The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from Their American Homeland
2005, W.W. Norton & Company
"A superior work of history." - Booklist
My family on my Dad's side were Acadians, French immigrants who started arriving in what is now Nova Scotia in 1604. His cousin Marcel Bourg, who was very knowledgable about our history, sent me this book at least ten years before I opened it due to, I guess, lack of time and interest. When I finally read it, I was not only moved but seriously angered by the disrespectful and merciless treatment of the Acadians by the British, who coveted the rich land they had made prosperous by hard work and ingenious methods of channeling the ocean tides to allow for farming. "Thanks for doing all the work, here we are to reap the benefits." Bastards! To add insult to injury, the British were cruel to the native inhabitants of the land who were the Acadians' friends and sometimes even family.
Thrown out of their homes and their land, the Acadians were shipped to many different destinations in North America, France and the Carribean. The Acadians, an uneducated people whose lives had been based on family, community and the land, became impoverished and despised.
A Great and Noble Scheme is an illuminating and exciting read. It recounts not only the story of the expulsion of the Acadians (1755), but also their arrival from France and way of life, the conflicts between France and England and inevitably, how these events related to the making of America.
"The...intention was to fracture the community of the Acadians and destroy their identity as a distinct people. (This) would cost thousands of lives and years of suffering and wandering, and must be marked down as one of the most horrific episodes in North American history."
-A Great and Noble Scheme, p 336
(also, fn 1, ch 12)
- A Great and Noble Scheme, Introduction