Bibliophiles like myself are always on the lookout for new books, and as I live far from any bricks and mortar bookstore, I find books by local authors almost anywhere: a drugstore, a coffee shop, even a family restaurant. That’s where I found Robert A. Moran’s Hope Restored: the Ship Prince Victor, its Iconic Figurehead and the Maritime Heritage of St. Martins, New Brunswick (2017, Hawthorne Lane Publishing). And I am glad I did!
Hope Restored tells the author’s unusual story of discovering the existence of the figurehead of the Prince Victor, a ship that was built in 1870 by his great-great-grandfather James H. Moran in St. Martins. However, the restored figurehead was in the UK, and the museum he wanted to display it in was in tiny St. Martins New Brunswick where his family has lived for generations. How to purchase it and get it overseas to its proper home? This is what makes Mr. Moran’s story so fascinating to read.
While Mr. Moran claims to have done poorly in High School English classes, he definitely has a natural ability to write clearly and in such a way so as to hold your attention. I finished (or should I say devoured) the book in one sitting.
“It was my first attempt at writing something like that and believe it or not, I only started to put pen to paper the first of November 2016.”
The final product is a beautiful softcover book that, for a small press niche publisher, appears very professional.
The book is very complete; not only in the telling of the story, but in historical references, black and white photographs, crew lists, family correspondences, maps and so on. Of particular interest was the chapter entitled “Coincidence? – I Think Not!” wherein Mr. Moran details the many inter-related events from the initial email alerting him to the figurehead’s existence (and of its restoration) right down to the publisher’s distant connection to the project!
I encourage all those who are interested in maritime and nautical history to get a copy of this book. You will not be disappointed!
Where to find a copy of Hope Restored:
While Hope Restored is not presently available on Amazon, there are many places you can purchase one throughout the Maritimes. Mr. Moran adds that If someone is interested, they can send a request by email to rob.moranATlogmax.ca and he would be more than happy to send a copy plus the cost to ship it.
Mill Cove Coffee, Miramichi (Newcastle), NB
The Whale Store, St Andrews, NB
Century Farm Family Campground, St Martins, NB
The Caves Restaurant, St Martins, NB
Huttges General Merchants store, St Martins, NB
Quaco Museum and Library gift store, St Martins, NB
Fundy Trail gift store, Big Salmon River, NB
Adair’s Wilderness Lodge, Shepody, NB
Moffett’s Hardware store, Sussex, NB
General Store Emporium, Sussex, NB
New Brunswick Museum gift store, Market Square Saint John, NB
Bett’s Village Restaurant, Doaktown, NB (where I purchased my copy)
Masstown Market, Masstown, NS
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic gift store, Halifax, NS
Admiral Benbow Trading Company, Lunenburg, NS
Yarmouth County Museum gift store, Yarmouth, NS