolution to the Nootka Sound controversy between Spain and Britain.

Freeman Tovell's thorough and nuanced study presents this officer of Spain's Enlightened Navy as a key figure in the history of the region. Intelligent, observant, and literate, Bodega received high praise from the viceroys of New Spain under whom he served. His enlightened policy toward the Nuu-chah-nulth and his close association with Chief Maquinna are a matter of record.

Bodega was not without his imperfections -- when his overarching ambition to make a name for himself exceeded his financial reach, he incurred ruinous debts. As a Peruvian creole, he also struggled against the glass ceiling imposed by having been born outside Spain. Despite constant efforts for promotions, he never gained the full recognition from naval and political superiors that his achievements deserved.

Bodega's accomplishments place him in the company of Bering, Cook, Vancouver, La Pérouse, and Malaspina -- those who advanced a better understanding of the geography, ethnography, and natural history of the area. The most complete study of Bodega and his epoch yet written, At the Far Reaches of Empire is an absorbing narrative of eighteenth-century empire building.

About the Author(s)

Freeman M. Tovell holds degrees in history from the University of Toronto and Harvard, and served in the Canadian Navy during World War II. He subsequently spent thirty-five years in the Canadian Foreign Service, including ambassadorships to Peru and Bolivia. He was for some years Foreign Service Visitor at the University of Victoria and has published numerous articles on Bodega y Quadra.

Table of Contents

1 Beginnings / 1

Part I The Explorer
2 The 1775 Voyage on the Sonora / 13
3 Preparations for the 1779 Voyage / 49
4 The 1779 Voyage / 69
5 Away from the North Pacific / 115

Part II The Commandant
6 The Nootka Crisis and the Spanish Response / 131
7 The Administration of San Blas de Nayarit / 163

Part III The Diplomat
8 The Nootka Convention and the Expedition of the Limits / 189
9 Bodega at Nootka / 202
10 The Commissioners' Negotiations at Nootka / 238
11 Leaving Nootka / 267
12 Results and Consequences of the Expedition of the Limits / 286

13 Endings / 315

A Bodega's Secret Instructions to Eliza for the Reoccupation of Nootka / 337
B Revillagigedo's Instructions to Bodega for the Expedition of the Limits / 339
C History and Description of Bodega's Viaje: The Official Report of the Expedition of the Limits / 343
D Biographical Notes / 348
E Rank Structure of the Spanish Navy / 359

Glossary / 361
Chronology / 364
Abbreviations / 370
Notes / 371
Bibliography / 421
Index / 437

Bibliography / 000
Index / 000

Appendix A Chronology
Appendix B Bodega’s Instructions to Eliza
Appendix C Summary of Revillagedo’s Instructions to Bodega for the Expedition of the Limits
Appendix D Biographical Notes
Appendix E Bodega’s Viaje; The Official Report of Expedition Of The Limits
Appendix F - Glossary



Tovell takes time to make the six-month journey. He tells the tale with an economy of words and yet with intriguing details that conjure to mind the difficulties of travel 250 years ago. … Tovell…, with consummate craftsmanship leads his readers through the development at Nootka…. If there's a history lover in the family with a celebration on the horizon, introduce them to Freeman Tovell and his fascinating tales of courage, diplomacy, and intrigue when Victoria was still unknown on the far reaches of the Spanish Empire.
- Jim Hume, Victoria Times-Colonist, 31 August 2008

Tovell utilizes a great volume of primary and secondary sources – Tovell’s research is admirable. He is an excellent biographer, who examines the incredible life of Bodega y Quadra and provides understanding about the period. […] This book is highly recommended for history students interested in Spain’s claim to the Pacific Northwest.
- CLAHR, Vol.14, No.4, Fall 2005

This new study by Freeman Tovell, by reason of its broad coverage, meticulous research, ad balanced approach, will become an indispensable tool for any scholar interested in this topic. […] The book, exemplary in its layout and printing, has clearly been a labour of love for the author, witnesses the excellent illustrations (many in colour) that he has gathered over the years. Taken as a whole, Freeman Tovell’s work is a notable addition to the history of British Columbia.
- Roderick J. Barman, University of British Columbia, BC Studies, No. 159, Autumn 2008

A comprehensive look at the life of the great navigator Bodega y Quadra has long been needed for students of discoveries and explorations in the Pacific, principally the Northwest Coast of North America. […] I found welcome the scholarly detachment that the author has shown on the subject of Spanish actions during the Nootka Sound crisis; this is often lacking in Spanish-centered work which tends to be terribly apologetic or self-justificatory. […] Throughout, the author has used all the best sources, both Spanish and British, and the work is a model of scholarship.
- Barry Gough, The Northern Mariner, Vol.XIX, No.1, January 2009

Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra stands out among early regional characters, competing with George Vancouver for top honors. After reading Freeman Tovell’s splendid book, the British cartographer loses to Bodega on almost all counts except that of being as well remembered in place-name geography. […] Tovell writes his book as both biography and panorama of late colonial-period regional history. In doing so, he avoids the traps so open to unwary biographers. […] In summary, Tovell’s preparation and participation are ideally suited to the task, to the point that his book will probably never be superseded but will certainly be utilized.
- Donald C. Cutter, University of New Mexico, Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol.109, No.4, Winter 2008

Sample Chapter

Front Matter and Chapter One

Related Topics

Aboriginal Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of At the Far Reaches of Empire from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

© 2001 UBC Press
2029 West Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z2
t. 604.822.5959 | f. 604.822.6083 | e.
Vancouver Web Design by Internet-Exposure