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A. J. B. Johnston.

Ottawa, National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Environment Canada, c1983.
Distributed by Canadian Government Publishing Centre.
119pp, paper, $4.95.
ISBN 0-660-11263-9.

Grades 10 and up.
Reviewed by Pauline Henaut.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May

Since this book is published by the National Historic Parks and Sites Branch of Environment Canada, one assumes that the author works at the fortress of Louisbourg. The author's stated purpose is to give the reader a broad overview of the events that shaped the lives of the inhabitants of Louisbourg during the summer of 1744, the four months following the declaration of war between France and Britain. He has succeeded admirably.

The first section sets the stage for the events of 1744: there is a brief discussion of the founding of Louisbourg and its importance to the French colony of Isle Royale (Cape Breton plus Prince Edward Island); the author identifies 1744 in the context of world history, indicating important writers, musicians, statesmen, and others living at the time; background detail on the war is given. This information helps the reader to understand the events that affected life at Louisbourg between June and September, 1744.

The author has dealt with the events of each month in a separate chapter. For each month there is detail on the progress of the war and its effect on life in Louisbourg, followed by a section called "Life in Town" that describes how the war affected the daily lives of the ordinary citizens. The author has managed to make these people seem real by including detail on important court cases, births, marriages, and other information related to private lives. To further help make this historical period come alive, the author indicates that he has tried "to suggest in a general way what people's thoughts and feelings might have been at different points during the summer."

This book can be enjoyed by the interested lay reader. The scholar will appreciate the numerous explanatory end-notes that are listed for each month. There is no index, but a bibliography of references cited, listing many primary sources, is given. The numerous black-and-white illustrations enhance the text; these include maps and sketches, as well as photographs of activities at the present-day fortress. The book is well-organized, and the type is clear.

The intended audience seems to be adults and senior students who want more detail and background of life in Louisbourg than that provided by the glossier titles currently in print. Recommended for purchase by public libraries and by libraries in senior high schools whose Canadian history courses deal in any detail with this fascinating part of our history.

Pauline Henaut, Westville Schools, Westville, NS.
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