Lost Country: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland, 1843-1933

By Dr. Patrick O’Flaherty

Lost Country

Lost Country: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland, 1843-1933

Patrick O’Flaherty’s new book Lost Country continues the narrative history he began in his award-winning 1999 volume, Old Newfoundland: A History to 1843. Here he follows the story over the 90 years as Newfoundland advanced along a thorny path to Dominion status within the British Commonwealth and towards nationhood, a path it slipped off in the gloomy 1930s when, somewhat astonishingly, it relinquished self-government in favour of what amounted to direct rule from London. Many forces held it back in 1843-1933, not the least of which were burdens inherited from its colonial past.

Dr. O’Flaherty looks closely at the British record as an overseer of Newfoundland’s political and economic progress, and his analysis is not always flattering to the mother country. Norway, Iceland and France, competitors in the international codfish market, as well as Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the U.S. and other countries enter the picture. The French, given a foothold on the island by Britain, were an impediment to progress until 1904. The many connections with America and Canada are woven into the narrative. The part played by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the First World War, both on the Western Front and at Gallipoli, is examined.

Dr. Patrick O’Flaherty

Dr. Patrick O’Flaherty

The book has an international dimension. Dr. O’Flaherty takes readers through the political conflicts, economic slumps, intellectual debates and notable achievements which form part of the record of this small, lost country.

Dr. O’Flaherty is a professor emeritus (English) at Memorial University. His books include The Rock Observed: Studies in the Literature of Newfoundland, Part of the Main: An illustrated History of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Come Near at Your Peril: A Visitor’s Guide to the Island of Newfoundland.