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Land of the Red Soil: A Popular History of…
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Land of the Red Soil: A Popular History of Prince Edward Island (1990)

by Douglas Baldwin

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It's always good to learn something about the history of a place which you are visiting. So I read this book tracing PEI from the Ice Age to the present. What did I learn? At several points the mouse population in PEI was so huge that after the winter the mice would pour out of the forests eating everything in their path and being stopped only by the rivers. The mass of mice was so great that the mice would be pushed into the rivers and drown. The numbers were so huge that the harbours were clogged with the floating mice corpses. In memory of these events, Souris was named. Another interesting thing was the rivalry between England and France, such an important part of Canada's history. It actually played itself out in PEI as well as the rest of Canada.

There was a lot of information in this book. I liked the stories of early PEI inhabitants and the struggles they encountered.

I'm glad to have read this and visited the island once again. ( )
  rapago | Aug 19, 2010 |
This book is an overview of the history of Prince Edward Island. As the subtitle claims, it is a popular history, not a scholarly one. I found myself very disappointed in the complete lack of footnotes or bibliography for further research. There were several items in the book that begged for footnotes. In my opinion, even popular histories can have footnotes or endnotes without disrupting the flow of reading for most readers. The coverage in the last few chapters of various elements of culture was uneven. Some of the information contained in the book is now outdated. This is a book that was obviously written for the tourist market of Prince Edward Island rather than toward those wanting a more insightful glimpse into the island's history. For a book aimed at this market, a more engaging and entertaining writing style would have been preferred. ( )
2 vote thornton37814 | May 27, 2010 |
For the Canadian fiction/non-fiction reading challenge, I wanted to find a book by someone other than L.M. Montgomery for Prince Edward Island. It's not that I don't like her books, because I do. It's just that my entire impression of Prince Edward Island comes from her books. I wanted a different perspective.

This book is exactly what it says in the subtitle -- a popular history. There are no footnotes/end notes, and no bibliography. The writing, while a bit dry, is clear and doesn't demand a lot of effort from the reader. The book covers the history of the island from its first inhabitants through the late 1990s. One of the surprising things I learned about the island is that it's possible to drive to it without taking a ferry. As of 1997, the island is connected to the mainland by the Confederation Bridge. It will be of most interest to people with Prince Edward Island connections and to tourists either preparing for a visit or wanting a reminder of their trip. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Jan 31, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0921556721, Paperback)

Douglas Baldwin is a writer and professor of history at Acadian University in Nova Scotia.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:50 -0400)

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