Daphne Sleigh paints a vivid portrait of this controversial, colourful character whose dedication, dogged persistence and guerrilla tactics were instrumental in preserving Vancouver's history. Matthews had to force the concept of a city archives upon a reluctant city council, and, once he had succeeded, he guarded the institution ferociously until his death at age 92. Matthews was as noted for his fiery nature and stentorian voice as he was for his zeal for collecting and preserving artefacts. In addition to gathering copious historical objects and important early records, Matthews conducted hundreds of extensive interviews with Vancouver pioneers from disparate backgrounds.These he published in his series "Early Vancouver: Narratives of Pioneers of Vancouver, B.C.". Sleigh's compelling biography of the Major reveals that he had already lived an adventurous, action-packed life before taking up the heritage cause. "The Man Who Saved Vancouver" details his unique background and the unusual experiences that shaped the man, setting the stage for a remarkable future that would save the history of Vancouver.