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A Not-So-New World

Empire and Environment in French Colonial North America

Exploring the moment in which settlers, missionaries, merchants, and administrators believed in their ability to shape the environment to better resemble the country they left behind, A Not-So-New World reveals that French colonial ambitions were fueled by a vision of an ecologically sustainable empire.

Author Information

Christopher M. Parsons teaches history at Northeastern University.


"Christopher M. Parsons's detailed account of the exchange of botanical information between New France and its metropolis sheds new light on the development of environmental knowledge about the colony, understood in an appropriately broad geographical framework."—Colin Coates, York University

"Re-examining the texts of French settlers and missionaries in what's now Canada, Parsons challenges our assumptions about the environmental history of North America, and charts new routes toward a global history of early modern science."—Nicholas Dew, McGill University

"Christopher M. Parsons tells a new and highly original story about how various people involved in the French colonization of North America understood the landscape of the New World and how these changing understandings affected and shaped the larger project of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French colonialism."—Robert Morrissey, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Audience: College/higher education;