"Canada's most versatile writer of history"



three weeks in quebec city

"In 1864, delegates from all the British North American provinces -- the "Fathers of Confederation" if you like -- gathered at Quebec City and created almost all of the constitution Canadians still live with. Three Weeks is a day-by-day, debate-by-debate, and dinner-and-dance-by-dinner-and-dance exploration of that momentous event. It's the liveliest, most readable, most detailed study you will ever find of how the nation called Canada was formed."

the court of appeal for ontario 1792-2013:
defining the right of appeal

Is the right to appeal to an independent panel of judges fundamental to the rule of law? It seems so, but it is much newer than we think. Moore explores how the idea of appeal has evolved over 250 years in this commissioned history of Ontario’s top court, a court which has been called everything from “a bastion against tyranny” to “murderers’ row.”

from then to now
a short history of the world

2011 Winner Governor General's Award in Children's Literature
Chris takes on the story of humanity: our ancestors in Africa 50,000 years ago, the way we spread out and took over the world, and how we are mixing back together again. Beautifully illustrated by Andrej Krystoforski.

From Then to Now

by Christopher Moore, Illustrated by Andrej Krystoforski

Now available from Tundra Books Fifty thousand years ago, our ancestors ventured off the African savannah and into the wider world. Now our technology reaches far into the cosmos. How did we get to where we are today? Join master historian Christopher Moore as he explains….

The images here are all from the original art created for From Then to Now by Andrej Krystoforski. See more at http://andrejk.ca/

Cave painting


"Cast your light on the wall. Animals leap out at you: reindeer, horses, bulls, even thick-maned lions and curved-tusked mammoths.

They charge, they run, they leap. Some are surrounded by arrows or spears. Sometimes a hunter has placed his handprint among them. You are deep in a cave in the mountains, it is the Ice Age, and you could be anywhere across southern Europe, from Spain deep into Russia."

"Only one people in the known world remained beyond the power of the Persian king. These were the Greeks, who lived at the far end of civilization, west of the Persian territory. The Greeks had never had an empire. Cyrus would barely have thought of them when he proclaimed that his empire stretched to the end of the world. Still, the Greeks were a proud and stubborn people. Some of them chose to defy the king of all the world."

"Some years after the Polos went to China, a Moroccan scholar named Ibn Batuta made his pilgrimage to Mecca. Then he travelled on, visiting Muslim kingdoms in east Africa,along the coast of the Indian Ocean.Ibn Batuta

Mahandas Gandhi

Later he went to India, which was then ruled by Muslim emperors, sailed to the islands of Southeast Asia, and carried on to China. After returning home to Morocco, Ibn Batuta journeyed south across the Sahara desert deep into Africa. As he travelled, he wrote detailed accounts of the people he met and the routes he took."

"One night in 1893, a young lawyer named Mohandas Gandhi was thrown off a train in the British colony of South Africa. The white settlers of South Africa did not like sharing their train compartments with non-Europeans. Gandhi spent the night shivering in a cold railroad station, and what he decided there changed the world."

"In 1968, the first humans ever to leave our planet broke out of their orbit around earth and headed to the moon, in a space capsule that would carry them behind it, past its mysterious “dark side” and back home. Because that test run went so well, more astronauts headed into space in July 1969. One of them, a quiet American named Neil Armstrong, became the first human to walk on the moon. “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” he said."

Space Capsule

From Then to Now published 2011 by Tundra Books
available at favourite bookstore or from Tundra

british columbia court of appeal

Chris wrote this history on a commission to mark the 2010 centenary of the court. This authoritative history explores how British Columbia’s highest court makes law and how a court can reflects the economy and society of the province. Chris also features one notable case per decade from the court’s files, from the Komagata Maru case to the same-sex marriage debate.

100 photos that changed canada

In 2009, Chris contributed several commentaries to this bestselling photohistory produced by the team from Canada’s History magazine.

