At its height in the nineteenth century, the Hudson's Bay Company's trading territory covered three million square miles and spanned the continent. And no one person was more responsible for its success than its larger-than-life governor, the remarkable George Simpson. The illegitimate son of a ne'er-do-well Scottish lawyer, Simpson was a master planner who laid the foundations for the greatest business enterprise of its day. A wide cast of characters strides through the pages of this gripping story—frontier entrepreneurs, hardy voyageurs, skilled native trappers, intrepid explorers, impoverished settlers, and lords and ladies of the realm—and George Simpson was at home with all of them. The history of the Bay is that of a country in the making, but it is also a history of the clash between different ways of life in a vast, sparsely populated land far from the crowded cities, counting-houses and imperial ambitions of the British Empire.