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The Story of Newfoundland   By: (1872-1930)

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The Story of Newfoundland by Frederick Edwin Smith Birkenhead presents a comprehensive and insightful account of the history, culture, and identity of Newfoundland. Through meticulous research and engaging storytelling, Birkenhead captures the essence of this unique island and unveils its rich tapestry of experiences.

The book meticulously chronicles Newfoundland's past, from the early indigenous settlements to the arrival of European explorers and the eventual colonization by the British. Birkenhead provides a balanced perspective, examining the impact of these historical events on the island's inhabitants and its progression towards self-governance.

One of the book's greatest strengths is its exploration of Newfoundland's complex relationship with the ocean. Birkenhead delves into the pivotal role of fishing in the island's economy and how it has shaped the identity of Newfoundlanders. Through detailed accounts of the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the North Atlantic, the author effectively portrays the courage and resilience of the island's fishermen, creating a deep appreciation for their way of life.

Moreover, the book highlights the political and economic struggles that Newfoundland faced throughout its history. From its brief independence as a dominion in the early 20th century to the eventual decision to join Canada, Birkenhead skillfully navigates the intricate web of Newfoundland's political landscape and the consequences of these choices on its people.

Birkenhead's writing style is both engaging and accessible, making the book suitable for readers with any level of familiarity with Newfoundland's history. His attention to detail, combined with vivid descriptions, brings the historical events to life, transporting readers to different eras and allowing them to empathize with the challenges and triumphs faced by the island and its inhabitants.

Despite its strengths, the book could have benefited from a more contemporary perspective. Published over half a century ago, The Story of Newfoundland lacks the inclusion of recent developments and the potential impact they might have on the island's future. A revised edition that addresses these aspects, while still preserving the essence of the original narrative, would enhance the relevance of the book for current readers.

In conclusion, The Story of Newfoundland offers a captivating exploration of the island's captivating history and intricate relationship with the sea. Through meticulous research and engaging storytelling, Birkenhead provides valuable insights into Newfoundland's cultural heritage and the challenges it has faced throughout its journey. While slightly outdated, the book remains an invaluable resource for those seeking a comprehensive understanding of this unique and resilient Canadian province.

First Page:



THE RIGHT HON. THE LORD BIRKENHEAD Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain Honorary Fellow of Wadham and Merton Colleges, Oxford

New and Enlarged Edition

London Horace Marshall & Son Temple House And 125 Fleet Street, E.C. 1920 Printed in Great Britain by Turnbull & Spears, Edinburgh


Twenty two years ago the enterprise of Horace Marshall & Son produced a series of small books known as "The Story of the Empire Series." These volumes rendered a great service in bringing home to the citizens of the Empire in a simple and intelligible form their community of interest, and the romantic history of the development of the British Empire.

I was asked more than twenty one years ago to write the volume which dealt with Newfoundland. I did so. The little book which was the result has been for many years out of print. I have been asked by my friends in Newfoundland and elsewhere to bring it up to date for the purpose of a Second Edition. The publishers assented to this proposal, and this volume is the result.

The book, of course, never pretended to be anything but a slight sketch. An attempt has been made while errors have been corrected and the subject matter has been brought up to date to maintain such character as it ever possessed... Continue reading book >>

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