101 things canadians should know about canada

Chris contributed several bits to this lively new book based on a cross-Canada opinion survey run by the Dominion Institute. Loonie to Moose, Gretzky to Trudeau, Expo to Confederation, Snow to Beer – 101 Things has all the Great Canadian Stuff, with lively commentary from leading writers and charming illustrations by the Globe & Mail’s Anthony Jenkins."

mccarthy tetrault building canada's premier law firm

Chris set new standards in law firm history writing with this story of McCarthy Tétrault, Canada's leading law firm. Follow the transformation of Canadian legal practice - and of the firm that led the way. 

1867: how the fathers made a deal

1867 is also about Canada in the 21st century. This dramatic, page-turning account of how the founders of Canada put together a successful constitution-making process has startling comparisons and conclusions about contemporary Canadian politics. Dalton Camp called it "just about the best book on our history I've ever read." Still widely available.

canada our century

Astonishing photographs show Canada growing year by year from 1900 to 1999, with a surprising text commentary by philosopher Mark Kingwell and Christopher Moore. Canada: Our Century became the publishing sensation of the millennium eve in 1999, with 50,000 copies sold in barely three months.

The illustrated history of canada

edited by Craig Brown

Chris contributed a long chapter on Canadian beginnings, 1600 to 1763, to this multi-authored history of Canada. "This one does everything!" exclaimed one reviewer. A bestseller when first published in 1987, the Illustrated History continues to set the standard among one-volume Canadian histories, and it has been translated into both French and Spanish. A brand-new revised edition marks the book's fifteenth anniversary.

louisbourg portraits:
five dramatic, true tales of people who lived in an eighteenth-century garrison town

Louis Davory, Marie-Louise Cruchon, Jean Lelarge … true stories of the lives, aspirations, and fates of extraordinary ordinary people in an eighteenth-century city, seaport, and fortress. This was Chris's first book, and it has never been out of print since 1982. The 2000 edition from McClelland and Stewart has a new afterword.

story of a nation
defining moments in our history

What does fiction know about history? Chris contributed a thought-provoking introduction to this collection of short fiction about historical themes by Canada's leading fiction writers: Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, Roch Carrier, Antoinine Maillet, and many others.

the law society of upper canada and ontario's lawyers 1797 - 1997

Lawyers get involved in everything: land, business, politics, crime, families, power, passion. So this history of Ontario's lawyers is also a history of Ontario from an unusual and surprising angle. The book was originally commissioned by the Law Society to mark its two-hundredth anniversary. Ask your bookseller or contact University of Toronto Press directly.

the loyalists:
revolution, exile, settlement

First published for the 1983-84 bicentenary of the arrival of the Loyalists in Canada, The Loyalists has been called "sympathetic, comprehensive, balanced… the best introduction to the Loyalist story." Still in print in trade paperback.

the story of canada

The full-scale, lavishly-illustrated history of Canada for young readers and their families. An instant best-seller from its first publication in 1992, it has a special place in a hundred thousand Canadian homes as one of Canada's most loved books. Chosen one of Canada's top ten young people's books of the century.
In 2016 we gave it a great new update and redesign. Why? Because it’s 2016!

The Story of Canada

by Christopher Moore, beloved novelist Janet Lunn and master artist Alan Daniel

The Story of Canada The full-scale, lavishly-illustrated history of Canada for young readers and their families. An instant best-seller from its first publication in 1992, it has a special place in a hundred thousand Canadian homes as one of Canada's most loved books. Chosen one of Canada's top ten young people's books of the century.
First published in 1992, updated several times since, and available in sturdy hardcover and attractive full-size paperback it was named one of the top ten Canadian books of the twentieth century for kids
“A spectacular new edition arrived in 2016”
The Story of Canada, rich with the Canadian landscape, from Pacific Ocean coves, to prairie bison ranges, to the northwest passage.

