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The Englishman in the Valley
by Leslie J. Tunison

To a passerby, Aubrey Rooke is an unassuming man with little to his name. To those that know him, Aubrey is an eccentric, kind, and community driven man. Be it railroads or elections, Aubrey is known to dedicate all he has in support of his community. But not even his closest friends could begin to guess at Aubrey’s extravagant family history. A family tree full of soldiers, doctors, and even royalty only begins to reveal itself when Aubrey receives notice that he has inherited extensive property in Hawaii. Beginning with the seemingly tall tales of Aubrey Rooke as told to her by her mother, Leslie J. Tunison proves outlandish fiction to indeed be fact through her research into the Rooke family. One tall tale leads to another as Leslie traces the life of one unassuming man back through his extraordinary lineage and its connections to some of the strangest characters and events in history. Despite his unassuming appearance, Aubrey Rooke and his story had an incredible impact on his community. The Englishman in the Valley reminds us that our communities are full of fascinating people and their stories, and that the most wonderfully bizarre story may be hiding right next door.

As a child, Leslie J. Tunison had a love of history and has fond memories of sitting around the family kitchen table listening to stories about “the old days”. One of the most intriguing tales was that of Aubrey Rooke. Initially setting out to chronicle his life story, Leslie began a journey of in-depth research that not only verified the truth of this tale, but led her to discover other fascinating stories hidden in the past. Leslie hopes that this strange and wonderful tale will inspire others to seek out and preserve the amazing histories hiding in their own communities. Leslie lives with her husband in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


Leslie J. Tunison

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