Reader’s Comment – A Mind at Sea

To the author of A Mind at Sea:   You have done a wonderful job in taking the reader  back to the days of the glorious era of the construction of sailing ships in Quebec.  I had no idea of this history.
I know Quebec well enough to follow your narrative as you describe the different areas of the port city: the Plains of Abraham, Dufferin Terrace, the Monument to Wolfe and Montcalm, the harbour, Dufferin Terrace, and the family home on the Terrace.  
I enjoyed reading about the ships that Henry bought and built.  I also found interesting what you write about Cacouna and the Lower St. Lawrence, the individuals who lived there and the houses they built and occupied.  I’m a director of a charity that owns the Sir John A. MacDonald House at St. Patrick, which is mentioned in A Mind at Sea

I learned  a lot from the book about the seamen and the unions. I would not otherwise have known about shipping  violations, such as crimping and deck loading. I was also fascinated by the closeness of the shipbuilding industry in Quebec to the mother country, and the fact that Henry had to make the trip almost every year overseas to England, to sell the cargo, and sometimes even the ship transporting the cargo.   

A Mind at Sea is  an important contribution to the history of Canada. It should be required reading in all our schools.   — William Stavert, Montreal. 


2 thoughts on “Reader’s Comment – A Mind at Sea

  1. The man Henry Fry is truly great, not only for what he accomplished, but also for the remarkable humility with which he accepted what he could not do during his paralyzing depression, and then his readiness to take up the pen, making up the time he lost in sickness by turning an avocation into a brilliant second career. While reading A Mind at Sea, I had the impression that the author has been inspired by his subject, both in his own humanity and in his marvelous control of language. I have never read an author with a greater command of the nautical language, combined with such a sensitivity about the subject. Congratulations on a definitive biography! — Louis Dupré, author, Yale University Press.

  2. Pingback: Yale Professor’s Note | johnfry

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