The Story of Canada, full of amazing full-colour artwork by Alan Daniel, and by images of Canada and Canadians from down the centuries.

Full of stories, anecdotes, characters about this land for ten thousand years and from ocean to ocean to ocean.

Chris's co-author is Janet Lunn, Governor General's Award winning novelist for young adults. Read The Hollow Tree, Shadow in Hawthorn Bay, The Root Cellar, and the rest of Janet's remarkable novels. The magnificent original art is by historical artist Alan Daniel. To see more of Alan Daniel's work, see www.alanandleadaniel.com

The Story of Canada published by Key Porter Books, available at libraries and bookstores everywhere.
“The Story of Canada was published for many years by Lester Books and Key Porter Books. In 2016 Scholastic Books Canada took over publication with a beautiful new redesign and updating.”

Winner of
the Mr. Christie Award,
the Children's Literature Roundtable Award
and the IODE Toronto book prize
the big book OF canada

Gorgeous new edition, all updated, for 2017.  From Newfoundland to British Columbia to Nunavut, The Big Book of Canada explores the provinces and territories that are this country. Discover the majestic landscapes, the resourceful people, and the unique events that have shaped this land and those who call it home.

The BIG Book of Canada:

Exploring the Provinces and Territories

by Christopher Moore, Illustrations by Bill Slavin

The Big Book of Canada is a lively tour of the provinces and territories of Canada, full of new stories and surprising info. It became an instant hit in the fall of 2002 and The Globe and Mail made it a Top 5 Pick among all the Canadian children's books of the year.
"... . accessible and fun... . Moore's text will engross readers...
an excellent family as well as
library resource"
Quill and Quire

A Sampling from The Big Book of Canada...

There are longer bridges than the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island but none that must face the powerful ice that builds up in the Northumberland Strait each winter.

In 1901 Annie Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She survived and said no one should ever do such a thing again.
Curling is something special in Saskatchewan, and the province has produced many of Canada's finest rinks (curling teams).
About half a million people from the Caribbean Islands live in Canada. In Toronto they celebrate their roots at the annual parade.
The Haida are the people of Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. They offer visitors tours of their islands in magnificent Haida canoes. " We have ten thousand years experience," they proudly declare.
Most Canadians find it hard to imagine eating the raw marrow of a caribou thigh bone or the oily fat from a whale. But Inuit people thrived on such foods for thousands of years
These fabulous original illustrations by artist Bill Slavin.

The Big Book of Canada published 2002 by Tundra Books
available at libraries and bookstores everywhere

Adventurers: Hudson's Bay Company: the Epic Story

Schools, teachers, kids, and families often ask the Hudson's Bay Company for more info about its history. In 2001 The Bay asked Christopher Moore to write this lively, colourful history about fur traders, their native trading partners, and their contribution to Canada. Tens of thousands of copies have been donated to schools across the country.


In 1604 Samuel de Champlain helped found Acadia, the start of European settlement in Canada. In 2004 Tundra Books published Chris's Champlain, the powerful story of the great explorer and mapmaker and his encounter with the First Nations of Canada. Quill & Quire magazine raved about Chris's "silky" prose and the dramatic story.

mathurin brochu of new france

Mathurin Brochu was nobody famous. This little book for young readers takes an ordinary citizen of New France and follows his life in order to bring out dramatically what life was like in eighteenth century New France. (Sorry, this one is now out of print - look for it at your library.)

William Van Horne

They called him "the railway general," the toughest, most determined, most successful railroad-builder in Canadian history, the man who completed the Canadian Pacific Railway. (Sorry, this one is now out of print - look for it at your library.)

Peggy Crysler of Upper Canada

Peggy Crysler was nobody famous. This little book for young readers takes an ordinary citizen of Loyalist Upper Canada and follows her life, in order to bring out dramatically what life was like in Ontario's early days. (Sorry, this one is now out of print - look for it at your library.)