BREAKERS: STORIES FROM NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Volume 11 Number 2.
Breakers, the first of a projected three-volume series, contains twenty-one selected articles that originally appeared as "Around and About," a column in the monthly Roman Catholic tabloid The Monitor between March 1974 and December 1930. As a supplement, twenty-one related photographs and illustrations compose the last sixteen pages of this publication. These journalistic sketches of Newfoundland and Labrador, its history and folklore, range from an account of the fifteenth century explorer, Caspar Corte Real, to an observation on a St. John's unsolved murder of December 14, 1981. In addition to the articles that deal with the loss of the ships, Anglo Saxon, S.S. Caribou, Greenland, Southern Cross, Newfoundland, and Viking, others are concerned with places, especially Bay Bulls, Heart's Content, and Burin. However, it is an interest in the significant characters of Newfoundland's past that forms the basis of the book. These people include Bishop Field, the builder of the St. John's Anglican Cathedral, the four Presentation Sisters, "The First Nuns in British North America," Margaret Rendell, the first Newfoundland-born registered nurse, Edith Weeks, the first native-born female medical doctor, and Alcock and Brown, the "First to Fly the Atlantic Non-Stop."
The articles in Breakers all deal with the province, but they lack chronological, topical, or thematic organization. For example, a discussion of "The Elephant Man" is followed by an account of the arrival of the first Presentation nuns in Newfoundland. O'Neill contends that "at the time these articles were written their soje purpose was the casual reading pleasure of people with a passing interest in history." It is unfortunate that the author and publisher did not see fit to add sources, bibliographical references, or an index, all of which would have made the book worthwhile for the serious student. In its present form the collection will be of value to young people and adults who have just that, "a passing interest" in Newfoundlandia.
G. J. Casey, Memorial University, St. John's, NF.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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