Timothy J. Kent
Historical Author, Paddler, and Reenactor






Book Reviews


"In pursuing his research, Kent has mined a remarkable seam of information regarding canoes and canoe travel..The scale of his work is truly impressive. Kent is a good writer and astute observer who understands the history and geography of the fur trade...Archaeologists will welcome Kent's descriptions of canoes, canoe building and maintenance equipment, and other fur trade material culture. The care he demonstrates in describing and illustrating the bark vessels continues the high standards set by Adney and Chapelle...Kent has produced an important, interesting, useful, and accessible work that should be a part of every serious fur trade library."- Douglas Birk, Institute for Minnesota Archaeology, Historical Archaeology

"There has never been anything like this monumental study...The author presents amazing and utterly fascinating insights..A researcher's dream come true...Anyone with the least bit of curiosity about the fur trade will find this illuminating publication a must-have."- Canadian Wilderness Canoe Association, Nastawgan

"Kent has spent twenty years doing invaluable research, the latest example of which is a fascinating two-volume reference work, Birchbark Canoes of the Fur Trade. He has combined the exactitude of his training with a passion for paddling and adventure to research existing examples of ancient canoes... which should prove invaluable to builders, museums, and anyone else with a strong interest in the history of canoeing."- Canoe and Kayak Magazine

"An incredibly comprehensive work. This isn't from your usual armchair researcher. The Kent family has actually lived as and retraced the routes of the early fur traders."- Bulletin of Primitive Technology

"I have just finished reading word for word your remarkable new canoe study. Congratulations! I realize it had to be a labor of love, but it reflects the very best in meticulous and industrious research and organization."- Letter from Dr. Thomas Vennum, Jr., Smithsonian Institution

"We will be reordering copies of Birchbark Canoes of the Fur Trade, which sold out this season, as well as your most recent publication, Tahquamenon Tales. It is a very interesting approach to living history. You have certainly done an incredible amount of research on birchbark canoes, and your publications have made a substantial contribution to the history of the fur trade."- Letter from Dr. David Armour, Historian and Deputy Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks

"Very rarely does a book this well researched and illustrated come along, and when it does, it's difficult to avoid saying too much. I can't think of any important questions left to be unanswered after reading it."-James A. Hanson, Curator, Museum of the Fur Trade

"Kent's exhaustive research has produced what will likely remain for a long time the last word on the subject. These two large volumes are not for the faint at heart. But for the committed, it is unlikely that any important facet is missing. The research reflected in these volumes is truly formidable, and every significant aspect of the construction and use of these canoes has been covered with authority."-John Jennings, Curator, Canadian Canoe Museum

"Kent writes with authority about his subject, and his academic and archival research is bolstered by a considerable body of practical experience. This hands-on experience lends veracity to his treatment of the smaller details of canoe travel. For example, his discussion of the use of canoes as short-term shelters for sleeping was clearly written by someone who has spent many nights under such cover. His work goes beyond that of other scholars in this field to make a significant contribution. It is truly refreshing to see such a study based as much on original artifacts as on archival and textual records, for which Kent is to be congratulated."- The Northern Mariner, Canadian Nautical Research Society

"The most exhaustive study of the primary vessels of the fur trade. The author gives the reader enough flavor of the trade to give even the minimally attentive canoe fancier a feel for the ventures that the canoes and their builders were involved in. A valuable addition to the knowledge of and literature about the fur trade."-Lake Superior Magazine

"The volumes are truly remarkable, and will certainly stand as a benchmark for high quality research on canoes. They are destined to become the same level of classic as the Adney and Chapelle book."- Shawn Allaire, Librarian, Old Fort William Resource Center

"Birchbark Canoes was a big hit around here, so much so that I had to quote some of it in my new book!"-James Raffan, prominent Canadian author and lecturer on canoe travel

"I love it! What a monumental work, and what an enduring contribution to the world's knowledge of these extraordinary craft!"-Ted Behne, professional birchbark canoe builder

"I am really enjoying your books. They are priceless, reflecting a lifetime of research and dedication. The fur trade story has always been one of my biggest inspirations."-Verlen Kruger, the most-traveled paddler in North America, having traveled over 90,000 miles by canoe