There is something unexplained about Germaine Warkentin's Canadian Exploration Literature: An Anthology (Oxford). This book is a collection of lengthy extracts from the written accounts of two dozen well-known explorers, starting with Pierre Radisson in the 1650s and progressing to John Palliser in the 1850s. The usual suspects are assembled: Samuel Hearne, David Thompson, Alexander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser—but almost every choice is connected to the fur trade. One looks in vain for explorers with other motives: the great missionary-explorers, for instance, or William Eppes Cormack, the first European to cross Newfoundland, or the botanist David Douglas, or many others. Why is the editor so preoccupied with the fur trade? Her interesting introduction is mute on this point. This reservation aside, the book is a satisfying excursion into what amounts to the origins of Canadian literature.