Norman S. Leach is a historian, award-winning freelance writer, professional speaker and adventurer and author of six books on Canadian military history, including Cavalry of the Air, Passchendaele and Hitler’s Stealth Fighter. He lives in Calgary.
A GLOBE AND MAIL BESTSELLER
Had there been no Sam Steele, it has been observed, Hollywood would have had to invent him. Born into the comparative stability of the Victorian era's Pax Britannica, Steele lived to witness the postwar turmoil of the Lost Generation. From humble beginnings in what is now Bracebridge, Ontario, to his knighthood in England two years before his death in 1919, Steele's life epitomized the themes of personal adventure, service to crown and country, and the zeal for modernization and social order that characterized nineteenth-century Canada within the British Empire.
Steele's long and storied career threaded through many pivotal moments in Canada’s settlement and development history: the Fenian raids, the expansion of law and order (on horseback and sporting red serge) across the North-West Territories, the exile of Sitting Bull into Canada, the construction of the national railway that welded together the nation, Riel's Rebellion, the Klondike Gold Rush and opening of the North, the Boer War, and the Canada's coming of age during the First World War.