Dear Reader,

The British philosopher, R. G. Collingwood, believed that we humans carry around potted histories in our heads. They contribute to our concept of race, nation, tribe, family and personal identity. They support our sense of entitlement and destiny. They justify our actions.

The troubled relationship between the “settlers” and the “aboriginal peoples” in North America – especially in Canada – arises, in part, from profound differences between the potted histories each group cherishes.

These differences are the subject both of my novel, Eaglechild, and my memoir, Nation to Nation. One is fiction inspired by fact and the other is the fact that inspired at least part of the fiction.

In my novel, Eaglechild, I have explored the thoughts and feelings of Rupert – an intelligent and sensitive boy in England. He finds himself torn between the world-view of his English father – a Protestant Earl whose family was instrumental in colonising Canada – and his Spanish mother –  a Catholic Countess whose family helped colonise Latin America.  Rupert is also drawn to the Cree and other Indian nations of Canada whom he has tried to emulate from an early age, even to the extent of setting up a tipi in the woods on his father’s estate in Oxfordshire and inventing an Indian blood brother.

In the first four chapters, I describe in depth the main characters and their potted histories. Understanding their different “cosmologies” is important to the understanding of their behaviour when subjected to financial, political, religious, family, tribal and moral conflicts.

The central conflicts in the story arrive in 1982. That’s when Canada achieved its formal political independence from Britain – the main topic of Nation to Nation.  At that time. in the novel, unexpected and shocking events occur, partly as the result of the scheming of a corrupt Canadian bureaucrat, himself an immigrant from Scotland. As Rupert passes through Oxford Univerity in 1985 and emerges into manhood, these unfolding events force him to question the authenticity and integrity of the potted histories of all the main participants and to make radical decisions about his own personal destiny.

Victor Mannion O’Connell

Contact Us

Want to contact me? Send an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt