Welcome To Newfoundland!
Yes, it’s a country that many people don’t know much about, and yes, it has icebergs that drop in all the time, providing amazing pics like these!
this “Wednesday Bookmobile” takes you to the northeastern edge of North America – a desolate but gorgeous part of our world!
It’s OK if you aren’t quite sure where you are, here is a map that shows you this province of Canada, which lies north Of Maine, and just south of Labrador:
Newfoundland is 42,031 square miles, the world’s 16th-largest island – and for centuries it was home to the world most popular fish: the legendary cod.
However, in a disastrous decision for the fishing industry, Canada abruptly shut down all cod fishing off of Newfoundland in 1992, destroying a livelihood forever. the reason was simple: overfishing had finally depleted the stocks, and cod were never to recover…
Lately, there has been a bit of a resurgence in the Cod industry, but nothing like the glory days…
Why do I know all this? Because of a fascinating book that mixes the history of this country with a modern day tour to see what is left:
“Theater Of Fish” by John Gimlette.
In 1893, Author Gimlette’s great-grandfather traveled through Newfoundland and Labrador and kept a journal – and took incredible photos like this one, showing the harshness of life there:
In 2002, the Author used that journal to help him chart his own course across the land…a wild wild place still today, with moose and even polar bears!
Here is how Amazon describes the book:
Newfoundland is one of the most intriguing places in North America, a land of breathtaking but cruel beauty, populated by some of the saltiest, oddest characters you’ll ever find. In Theatre of Fish, John Gimlette vividly describes the dense forests and forbidding coastlines and recounts the colorful and often tragic history of the region. He introduces us to the inhabitants, from the birds and moose to the descendants of the outlaws, deserters, and fishermen who settled this eastern edge of North America. Leavened with irreverence and affection, this is an irresistible portrait of life in extremis.
The historical photos that Gimlette shares are fascinating, and they reinforce the narrative of life in Newfoundland – a country that existed for one reason only: cod.
This fish was so plentiful, and so important that money wasn’t even used in this country – instead, everything was paid for in fish – in fact, they even had the fish on their stamps!
Gimlette is a terrific Writer, mixing his own journey with the history of this desolate, dangerous land…and soberly describes life after fishing – a catastrophe for those who live there…
Around 500,000 people still live in the region, but it’s been twenty-five years since the fishing ban, and their way of life will never return to normal – and the Author is unflinching is showing what life is like there today…a really great book.
By the way, I posted a previous story about the giant iceberg that posed off the coast of the island, and how it became a tourist attraction – you can check that story out here and see more incredible photos:
I’ve also posted stories about the fish that made, then broke, Newfoundland:
There is a great book about the fish, explaining how the Cod actually led to the discovery of America – and there is also a great book about the man who invented the TV dinner – yes, there is a connection between the two – and you can see it by clicking here:
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Let me know if you decide to read this great book!