Theatre of Fish

Theatre of Fish

Travels Through Newfoundland and Labrador

Book - 2005
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John Gimlette's journey across this awesome and often brutal western extreme of the Americas broadly mirrors that of Dr Eliot Curwen, his great-grandfather, who spent a summer there as a doctor in 1893, and who was witness to some of the most beautiful ice and cruellest poverty in the British Empire. Using Curwen's extraordinarily frank journal John Gimlette revisits the places the doctor encountered and along the way explores his own links with this brutal land. shores. Descended from last-hope Irishmen, outlaws, navy deserters and fishermen from Jersey and Dorset, these 'outporters' are a warm, salty, witty and exuberant breed. They often speak with the accent and idioms of the original colonists, sometimes Shakespearean, sometimes just plain impenetrable. Theirs is a bizarre story; of houses (or 'saltboxes') that can be dragged across land or floated over the sea; of eating habits inherited from seventeenth-century sailors (salt beef, rum pease-pudding and molasses); of Labradorians sealed in ice from October to June; of fishing villages that produced a diva to sing with Verdi and of their own illicit, impromptu dramatics, the Mummers.
Publisher: London : Hutchinson, 2005.
ISBN: 9780091795191
Characteristics: xiv, 365 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill. (some col.) ;,24 cm.


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Interesting read. Very informative with respect to the historical aspects, but I can't tell if he genuinely enjoyed his travels based on his never-ending depiction of bleakness. He seemed to make friends but the reader will be unable to determine how he earned them.

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