The best books about Prince Edward Island 📚

Browse the best books on Prince Edward Island as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of If You’re Stronghearted: Prince Edward Island in the Twentieth Century

If You’re Stronghearted: Prince Edward Island in the Twentieth Century

By Edward MacDonald

Why this book?

If all you know about Prince Edward Island is that it’s a pretty tourist destination, you will be surprised by this book. The author tells the story of PEI in the 20th century with great flair. Along the way, readers learn about the people, events, and influential forces that shaped Island life over that era. We find out not just about seed potatoes, fox farming, ferry boats, and fixed links, but also about the troubles brought by economic depression, outmigration, and regional disparity. Two world wars also figure into the story. In a nutshell, If You're Stronghearted describes both…

From the list:

The best books on the history of Prince Edward Island

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Book cover of Samuel Holland: His Work and Legacy on Prince Edward Island

Samuel Holland: His Work and Legacy on Prince Edward Island

By Earle Lockerby, Douglas Sobey

Why this book?

The two authors combine their historical and geographical talents in this book. It offers a wealth of information on a wide range of themes relating to the famous Holland survey of the nascent British colony of St. John’s Island (later renamed Prince Edward Island). That survey, carried out on orders from the British Crown in 1764-65, generated the first fully accurate map of Prince Edward Island, dividing it into counties, townships, royalties, and individual lots that are still in place today. While the Holland survey was an exceptional technical achievement, it—and the subsequent lottery that allocated many of the lots…

From the list:

The best books on the history of Prince Edward Island

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

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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

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Book cover of Those Splendid Girls: The Heroic Service of Prince Edward Island Nurses in the Great War

Those Splendid Girls: The Heroic Service of Prince Edward Island Nurses in the Great War

By Kathleen Dewar

Why this book?

More than 115 PEI women served as nurses in the First World War, and this book provides rich details about their individual and collective experiences. The author carried out meticulous research to gather the nurses’ stories from a wide range of sources and she writes about that service with admiration. Helping to convey the nurses’ varied experiences are a large number of photos and several maps which locate the overseas hospitals and other facilities where they served. Despite all they accomplished, the PEI nurses—like nurses from other parts of North America—were largely greeted by a “great silence” when they returned…

From the list:

The best books on the history of Prince Edward Island

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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

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