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A Labrador Doctor The Autobiography of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell   By: (1865-1940)

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A LABRADOR DOCTOR

The Autobiography of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell M.D. (Oxon.), C.M.G.

With Illustrations

[Illustration]

Boston and New York Houghton Mifflin Company The Riverside Press Cambridge

Copyright, 1919, by Wilfred T. Grenfell All Rights Reserved

PREFACE

I have long been resisting the strong pressure from friends that would force me to risk having to live alongside my own autobiography. It seems still an open question whether it is advisable, or even whether it is right seeing that it calls for confessions. In the eyes of God the only alternative is a book of lies. Moreover, sitting down to write one's own life story has always loomed up before my imagination as an admission that one was passing the post which marks the last lap; and though it was a justly celebrated physician who told us that we might profitably crawl upon the shelf at half a century, that added no attraction for me to the effort, when I passed that goal.

Thirty two years spent in work for deep sea fishermen, twenty seven of which years have been passed in Labrador and northern Newfoundland, have necessarily given me some experiences which may be helpful to others. I feel that this alone justifies the writing of this story.

To the many helpers who have coöperated with me at one time or another throughout these years, I owe a debt of gratitude which will never be forgotten, though it has been impossible to mention each one by name. Without them this work could never have been.

To my wife, who was willing to leave all the best the civilized world can offer to share my life on this lonely coast, I want to dedicate this book. Truth forces me to own that it would never have come into being without her, and her greater share in the work of its production declares her courage to face the consequences.

CONTENTS

I. EARLY DAYS 1

II. SCHOOL LIFE 15

III. EARLY WORK IN LONDON 37

IV. AT THE LONDON HOSPITAL 64

V. NORTH SEA WORK 99

VI. THE LURE OF THE LABRADOR 119

VII. THE PEOPLE OF LABRADOR 139

VIII. LECTURING AND CRUISING 159

IX. THE SEAL FISHERY 171

X. THREE YEARS' WORK IN THE BRITISH ISLES 183

XI. FIRST WINTER AT ST. ANTHONY 197

XII. THE COÖPERATIVE MOVEMENT 215

XIII. THE MILL AND THE FOX FARM 226

XIV. THE CHILDREN'S HOME 241

XV. PROBLEMS OF EDUCATION 254

XVI. "WHO HATH DESIRED THE SEA?" 270

XVII. THE REINDEER EXPERIMENT 288

XVIII. THE ICE PAN ADVENTURE 304

XIX. THEY THAT DO BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS 315

XX. MARRIAGE 331

XXI. NEW VENTURES 344

XXII. PROBLEMS ON LAND AND SEA 357

XXIII. A MONTH'S HOLIDAY IN ASIA MINOR 376

XXIV. THE WAR 384

XXV. FORWARD STEPS 403

XXVI. THE FUTURE OF THE MISSION 411

XXVII. MY RELIGIOUS LIFE 424

INDEX 435

ILLUSTRATIONS

WILFRED THOMASON GRENFELL Frontispiece

VIEW FROM MOSTYN HOUSE, THE AUTHOR'S BIRTHPLACE, PARKGATE, CHESHIRE 2

OXFORD UNIVERSITY RUGBY UNION FOOTBALL TEAM 44

THE LABRADOR COAST 120

ESKIMO WOMAN AND BABY 128

ESKIMO MAN 128

ESKIMO GIRLS 132

BATTLE HARBOUR 140

A LABRADOR BURIAL 156

THE LABRADOR DOCTOR IN SUMMER 164

THE STRATHCONA 192

THREE OF THE DOCTOR'S DOGS 198

A KOMATIK JOURNEY 202

THE FIRST COÖPERATIVE STORE 218

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