A Very Brilliant Affair:
The Battle of Queenston Heights, 1812

Robert Malcomson

This is, surprisingly, the first full-length study of the Battle of Queenston Heights, when American forces invaded Upper Canada across the Niagara River in the hope of wresting it from the British. General Isaac Brock, who was killed in the battle, has taken on legendary proportions as the “saviour of Upper Canada.” The battle was a crushing ­defeat for the American campaign and a morale boost in view of uncertain loyalties in Upper Canada. Brock’s place and that of the battle in Canadian history are explored to explain why such an impressive monument was raised in his name. Based on primary research, A Very Brilliant Affair is the definitive and readable story of this famous event.

This new look at the battle tackles many of the myths that have grown up over the years. Was General Brock the hero of the day? Was this a victory for the Canadian militia? Were the oft-maligned New York militia responsible for their army’s defeat? What was the role of the native allies of the British? Could the American invading force have won?

“A pleasure to read and a joy to hold.” The Beaver

Robert Malcomson’s books Lords of the Lake: The Naval War on Lake Ontario, 1812-1814; Warships of the Great Lakes: 1754-1834; and Capital in Flames: The American Attack on York, 1813 all won the John Lyman Book Award for Canadian maritime or naval history. With his brother, he co-wrote HMS Detroit: The Battle for Lake Erie. To the great sorrow of his family, friends and historians of the War of 1812, Robert Malcomson died in 2009.