The Story of Modern Skiing – “A remarkable memoir and history of the sport.” comment from Jean-Claude Killy, 1968 Olympic triple gold medalist
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.
Retired Canadian Librarian on Amazon.ca December 1, 2013
This is a fascinating & vivid account of one man’s role in the Quebec City shipping industry community at the time of Confederation. Part history, part family biography, it is generously illustrated with Henry Fry’s drawings & period photographs. A great read for anyone interested in Canadian history! … offering new perspectives on a period of transition in Canadian shipping, trade & commerce.
By “reader” [Posted on Amazon, Jan. 26 2014]
A Mind at Sea – This is a really interesting and very enjoyable book about the life of Henry Fry, a ship owner in Quebec City in the 1900’s. It is also a history lesson of the times, both the political as well as social side. As well as showing his attributes, i.e. his concern for the men working in the docks and on the ships, it also shows his difficulties dealing with his severe depression. John Fry’s descriptions of Quebec city and the docks and ship building yards are wonderful. A really good read.
By “Sheryl” [Posted on Amazon, Jan. 26 2014]
I just finished reading A Mind at Sea this morning. I loved it. I grew up in Quebec City and I’ve been fascinated by the city’s history for a long time. Your book added yet more detail to my understanding of the city and how it grew, and of the people who built it. Your great-grandfather was an incredibly talented person. It was so wonderful to hear of how he cared for the seamen and their families, and for people in general. I was really taken with their little girl, Mame, and was saddened to read of her fate. I was also very pleased that your great-grandfather’s last years were happy, as he well deserved to be, although your great-grandmother’s latter years must have been very trying. It was so interesting to read of the Wolfe-Montcalm monument, of the house beside the American consulate, of the coves, now gone, of the Prince of Wales’s visit – so much of what was in the book has some meaning to me. Many congratulations on a well-told tale of a superb person and his age.
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.