Book Reviews

Book Review: Scamps and Scoundrels


The author is a veteran broadcast writer and has spent a lot of time in libraries to study newspapers published in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.

In four parts of this book he tells funny stories that occurred in the 18 and 19th centuries, how First Nations, and Miqmacs sided with the French and fought the English soldiers, of criminals, thieves, and much more.

Some stories are short, others long, but all are well written to compel the reader to turn page after page.

The stories told reveal that most of the settlers (English and Irish) were drunkards and created havoc in society.

The laws were harsh and thieves were branded with the letter T on their thumb. This was eternally held against each offender, and when he/she re-offended

Some judges were corrupt, others irrational and yet a few so obese that they had to be politically “retired” to prevent further legal mayhem.

If you want to know hoe some settlers worked, acquired land, lived, and behaved, this book will satisfy your curiosity and tell you what tough life people endured.

But not all settlers were peasants trying to make a better life for them. As always, the rich and politically active and well connected were in government and enriched themselves even more, like the ones of today, although modern politicians are more discreet and possibly also more underhanded.

Overall, this is a delightful and historical read about the Maritime provinces.

Highly recommended to everyone who lives in any of the Maritime provinces, but also to all western Canadians.

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