Nova Scotia Shaped by the Sea
The history of Nova Scotia is an amazing story of a land and people shaped by the waves, the tides, the wind and the wonder of the North Atlantic. Lesley Choyce weaves the legacy of this unique coastal province, piecing together the stories written in the rocks, the wrecks and the record books of human glory and error. In this true-life adventure, he provides a down-to-earth journey through the natural and man-made history that is both refreshing and revealing.
The story begins after the retreat of the glaciers when the first people arrived, and over thousands of years evolved the highly civilized Mi'kmaq culture. The arrival of the Europeans disrupted their life, unleashing tumultuous conflicts that would last centuries. Then came the power struggle between France and England, fought at sea and on land. As England emerged the victor, the Acadians were driven from the land they loved. Once the wars subsided, the pirates and privateers still plundered the seas, but the honest sailors and shipbuilders of Nova Scotia led the province into a flourishing world trade. During the First World War, Nova Scotia was again thrust into military action, resulting in one of the most devastating explosions ever to rip through a city. Decades later, Halifax was torn apart again, this time by military riots.
Here in the new century, it is clear that the way of life along this coast is changing. But while the wealth of the sea has been plundered by human greed, the dreams of life in harmony with the fierce, yet beautiful, North Atlantic live on, even as the restless surge of the waves continues to carve away the coastline.
Penguin Books published the first edition in 1996. Lesley Choyce lives at Lawrencetown Beach and is the author of 65 books including The Coasts of Canada, a history of the country's shorelines. He has edited a companion volume to Nova Scotia: Shaped by the Sea titled Nova Scotia: A Traveller's Companion, 300 Years of Travel Writing (also from Pottersfield Press).