The best books about the Acadians

2 authors have picked their favorite books about the Acadians and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of Deportation of the Prince Edward Island Acadians

Deportation of the Prince Edward Island Acadians

By Earle Lockerby,

Why this book?

As the title proclaims, this is a book about one particular Acadian Deportation, that from Prince Edward Island. It occurred three years after the first wave in 1755, and it had France not the Anglo-American colonies as the destination. It was largest of all the different forcible Acadian removals, and nearly half of those sent to France perished due to shipboard illnesses and shipwrecks. Lockerby undertook meticulous research and summarizes it in this book. Before this publication came out—and there is a French-language version as well—this chapter in the saga of the Acadian people had been little and poorly…

From the list:

The best books on the Acadian Deportation

Book cover of From Migrant to Acadian: A North American Border People, 1604-1755

From Migrant to Acadian: A North American Border People, 1604-1755

By N.E.S. Griffiths,

Why this book?

This book by Naomi Griffiths is excellent for anyone who wants to understand who the Acadians were (and still are)—and how they came to be considered a people distinct from French. The book is indispensable to grasp the basic characteristics of Acadians in the 17th and 18th centuries and the many challenges they faced. As Griffiths shows, the deportation did not destroy the Acadian community. In spite of a horrific death toll, nine years of proscription, and the forfeiture of property and political rights, the Acadians continued to be a cohesive community in Nova Scotia and other areas…

From the list:

The best books on the Acadian Deportation

Book cover of Illustrated History of the Acadians of Prince Edward Island

Illustrated History of the Acadians of Prince Edward Island

By Georges Arsenault,

Why this book?

In both English and French, Georges Arsenault has written many books on different aspects of the Acadian history of PEI. This 2019 book is the author’s most recent (French title: Histoire illustrée de l’Acadie de l’Ile-du-Prince-Édouard). It’s aimed at general interest readers and provides an overview of the three centuries of French and Acadian presence on the Island since 1720. Topics addressed include the early settlement period, the mass deportation in 1758, and the subsequent resettlement by Acadians. The author also looks at the role of the Catholic Church, French-language education, the economic changes across time, and the struggles…

From the list:

The best books on the history of Prince Edward Island

Book cover of Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion

Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion

By Tyler LeBlanc,

Why this book?

This book offers a personalized, non-academic look at what it means for one Acadian to be part of the collective Acadian community. The author traces his family history all the way back to the time of the Acadian Expulsion and beyond. That ancestor was Joseph LeBlanc (Tyler's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather). With descendants scattered across modern-day Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the LeBlancs provide a window into the diverse fates that awaited the Acadians when they were expelled from their Acadian homeland. Some escaped the deportation; others were deported and later returned to the region, but not to same areas as…

From the list:

The best books on the Acadian Deportation

Book cover of Three Centuries and the Island: A Historical Geography of Settlement and Agriculture in Prince Edward Island, Canada

Three Centuries and the Island: A Historical Geography of Settlement and Agriculture in Prince Edward Island, Canada

By Andrew Hill Clark,

Why this book?

Though published more than 60 years ago—and therefore a little dated—this study remains highly useful. Clark opens with the Island’s natural geography and then looks at how its resources were used by the Mi’kmaq and subsequent settlers of Acadian, Scottish, Irish, Loyalist, and English backgrounds. The book’s 155 maps and 16 tables illustrate the distribution of the population by area and origin over time and the evolution in crops and livestock from the early 18th to the mid-20th centuries. Readers wanting more recent historical and geographical essays should check out Time and a Place, An Environmental History of…

From the list:

The best books on the history of Prince Edward Island

Book cover of Acadian to Cajun: Transformation of a People, 1803-1877

Acadian to Cajun: Transformation of a People, 1803-1877

By Carl A. Brasseaux,

Why this book?

It comes as a surprise to many, but no Acadians were deported to Louisiana. It was a French colony in 1755, and those making the decisions about where the deportees were to go did not want to strengthen any French colony. They chose the Anglo-American colonies so there could be assimilation. The reason so many Acadians—renamed Cajuns—ended up in Louisiana was because of later migrations; voluntary migrations, not forced deportations. This book examines the growth, evolution, and political involvement of Louisiana's large Acadian community between the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and 1877, the end of Reconstruction in…

From the list:

The best books on the Acadian Deportation

Book cover of In the Province of History: The Making of the Public Past in Twentieth-Century Nova Scotia

In the Province of History: The Making of the Public Past in Twentieth-Century Nova Scotia

By Ian McKay, Robin Bates,

Why this book?

This book is an eye-opening account of how the history of Nova Scotia became distorted in the interest of attracting tourists. This manufactured history exalts whiteness and masculinity, and quietly excludes ethnic minorities and women. The Yarmouth runestone, which is adduced as evidence that the Norse landed in Yarmouth, is an important artefact in this ideological history, and the authors give an excellent account of its history and its place in tourist history. 

From the list:

The best books about the Norse in Canada

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