Hector Maclean: The Writings of a Loyalist-Era Military Settler in Nova Scotia by Jo Currie, Keith Mercer, John G. Reid

Hector Maclean (1751–1812) was a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of the 84th Regiment during the War of the American Revolution. After the war, Maclean settled in the newly created county of Hants, Nova Scotia, near present-day Kennetcook. This volume presents the annotated texts of two major historical sources: the letters Maclean wrote between 1779 and 1787, primarily to Murdoch Maclaine, and the diary he kept between April 1786 and April 1787 using the empty pages of his orderly book from the South Carolina campaign of 1781.… Continue reading

The Lynching of Peter Wheeler by Debra Komar

Author and forensic anthropologist Debra Komar has written two books to date dealing with murder and wrongful conviction in Atlantic Canada’s past. Her first book, The Ballad of Jacob Peck (2013, Goose Lane Editions) was about a murder inspired by religious fervour that occurred in 1805 in New Brunswick. The follow-up, The Lynching of Peter Wheeler (2014, Goose Lane Editions) is about the wrongful conviction of Peter Wheeler in the death of Annie Kempton in Nova Scotia in 1896.… Continue reading

Left to Die by Gary Collins

The story of the SS Newfoundland sealing disaster of 1914, in which 78 of 132 men died on the ice, is told in arresting fashion by Newfoundland author Gary Collins in Left to Die (2014, Flanker Press). Known as “The Story Man” in his native Newfoundland, Mr. Collins has written a book that will appeal to those who enjoy reading actual survival accounts from history.

Disaster Brewing

Having personally known two of the last remaining survivors of that tragedy, Mr.… Continue reading

Nta’tugwaqanminen (Our Story) by the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’qmawei Mawiomi

“Evolution of the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaq” (2016, Fernwood Publishing) this book is the product of years of research commissioned by the organization that represents the three communities of the Mi’gmaq that inhabit the northern part of the Gaspé Peninsula. It also involves the work of the community’s Elders (both oral and written stories), so it is a history written by Aboriginal peoples from an aboriginal perspective. It is also valuable for non-Aboriginals as well, for we learn of their history from their perspective, and come to see and understand their worldview and vision of life and their environment both before and after contact with Europeans.… Continue reading

Getting Around the Rock by Leonard Lahey

The challenges of establishing and maintaining various forms of transportation on the island colony of Newfoundland (pre-Confederation) posed various challenges and these are well documented in Leonard Lahey’s book Getting Around the Rock: by Land Sea and Air (2016, Flanker Press). The stories were primarily based on the recollections of William (Bill) Joseph Lahey, the author’s uncle and Raymond Lahey, the author’s father. Both were involved in various forms of transportation in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as establishing wireless telegraphy in the early days of communication.… Continue reading

Rapid Reviews: Two Non-Fiction Titles (April 2016)

The coming of spring brings with it many new book releases and the 'read' stack here at the Miramichi Reader is getting high. So I have resorted to writing some 'rapid reviews' of books that I have read and that do not require a lengthy article to summarize them. This works particularly well for non-fiction titles and I have two that I would like to incorporate.

Beaumont Hamel, Newfoundland Park by Nigel Cave

The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles of WWI. Over one million were killed or wounded from July to November 1916. To commemorate the role of Newfoundland and Labradorian troops fighting near the village of Beaumont Hamel one hundred years ago, Flanker Press has acquired the trade book rights to Nigel Cave’s Beaumont Hamel, Newfoundland Park. The Dominion of Newfoundland (they didn’t become part of Canada until 1949) purchased the 80 acre site of Newfoundland Park after the war, a decision which led to the creation of the finest trench park on the Western Front.… Continue reading

Boss Gibson: Lumber King of New Brunswick by David Sullivan

cannot read a history of New Brunswick without coming across the name Alexander Gibson, or “Boss” as he was affectionately called by his family, friends and employees. So it was that after reading several different books on New Brunswick, I decided to see if anyone had published a book about the man. An Internet search quickly informed me that a book had just been published (in 2015) by David Sullivan entitled Boss Gibson: Lumber King of New Brunswick (Friesens Press).… Continue reading